Ernie Hollands, a career criminal, said Christ appeared to him in his cell in Millhaven Penitentiary. Maria Martinez saw Jesus at a busy intersection in Miami, Florida. Rose Fairs was lying in bed one morning when the Venetian blinds opened and the head of Jesus materialized before her. Were these people only imagining a figure that seemed life-like, or is there a chance that what they saw was, in some way, real?
This first critical study of contemporary visions of Jesus offers the intriguing accounts of thirty people, most of them ordinary men and women without prior or subsequent experiences of this kind, who remain mystified about their encounters. Wiebe recounts each vision in vivid detail, exploring why these individuals believe their visions were of Jesus, and why they typically believe them to be objective happenings, rather than hallucinations or dreams. He regards the occurrences from perspectives as diverse as biblical scholarship and parapsychology, concluding that they may well represent genuine religious experiences of a mystical character. The fascinating nature of these visions and Wiebe's thoughtful, evenhanded approach to each report add up to a book that will be provocative reading for skeptics and the faithful alike.
Phillip H. Wiebe is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Religious Studies at Trinity Western University in Canada.
"A much needed and fascinating study of people's visions of Jesus on the basis of case studies, examining dispassionately the various explanations on offer."--Bishop Hugh Montefiore
"Visions of Jesus, the author justly concludes, are significant among religious experiences, and deserve more extensive study than they have received. I strongly recommend this book both to scholars who are interested in these matters, whether Christian or not, and to ordinary educated readers."--Hugo Meynell, University of Calgary
"Wiebe presents each of the 30 accounts in vivid detail, examining the often dramatic changes the apparitions brought about in the lives of mostly ordinary men and women.... Both believers and skeptics will find much food for thought in this well-researched study."--Library Journal