Life After Death: A Study of the Afterlife in World Religions
A review of Life After Death: A Study of the Afterlife in World Religions by Dr. Ken Vincent, retired professor of psychology, including the Psychology of Religious Experience:
Life After Death is true to its title. The book was first published in 1995 and has been reissued. The first seven chapters cover the religious ideas of afterlife in Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and the Baha’i faiths. Farnaz Masumian goes on to discuss Reincarnation & Transmigration, the Near-Death Experience (NDE), and Religion & the NDE Phenomenon. The result is a treasure of information in 175 pages.
One of the most important features of the book is that, in discussing afterlife, she quotes "chapter and verse" from the sacred texts of each religion. Each chapter focusing on a religion includes the major writings of the religion, the primary concepts that relate to afterlife, the influence and/or similarities of that religion in relationship to other religions.
The big difference between religions of the East and West involves the concepts of reincarnation and transmigration which form the cornerstone of Eastern belief about afterlife but remain a minority position and esoteric idea in the West. The chapter on the Near-Death Experience (NDE) provides a standard and basic overview. She concludes that the most plausible explanation for NDE's is that they are, "universally available mystical experiences". The final chapter, "Religion and the NDE Phenomenon", is an excellent integration of the NDE into the literature of the world's religions.
All-in-all, Life After Death by Farnaz Masumian is an outstanding book. Having the Scripture and verse quotations from the world's religions alone is worth the price of the book. Added to this is her careful analysis of the concepts and contradictions both within and between the various religions. This book is a "must" for all students of life after death in general and the NDE in particular.
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