What is it about?

This is a book review. The book (Near Death Experience in Indigenous Religions) compares the easiest available reports that could reasonably be categorised as Near Dear Experiences from America, Africa and Oceana. The author considers similarities as well as differences in the ways different cultures have responded to these experiences and draws some conclusions from the accounts. The main suggestion of the book is that in many (although not necessarily all) cultures, Near Death Experiences have been vital in the development of afterlife and other religious beliefs.

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Why is it important?

The majority of research in NDEs has been limited to their occurrence in the West, mostly in Western Europe and the USA over the last 40 years or so. Very little work has been done on their existence, manifestation and impact in other times and places. Following on from his previous book, which looked at NDEs in a variety of ancient civilisations, Shushan has become the first to explore the occurrence and significance of NDEs in indigenous religion around the world. This opens up the possibility of studying the effect that these, and similar experiences, have had on the development of religion and belief.


This is a fascinating book which shows careful and meticulous scholarship. It should be of interest not only to anyone with an interest in NDEs, whether academic or otherwise, but also to sociologists and anthropologists of religion and those with an interest in the history and development of religions.

Ms Jennifer Uzzell
Durham University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Near death experience in indigenous religions, Mortality, October 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/13576275.2019.1676219.
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