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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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(p.3) 1.1 Introduction
What Is It Like To Be Dead?

Jens Schlieter

Oxford University Press

The introduction to Part I defines as the primary object of the study the reports of near-death experiences. As such, the latter are part of a literary form and specific genre. Experiences, and reports of experiences, it is argued, adapt to a complex network of expectation, anticipation, and confirmation of the anticipated. Therefore, they are culturally specific. Although of importance, fictional near-death reports as conveyed in literature and film will not be treated in the study if no autobiographical claim is visible, namely, that the experiences were made in biographically identifiable situations “near death.” The author’s aim to relate to a text-external world can be called “reference ambition” (Markus Davidsen).

Keywords:   near-death reports, autobiographical narratives, near-death experience in fiction and film, reference ambition, near-death experiencer

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