We are pleased to offer a new e-mail service to our members, “NDEs in the News.” This service will let you know about news stories (in print media, on the internet, and on TV or radio) that we feel are interesting and offer insight into the NDE research that is being done or the experience of NDErs. Over the long run we hope you find this news a valuable addition to your IANDS membership. This service will not have a regular schedule but will be sent out when we feel there is a worthwhile story that would be of interest to IANDS members.
Our first news article (no longer available on-line) was a well-written, short feature about a woman’s NDE during a severe health crisis. An interesting component of the story illustrates one of the challenges faced by NDE researchers and those of us interested in this phenomenon: the cultural and/or religious preconceptions that are brought by NDErs to their experiencers. In this particular instance, the newspaper reports that Teresa, the experiencer, stated “I never saw the Lord, but I felt the peace and the presence that I believe were from Christ.” Would an experiencer coming from non-Christian cultural background have expressed what she perceived using those words and concepts? How much of the rest of this experience as it was perceived and interpreted by Teresa was influenced by her cultural background and how much was independent of it?
These are interesting questions for future research and for us to ponder as we encounter other NDE accounts. For more information about NDEs across cultures, you can check out the DVD of Dr. Alan Kellehear’s presentation titled “NDEs Throughout History and Across Cultures” from the 2006 IANDS conference at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston last fall: click here