Natasha A. Tassell-Matamua & Kate Steadman


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JSS 7.1

JSS 7.1 ‘I feel more spiritual’. Increased spirituality after a near-death experience

by Dr Natasha A. Tassell-Matamua & Ms Kate L. Steadman, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Journal for the Study of Spirituality 7, no. 1, 2017, pp. 35-49

Near-death experiences (NDEs) often precipitate a variety of aftereffects, which can include an increased sense of spirituality. While a large volume of literature attests to these changes, less is known about what aspects of NDEs might be most influential in this change. This study aimed to address this issue by investigating what specific NDE characteristics and features were related to spirituality and religiousness within a sample of 135 participants who self-identified as having had an NDE. While no significant associations were evident with NDE characteristics (i.e. date, location, and circumstance), results revealed significant correlations between specific features of an NDE (i.e. cognitive, affective, transcendental, paranormal) and spirituality. No significant correlations were evident between NDE characteristics and features and religiousness. Findings are discussed in relation to previous research and we suggest NDEs have much to contribute to advancing understandings of spirituality.

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