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What Is It Like To Be Dead?Near-Death Experiences, Christianity, and the Occult$
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Jens Schlieter

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190888848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190888848.001.0001

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Pushing Near-Death Experiences (I)

Pushing Near-Death Experiences (I)

Privatized Death

(p.231) 3.2 Pushing Near-Death Experiences (I)
What Is It Like To Be Dead?

Jens Schlieter

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on a long-term development in Western societies addressed as “privatized death,” namely, the assignment of the dying into hospitals and other institutions. This trend, mirrored in the works of French historian Philippe Ariès and psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, so the chapter argues, served as a “push factor” for articulating near-death experiences. Near-death experiences can be in part read as a “spiritual protest” against alienated, anonymous dying in institutions and the “materialist” take of modern biomedicine of merely prolonging life. This protest is also present in criticizing the “denial of death.”

Keywords:   privatized death, dying in hospitals, medicalized death, Philippe Ariès, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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