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Beyond the Threshold


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Table of Contents

Part One: An Overview of Beliefs in an Afterlife from Major World Religions Chapter 1: Ancient Conceptions Chapter 2: Judaism Chapter 3: Christianity Chapter 4: Islam Chapter 5: Hinduism Chapter 6: Buddhism Chapter 7: Chinese Religions Chapter 8: African Religions Part Two: An Overview of the Research into Experiences of an Afterlife Chapter 9: Mediumship Chapter 10: Apparitions and Hauntings Chapter 11: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences Chapter 12: Past-Life Memories Part Three: Beliefs and Experiences: An Attempt at a Synthesis Chapter 13: Comparison of Beliefs Chapter 14: Comparison of Phenomena Epilogue: Speculations on Mysticism and the Afterlife

About the Author

Christopher M. Moreman is professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at California State University, East Bay. He has edited several volumes, including Oxford's Teaching Death and Dying and The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying, among other publications.


Moreman (philosophy and religious studies, California State Univ., East Bay), editor of Routledge Companion to Death and Dying (2018), provides an accessible overview of different spiritual traditions' beliefs about the state of the human body and soul after death. The book covers the major world religions-Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism-but Moreman expands this second edition (the first edition appeared in 2008) to include African traditions. In addition, he includes the beliefs and practices of individuals such as mediums and those who have had near-death experiences, looking at how they have shaped cultural views of the afterlife. What is most helpful about this book is that it presents these traditions in a fair, informative, and balanced way without getting lost in more technical debates or theological questions that might be of more concern to specialists. Moreman's inclusiveness makes the book relevant for those interested in cultural studies as well as those studying religion and dying. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates; general readers; professionals. * CHOICE *
There are only a few academic books in the new millennium dealing with afterlife beliefs. Christopher Moreman's second edition of his book, Beyond the Threshold: Afterlife Beliefs and Experiences in World Religions, is most welcome in this context. . . Moreman is to be commended for expanding the usually narrow focus on the afterlife in the religious studies field. . . Moreman is also to be commended for bravely bringing subjects such as spiritualism, mediumship, ghosts, near death experience (NDE), out of body experience (OBE), and past life memories into the academic arena. . . . All afterlife beliefs stem from a basic human religious experience, and despite many differences of interpretation, most human cultures agree that some sort of mysterious survival exists beyond death. Moreman's book is a good starting point for any scholar interested in this subject. * Reading Religion *
This is a revised and expanded edition of Christopher Moreman's book on afterlife beliefs. It is based on wide ranging research into a topic of key importance to the religions of the world. It is both accessible and scholarly. Moreman's discussion of controversial issues is fair, balanced, and well informed. The book makes a major contribution to academic understanding and establishes Moreman as a leading authority in this area. -- Paul Badham, emeritus, University of Wales
Beyond the Threshold is the one textbook I know of that not only introduces beliefs about the afterlife, but also examines reported experiences of the afterlife. Students love the chapters on ghosts, seances, and near-death experiences. But they benefit from the engaging discussions of the major religious views as well. The updates and new glossaries make a great book even better. -- Rebecca Moore, emerita, San Diego State University
This excellent, even-handed and open-minded discussion of afterlife beliefs covers the major world religious traditions, as well as research from non-traditional sources. While the information on afterlife teachings in the religions may be familiar, the ideas and claims about afterlife from mediums, psychic researchers, and near-death experiencers are more novel. Moreman presents them with unusual clarity and philosophical sophistication. I recommend this book highly for those seeking to move beyond conventional believer-versus-atheist debates and learn about the topic in depth. -- Lucy Bregman, Temple University
This thought-provoking book provides two lenses through which to perceive the afterlife: the teachings of world religions and anomalous experiences. Each is treated historically and critically, with similarities and differences noted. Clear and comprehensive, the result is unique: a highly informative compendium and an adventurous attempt at synthesis. -- Tony Walter, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath
Beliefs about an afterlife are what Carl Jung called objective interpretations of our continuing bonds with those who have died. Neither religious claims about how people live on nor the experiences by which we continue our bonds, however, fit easily into the logical positivism that dominates the contemporary Western mindset. In this excellent book Christopher Moreman takes on the question of afterlife directly. First he examines the beliefs of many of the world's religious traditions. Then he examines the studies of mediums, apparitions and hauntings, near death experiences, and past life memories. He is respectful of his sources and at the same time he gives readers the benefit of his fine critical mind. -- Dennis Klass, emeritus, Webster University

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