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Mystical Experiences at the end of life: What do they mean?

Mystical Experiences at the end of life: What do they mean?

Location: Norcroft Centre, University of Bradford (Main Campus)

Date and Time:
Wed 11 Nov 2015, 18:00 - 19:30

Duration: 1.5 hours

Public Lecture delivered by Allan Kellehear, Professor of End of Life Care and one of University of Bradford's 50th Anniversary Chairs.

It is common for dying people, or others near-death, to report unusual or ‘idiosyncratic’ perceptions and experiences. These perceptions are called near-death experiences and death bed visions. All of these experiences have been described, at one time or another, as hallucinations. Other people have described these as mystical experiences – altered states of consciousness, irrespective of their visual imagery, that enhance wellbeing and spiritual understanding, and providing elation and joy that can be difficult, even impossible to describe. For New Age readers, some of these experiences are direct proof that human beings survive death.  What are we to believe? This talk will provide an outline of the main features of these experiences, discuss their worldwide prevalence, and offer a critical evaluation of the explanations we receive about them from medicine, neuroscience, psychology, and New Age writers.

Professor Kellehear has published 22 books and over 100 scholarly articles. His books include A Social History of Dying and The Study of Dying: From Autonomy to Transformation, which brings together research from several disciplines on what we know about dying, and shows how cultural influences, social circumstances and personal choice shape the experience.

Through public events the University of Bradford seeks to provide a forum for academics, students, experts in their fields and the public to discuss areas of work of the University and their relation to society. 

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