This August 1, I will be appearing on the Midnight in the Desert radio show for two hours to talk about reincarnation, beginning with a book, Reincarnation: The Missing Link in Christianity, which I co-authored with my mother more than twenty years ago. Details here: Calendar
Working on that book was the beginning, but certainly not the end, of my research on reincarnation. The book presents a history of reincarnation in Christianity and argues that it was the linchpin of a more personal and just form of salvation as promoted by ancient gnostics. My own views have changed quite a bit since 1997 as I have gained a much deeper understanding of both gnosticism and the context of early Christianity. I have a more nuanced view of how reincarnation operated in the ancient world and its widely varied modern formulations.
I no longer believe that it's possible to prove that Jesus taught reincarnation, or that it's necessarily the "missing link" in Christianity. I'll have two hours this Thursday to explain why, and why I continue to be fascinated by the role that reincarnation beliefs play in Western thought and how people think of themselves in relationship to the divine. In the past two centuries, reincarnation has played an important role in the transformation of religion and especially the attitudes of people who consider themselves spiritual but not religious. It can affect how people think about almost every area of life--food, child rearing, psychology, marriage, love, death, and the afterlife. I'll also be talking about some of the many ways that people today think about reincarnation.
In addition, I'll be going into some of the differences between common Western approaches to reincarnation and those of Hindu and Buddhist traditions. How does reincarnation function in New Age and Wiccan belief systems? What is the meaning and implication of research into past-life memories, for example Ian Stevenson's cases of children who remember previous lives.
Please tune in if you can or listen to the broadcast online.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.