From spiritual experiences to mystical and near-death incidences, this fascinating introduction explores and evaluates the significance of such events; taking into account different interpretations from scientific, philosophical and religious viewpoints.This comprehensive new introduction looks at spiritual experiences from past to present, from the experiences of the founders of the major world religious traditions to events in the lives of ordinary people today. Mystical and Near Death Experiences are included. Examples are drawn from a variety of sources, including original accounts from the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre Archive at the University of Wales, Lampeter as well as many given to the author in person.Interpretations of these experiences follow, from religious, philosophical and scientific viewpoints. Various questions are considered. Is there a common core to spiritual experience? Do these experiences offer proof of the existence of God or of the possibility of survival of death?This fascinating work concludes with an evaluation of what can be learned about consciousness, religion and what it is to be human.
Marianne Rankin is Chair of the Alister Hardy Society, affiliated to the Religious Experience Research Centre, University of Wales, Lampeter. After working as a linguist and writer in Singapore, she took an M.St. in the Study of Religion at Oxford University, UK.