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Lankford, Holden & Holmes - ADC Subjective Experiences


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Janice Holden, Cody Lankford, & Leslie Holmes: After-Death Communication (ADC) And The “Fruits Of The Spirit”

In ADC, a living person has a feeling or sense of encounter with a physically deceased person with whom the living person had a personal relationship. Research reveals 1/3 of people worldwide report experience of spontaneous ADC sometime in their lives. Although reported effects of ADC have been overwhelmingly positive—enhancing experiencers’ sense of wellbeing, continuing bond with the deceased, and worldview/cosmology—adherents to some religious perspectives consider ADC to be evil or “of the devil,” which can obstruct an experiencer’s access to the potential of the ADC to enhance their wellbeing. In the Abrahamic religious traditions, the old testament of the Bible cites “necromancy”—conjuring of the spirits of the dead—to be not “of the Spirit,” but the same passage goes on to provide a “litmus test” of phenomena that are of the Spirit: those that yield the fruits of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” In this presentation, we describe a study in which we assessed adults’ self-reports of these outcomes resulting from their most impactful ADCs. Results hold potential to advance dialog about ADC among religious adherents and to provide helpful information for counselors working with clients who struggle with religious implications of their ADCs.

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