Case Study I. Cultural Boundaries and Unboundedness

Study of the ways in which both philosophical foundational experiences are expressed in various cultures around the world, with an eye to both culture-bound differences and universal correspondences.

This research includes comparative, cross-cultural studies. We already know in part how the near-death experience occurs in Western culture. We know, for example, that within that culture many experiencers experience strikingly similar elements, such as an out-of-body experience (OBE), a journey through a tunnel, looking back on the life they lived, encounters with deceased loved ones and the encounter with c.q. experience of Untrue Love. In com-parison, we know relatively little about the East in this respect, let alone that there is any comparative research. Much work can still be done in this intercultural area. The internationally oriented website NDERF (Near-Death Experience Research Foundation) of researcher and physician Jeffrey Long, for example, can serve as a valuable source of research material. In addition, researchers should make contact with experts by experience in order to gather information through interviews and the like. Such research therefore contains a strong phenomenological component.

Intercultural research can contribute to a refinement of universal theology, showing how both the general human experience of finitude and the message of unconditional love often shared by experiencers takes shape in different cultural contexts and lives. A case study such as this can lead to international projects, in which researchers worldwide, i.e. with various nationalities participate and cooperate. The possibilities to communicate digitally (e.g. through Teams or Zoom) lowers the threshold to participate in these projects. The maieutics school can (help) facilitate the digital start-up of such projects and perhaps also provide a project and process facilitator.