The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences
Thirty Years of Investigation
by Janice Miner Holden, EdD, Bruce Greyson, MD, Debbie James, RN/MSN, Editors
June 2009, 316pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35864-7
$55, £41, 46€, A79
eBook Available: 978-0-313-35865-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A woman entered a hospital clinically dead. After revival, she claimed to have “seen” a shoe on a ledge outside a sixth floor window of another hospital building. A social worker checked. The shoe was there, not visible from the street, on the opposite side of the campus from where the woman had been brought in by ambulance.

A team of international experts presents the history, recent developments, and controversies in the intriguing study of near-death experience.

Experts from around the world share the history and current state of near-death experience (NDE) knowledge. They explore controversies in the field, offer stories from their research, and express their hopes for the future of investigation into this fascinating phenomenon.

As modern medical techniques for resuscitation advance, NDEs are more frequently reported. These include more than the popular notions of moving through a tunnel or seeing a light. They also include people, once revived, knowing things their knowledge of which can’t currently be explained. As The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation makes clear, great controversy exists in the medical and psychological fields concerning NDEs. Are they caused by physiological changes in the brain, or are they biological reactions to oxygen loss or impending death? Are they a product of changing states of consciousness? Or are they caused by something else altogether? All of these ideas and more are discussed in this unique and comprehensive volume.


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Janice Miner Holden, EdD, is past president of the International Association for Near-Death Studies. She is professor of counseling and chair of the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at the University of North Texas, Denton, TX. She is licensed in Texas as a professional counselor supervisor and as a marriage and family therapist. Holden has authored or coauthored articles in the Journal of Near-Death Studies, the Journal of Counseling and Development, and Counseling and Values. She is current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Near-Death Studies.

Bruce Greyson, MD, is founder and longtime research director of the International Association for Near-Death Studies, Durham, NC. He served across more than two decades as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Near-Death Studies. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is the Chester R. Carlson Professor of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, in addition to director of the Division of Perceptual Studies, at the University of Virginia Medical School. Greyson has authored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed medical journals. He coedited The Near-Death Experience: Problems, Prospects and Perspectives and coauthored Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century.

Debbie James, RN/MSN, is senior instructor in the Nursing Education Department at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. She has served as a board member for the International Association of Near-Death Studies and is founder of the San Antonio chapter. Her awards include the American Hospital Association Achievement Award, the American Heart Association Nurse Image Maker Award, and the AHA Texas Chapter Distinguished Service Award. James was a panelist on Bill Moyer's show Dying in America (2000) on PBS.


"Recommended."—Choice, November 1, 2009

"Practitioners and researchers specializing in near-death experiences review the scientific literature in and from the perspectives of their various disciplines, mostly mental health, but also other health care fields and the social sciences. Among the topics are pleasurable western adult near-death experiences and their after effect, western children and teens, a census of non-western experiences to 2005, world religions, veridical perceptions, explanatory models, and practical applications of the research. Most of the 11 studies are based on presentations at a fall 2006 conference in Houston, Texas."—Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2009
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