The work of Bucklin and Hufford is focused on documenting and understanding extraordinary spiritual experiences (those experiences that seem to be direct perception of a spiritual reality; for example, the common experience that bereaved people have of being visited by their deceased loved one). Such experiences cross the boundaries of all religions and those who are not members of any religion at all. They see such experiences as the basis of spiritual belief, both ancient and modern. They are also concerned with the way that modern thought has characterized such experiences as either symptoms of psychiatric illness or imaginary constructions based on cultural traditions. Hufford’s work has shown that this notion is an assumption that is rarely argued or supported with evidence, yet the stigma produced by this assumption has had powerful effects, excluding this crucial dimension of human experience both from modern conversation and serious research. This website is intended to work to overcome that stigma and bring extraordinary spiritual experiences into the modern understanding of life and death, combining artistic and scientific sensibilities.
In 2007, after 33 years on the faculty of Penn State College of Medicine, Hufford retired from his positions as University Professor and Chair of Medical Humanities, and Professor of Neural & Behavioral Science, and Family & Community Medicine. He is now University Professor Emeritus at the College of Medicine. Hufford’s research has primarily been concerned with spirituality and health, especially spiritual visions such as near-death experiences. Read Full Bio
Mary Ann Bucklin
Bucklin is an artist whose work has included performance art, painting, and printmaking. In 1983 she received her four-year certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. As she continued her artistic work, Mary Ann attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the Fine Arts, the Master of Liberal Arts degree with a focus on Cultural Diversity and Racial Relations, and completed her Ph.D. coursework. Read Full Bio
Mary Ann and David published “The Spirit of Spiritual Healing in the United States,” (Joan Koss-Chioino & Philip Hefner, Eds. Spiritual Transformation and Healing: Anthropological, Theological, Neuroscientific & Clinical Perspectives. NY: Altamira Press, 2006).