Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations: Universalism, Constructivism and Near-Death Experience
London: Continuum Advances in Religious Studies (Book 6), Bloomsbury Academic, 2011
Gregory Shushan, a researcher in the study of religions, holds, or has held, some research fellowships at privately funded institutes for the study of religion in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, and has won prizes in the field.
This is an important book, not so much for the quality of its scholarship or its writing, although the former seems more than adequate and the latter is at times excellent, but rather for the clever and effective strategy of argument employed.
Shushan has fairly summarized “core features” of near death experience as reported from societies across the continents and through the ages back almost to the beginning of writing. These ancient (and modern) reports come from societies many of whom knew almost nothing, if anything at all, about each other. The features in question, then, must be based on something prior to culture.