Dr. Ornella Corazza – The River of the Afterlife: the phenomenology of Near Death Experiences in Japan

The cross-cultural study of the Near Death Experience (NDE) is a relatively new field of investigation. Some researchers held the view that the NDE is a universal experience, although cultural/religious beliefs influence various details and the way the NDE is interpreted. On the contrary, others, reported cases where the content of the experience was actually different from the cultural/religious background of the person who reported the experience. This presentation will explore the phenomenon of the NDE from a Japanese perspective, analyse its qualities, and consider some of its dominant explanations. It will introduce the concept of ‘place’ as a new and valid category to understand the nature of experience. Finally, it will refer to several case studies, which were collected in Tokyo. Particpants will be invited to share their experiences.

DR. ORNELLA CORAZZA is a medical anthropologist, who gained both her MA and PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Previously, she held fellowships at the 21st century Centre of Excellence (COE) on Death and Life Studies at the University of Tokyo (Japan), where she studied the near-death experiences among the Japanese. She is the author of a number of academic publications and books, including the Near-Death Experiences: exploring the mind-body connection (Routledge 2008).


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