© 2014

Near-Death Experiences

Heavenly Insight or Human Illusion?


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Birk Engmann
    Pages 1-2
  3. Birk Engmann
    Pages 49-79
  4. Birk Engmann
    Pages 81-111
  5. Birk Engmann
    Pages 123-126
  6. Birk Engmann
    Pages 127-129
  7. Birk Engmann
    Pages 131-134
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 135-150

About this book


The expression "Near-Death Experience" is associated in the popular understanding with access to knowledge about our transition between the states of life and death. But how should such experiences be interpreted? Are they verifiable with scientific methods? If so, how can they be explained? Attempting to relate matters of scientific knowledge to subjective experience and the realm of belief is a difficult balancing act, and has led to a variety of approaches to the topic. This work scrutinizes the diverse views, and also myths, about near-death experiences and describes them from a scientific standpoint. Situated at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology,  philosophy, and religious studies, this book will appeal to a broad audience of both scientists and general readers.


Afterlife Evidence Body and Soul Problem Consciousness and Its Neural Correlates Deathbed Phenomena Embracing the Light Imaging Brain Function Near-death Experiences Neuropsychological Explanations Proof of Afterlife

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.LeipzigGermany

About the authors

Birk Engmann works and lives in Leipzig, Germany. He is not only a neurologist, psychiatrist and researcher but has also published in the fields of history of architecture and palaeontology. Furthermore, he is known as a painter.

Bibliographic information


From the book reviews:

“This book is an expanded version of a German work published in 2011. … The book is very well written and illustrated with many pictures to simplify the author’s discussion; it will be accessible to a wide audience. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic and general library collections.” (D. S. Paulson, Choice, Vol. 52 (5), January, 2015)

“Birk Engmann has written a clear, engaging, scholarly account of selected research and provides his perspectives on near-death experiences (NDEs). … Engmann approaches the topic as a skeptic who challenges popular conclusions that NDEs represent metaphysical glimpses into an afterlife or proof that consciousness exists separate from a person’s physical body. His approach is sufficiently scholarly to be rigorous and should be clearly understandable by both professionals and an educated, nonprofessional audience.” (Gary Groth-Marnat, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 59 (30), July, 2014)