"Evidence for the belief in a life after death has to be sharply distinguished from evidence for life after death itself. Humans have always and nearly everywhere held some form of belief that life does not end with the grave or funeral pyre. Anthropology, sociology, and the history of world religions all provide ample evidence of the extent to which our species has expressed its solid, near-universal faith that death if not the last word. But evidence of such a faith, however abundant or moving, is not the same thing as evidence for the reality of a life beyond. ..... This brings us to the second important clarification. Evidence and proof are by no means one and the same thing." -- Intro.
Contents: Acknowledgements / T.W.H. -- Introduction -- Part One: The Secular Witness -- Strange Encounters -- The Near-Death Experience -- Channelers: The New Spirit Mediums -- Reincarnation -- Dreams of Death and Dying -- New Light from Science -- Part Two: The Religious Witness:Christianity -- The Witness of St. Paul -- The Teachings of Jesus -- The Gospels and the Resurrection of Jesus -- Hell -- What about Purgatory ? -- Muddying the Waters -- Reincarnation and the Bible -- The Christ Myth as the Ultimate Myth of the Self -- Part Three: The Religious Witness: Three Christian Sects -- The Seventh-Day Adventists -- Jehovah's Witnesses -- Christian Science -- Part Four: The Religious Witness: Other World Faiths -- Zoroastrianism -- Hinduism -- Buddhism -- Judaism -- Islam -- Baha'i -- Native Spirituality -- Part Five: Personal Reflections and Conclusions -- Notes -- Selected Bibliography -- Index.
Author is a former Anglican priest, writer and journalist.