Short conference Philosophy and Spirituality

Imagining Karma and Reincarnation

Short conference Philosophy and Spirituality

Leiden, Friday 26 November 2010

Prof. dr. (em.) Erlendur Haraldsson

University of Iceland

Dr. Hein van Dongen

Filosofie Oost-West

Location: Lipsius Building, Cleveringaplaats 1, room 228.’

Investigating children remembering previous lives

Professor Haraldsson will present some cases from Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Iceland, describe how they were investigated, their characteristics, and give an overview of the major findings in this area of research. He has investigated numerous cases of children who claim to remember a previous life, particularly in Sri Lanka and Lebanon. His investigations have centred on the question of whether statements made by these children can be verified and if persons can be found that fits the description made by the children, as well as examining psychological, religious and cultural explanations for this phenomenon.

Erlendur Haraldsson is professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg in Germany and did further studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He has published over two hundred papers, mostly on anomalistic experiences, conducted national surveys, field studies and experiments related to such phenomena, and also on psychological testing and interrogative suggestibility. He is the author of five books, two of which have appeared in many languages (“At the hour of death” and “Miracles are my visiting cards”).


"I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now"
Karma East and West

Karma is usually seen as relating to our acts or agency for which we remain responsible, even in subsequent reincarnations. The doctrine of Karma was developed in the context of Hinduism and Buddhism, but under the influence of theosophy it also reached the Western world. To many people, the concept of Karma has gained a personal meaning. In my lecture I will follow the tracks of this development, and I will insist upon the view of Karma in some 20th Century Indian philosophers, viz. S. Dasgupta and S. Radhakrishnan.
Hein van Dongen is philosophical consultant and director of the programme committee of Philosophy East and West. He wrote his doctoral thesis with prof. Otto Duintjer on the problem of incommensurability.

More information:

Previous registration is not required but will be appreciated.

Philosophy and spirituality is an initiative by prof. dr Hans Gerding (Philosophy UL), dr. Gerard Visser (Philosophy UL), drs. Barbara Zwaan (Religious Studies UL) and dr. Rico Sneller (Religious Studies UL).