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About Springer - Media - Press Releases | What’s behind near-death experiences – science, myth or miracle?

New York / Heidelberg, 20 March 2014

What’s behind near-death experiences – science, myth or miracle?

New book Near-Death Experiences explores this controversial topic with historical reports and well-documented cases

In popular understanding, the expression "near-death experience" refers to the transition between the states of life and death. But how should such experiences be interpreted? Are they verifiable with scientific methods? If so, how can they be explained? Attempting to relate matters of scientific knowledge to subjective experience and the realm of belief is a difficult balancing act, and has led to a variety of approaches to the topic.
Near-Death Experiences by Birk Engmann scrutinizes the diverse views, and also myths, about near-death experiences and describes them from a scientific standpoint. Situated at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and religious studies, his book will appeal to a broad audience of both scientists and general readers.
Engmann explains, “My book is written in the best tradition of the Age of Enlightenment: Exploring very difficult topics using reason and rationality, but not mystification! Thus my reasoning scrutinizes esoteric concepts and I conclude that there is too much myth about near-death experiences. On the contrary, near-death experiences are scientifically explainable."
Near-Death Experiences provides explanations for the various experiences construed by some as proof of the supernatural. The author discusses this highly controversial topic, using interesting historical reports and recent well-documented cases.
The book also reveals that discussions about near-death experiences are not a novelty of our time but were already a matter of dispute eons ago. Looking back through history, the author shows the spiritual concepts repeatedly display the same arguments and, in particular, proofs, but the desire for immortality is all somehow similar. The author does not argue against religion and personal spiritual worldviews, however he emphasizes that science and religion are two different things.
Birk Engmann works and lives in Leipzig, Germany. He is not only a neurologist, psychiatrist, researcher and artist, but also the author of many medical and historical publications.
Birk Engmann
Near-Death ExperiencesHeavenly Insight or Human Illusion?
2014, VI, 150 p. 20 illus.
Softcover €19.99, £ 15.00, $ 19.99
ISBN 978-3-319-03727-1
Also available as an eBook