Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2018

Department 1

First Year Seminar

Department 2

Religious Studies


In his 1975 book, Life After Life, Dr. Raymond A. Moody coined the term “near-death experience (NDE)” as an umbrella term to describe the personal experiences and sensations that occur during an altered state of consciousness on the threshold of death. While controversy arises over the highly subjective nature of near-death experiences and the empirical research surrounding them, NDEs are usually marked by similar sensations and certainly have one thing in common: they often have profound, positive impacts on affected individuals that change their outlooks moving forward. Birk Engmann comments on the impact of NDEs in Near-Death Experiences: Heavenly Insight or Human Illusion?, and claims that “any threat to one’s own existence in the imminent future can lead one to rethink one’s life,” a true statement that captures the power of NDEs in changing individuals lives (Engmann 6). This paper will explore the fascinating ways in which NDEs not only change but benefit individuals’ lives.


Written for FYS 150: Death and the Meaning of Life and presented at the 2019 Celebration of Academic First-Year Engagement Symposium.

Additional Files

Abby Reitz CAFE Poster.pdf (319 kB)