Central ideas for the establishment of the 
“Kiel Academy of Thanatology” at the Kiel-University

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Different projects dedicated to the scientific research of so-called ‘near-death experiences’ and other related phenomena have decided to establish the affiliated An-Institute “Kiel Academy of Thanatology” at the Kiel University. From the perspective of the scientists involved, it is necessary to elaborate a ‘study of death’ (which is the literal translation of the term thanatology) in order to cope with the central challenge of further interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research regarding this multifaceted topic. This challenge comprises the establishment of a constant cooperation of the sciences involved in research (e.g. from areas of psychology, medicine, neurophysiology, sociology, physics, biology, ethnology, cultural studies, musicology, literary studies, archaeology, religious studies, theology etc.). Likewise, such an institute requires to collaborate with non-university organizations directly or indirectly connected to the topic beyond disciplinary borders (such as hospices, hospitals, psychotherapeutic and psychiatric institutions). The joint projects will profit from the communication structures an affiliated An-Institute provides. Medium- and long-term projects of the “Kiel Academy of Thanatology” involve, among other things:


-Project 1: Regular conferences on the topic ‘thanatology’.


-Project 2: Establishing an international network between organizations concerned with

 counselling in hospices and hospitals and psychotherapeutic and psychiatric institutions.


-Project 3: Coordinating and communicating therapeutic concepts in counselling in hospices as well as  hospitals and psychotherapeutic and psychiatric institutions.


-Project 4: Serve as a contact point for questions regarding ‘experiences while being close to death’ and ‘altered states of mind’.


-Project 5: Creating an archive regarding a ‘phenomenology of experiences while being close to death’ and ‘altered states of mind’.


-Project 6: Reflecting transcultural counselling and therapy concepts on the basis of collected data.


-Project 7: Establishing and coordinating a master’s degree program ‘transcultural theology’ and ‘transcultural spiritual welfare’ (both in English and German).