On June 1, 1974, a woman in England claims to have watched a news account of a massive a chemical plant explosion that killed 28 people-four hours before it actually happened! In Apparitions, Healings, and Weeping Madonnas, Lisa Schwebel examines a broad variety of mystical experiences through the twin lenses of scientific and pararmal research. Her fascinating and important book sets out to record how religious people have described their supernatural experiences and then places these accounts within the wider context of the Christian mystical tradition. The author closely examines accounts of such seemingly miraculous phemena as ghosts and apparitions, weeping icons, prophecy, healings, and visions. The author then examines what psychology and the physical sciences teach us about the phemena of visions and miracles. She explores mystical accounts that have been reported throughout history-often without accompanying claims of divine intervention and investigates what such accounts reveal about the authenticity of mystical phemena. Schwebel also demonstrates how research in parapsychology can provide a theoretical framework for analyzing visions and miracles.
Lisa J. Schwebel, who holds a Ph.D. from Fordham University, is assistant professor of religion at Hunter College, City University of New York.