Near-Death Experiences and the Pursuit of the Ideal Society

Allan Kellehear*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Up to one half of near-death experiencers report a social and physical realm beyond death. I describe the features of this afterlife society and compare them with previous ideas about the ideal society. I argue that the society so often mentioned by near-death experiencers is a unique type of utopian society. As stories from utopia, near-death experiences (NDEs) serve as inspirational narratives that help us re-evaluate the social world and our place in it. They also help integrate sometimes contradictory paradigms from religion, politics, and science. In this way, NDE narratives may be seen as the latest chapter in a long search for better social ideas about living harmoniously with each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-95
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Near-Death Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

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