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Call for Chapters: SPR-Sponsored Book Project – “Is There Life After Death? Arguments, Theories, Evidence”

Deadline for abstracts: 8 June 2020, but please apply early.

Edited by Dr Leo Ruickbie and Robert McLuhan for the Society for Psychical Research

It is one of the fundamental questions that everyone will ask themselves, but in an age of global pandemics, with the increasing challenge to once universal religious certainties and the growing partisan stranglehold on information, the question ‘what happens to the human personality after death?’ takes on renewed urgency to seek answers from every discipline of knowledge, from history to computer science. This volume aims to bring together the different strands of that wide inquiry with contributions from experts in their fields to provide a uniquely valuable reference book, reflecting the state-of-the-art of research. To this end, contributions are invited from historians, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, parapsychologists, philosophers, physicists, medical researchers, computer scientists and others.

This book project is being conducted under the auspices of the Society for Psychical Research. Established in 1882, the SPR is the world’s oldest, largest and most reputable organisation for the scientific study of what we now call the ‘paranormal’. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to contribute to a project of fundamental importance and a unique chance to join the SPR’s long tradition of open-minded inquiry.

Confirmed contributors include, in alphabetical order, Dr Edward F. Kelly, Dr David Luke, Dr James G. Matlock, Dr Jeffrey Mishlove, Prof. Chris Roe, Dr Rupert Sheldrake and Dr Jim B. Tucker.

In relation to the focus question ‘is there life after death?’, topics can include, but are not limited to, the following:

Historical aspects and insights
Spiritualism and survival
Modern experiments to find proof of an afterlife
Mental mediumship
Physical mediumship
Psychological explanations, e.g., multiple personality
Near-Death Experiences (NDEs)
Death-bed visions
Apparitions and hauntings
After-Death Communication (ADC)
Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)
Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC)
‘Survival’ through technology
Whole brain emulation, mind uploading
Neuroscience of consciousness after death
Psychedelics, DMT as the NDE-ogen
Physics, quantum physics
Parallel universe and multiverses
Controversies around the ‘survival hypothesis’

In addition to being academically rigorous, the tone of the book will focus on accessibility, aiming to create a readable and interesting volume that will appeal to non-academic, as well as academic audiences. Scholarly  apparatus (notes, bibliography) will be required.

Individual chapters will be expected to be within the range of 4,000 to 6,000 words, but ideally 5,000 words. The book will be c.100,000 words in length, featuring approx. 15-20 contributions.

Send an abstract of 300 words plus brief biography to Dr Leo Ruickbie at


Deadline for abstracts: 8 June 2020, but please apply early.
Deadline for chapters: 1 October 2020.