David Christie-Murray

David Christie Murray (1913-2010), was a British teacher, priest and author of books mainly on theology. In later life he pursued an interest in psychical research, in particular reincarnation.

Life and Career

David Hugh Arthur Christie-Murray was born in London and attended school in Ramsgate, Kent. He studied journalism at University College, London, then worked as a journalist and briefly as a schoolteacher, before training for the priesthood at the Anglican Theological College at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He was ordained in 1942 and in 1946 was appointed an assistant master and chaplain at Harrow School. He was a gifted athlete, competing at a high level in boxing and race-walking. He married in 1967, was widowed, and remarried in 1971.1

Psychical Research

Christie-Murray joined the Society for Psychical Research in 1945. In retirement, having left the priesthood, he wrote and lectured on theology and psychical research. His 1978 book Voices from the Gods contains a survey he carried out on glossolalia, the phenomenon of ‘speaking in tongues’.2

He chaired meetings of the SPR Council between 1979 and 1981, deputizing for its US-based presidents JB Rhine and Louisa Rhine. He resigned shortly afterwards following a disagreement over the financial mismanagement of a publications project, for which he accepted responsibility. With him went the SPR’s treasurer, who inaugurated the rival Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP), for which Christie-Murray acted as archives officer.3

Reincarnation

Christie-Murray’s main interest in the field of psychical research was in reincarnation. In his 1981 book Reincarnation. Ancient Beliefs and Modern Evidence, he assessed evidence and theories, considering religious views, the recollections of both adults and children, the activities of mediums in séances, déjà vu experiences, and past-life hypnotic regression.

His idea of the ‘essential me’ combined the ideas of Roger Woolger, a British Jungian psychoanalyst and regression therapist, with data about past life memories documented by researchers.  He held that reincarnation is a matter of conviction, not of proof,4 which he considered is 'almost always beyond the human condition'.5

Selected Works

Books

Voices from the Gods. Speaking with Tongues (1978). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Reincarnation. Ancient Beliefs and Modern Evidence (1981). Newton Abbot: David & Charles.

Articles

Correspondence (1993). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 59, 315-16.

Christie-Murray replies [to M. Harris] (1994). Psi Researcher 13, 24-25; 14, 22.

Hypnopompic circumstances (2000). Paranormal Review 13, 13-15.

Open mind (2001). Paranormal Review 18, 7-9.

Book Reviews

Religious Movements in Contemporary America, ed. by I.I. Zaretsky and M.P. Leone. (1975). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 48, 106-8.

Life After Death contributions by A. Toynbee, A. Koestler and others (1976). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 48, 314-15.

The Resurrection of Man. Christian Teachings on Life After Death by M. Perry (1976). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 48, 347-49.

The Power of the Pendulum by T.C. Lethbridge (1976). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 48, 408-10.

Psi and Consciousness by S. Holroyd (1977). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 49, 551-53.

From Clerk to Cleric by F.H. Cleobury (1977). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 49, 556.

Psychic Voyages by S. Holroyd (1977). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 49, 620.

Pendulum: The Psi Connection by F. Hitching (1977). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 49, 668-70.

Extra-Sensory Ecology: Parapsychology and Anthropology, ed. by J.K. Long (1978). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 49, 887-90.

Divining the Primary Sense by H. Weaver (1978). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 49, 963-64.

The Mediumship of the Tape-Recorder by D. Ellis (1979).  Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 50, 34-35.

Nightmare by S. Shulman (1980). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 50, 309.

Encounters with the Past by P. Moss with J. Keeton (1980). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 50, 312-14.

Stars and Rumours of Stars by K. & S. McClure (1980). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 50, 412-13.

The Gate of Remembrance by F. Bligh Bond (1980). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 50, 414.

Water-Witching USA by E.Z. Vogt and R. Hyman (1981).Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 51, 28-29.

The Complete Book of Dowsing and Divining by P. Underwood (1981). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 51, 31-32.

Exploring Parapsychology: A New Collection from the ASPR Newsletter compiled by M.L. Nestor and A.S.T. O’Keefe (1981). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 51, 99-101.

Deliverance, ed. by M. Perry (1996). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 61, 267-68.

Mindsight by K. Ring and S. Cooper (2000). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 64/3, 188-89.

The Restless Spirits of Langenhoe: The Exciting True Story of a Haunted Essex Church by J.C. Dening (2001). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 65/2, 156-57.

Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation by I. Stevenson (2002). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 66/1, 57-58.

The Cathars and Arthur Guirdham by L. Harris (2002). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 66/4, 276.

From Darkness to Light. Dramatic Encounters with Earthbound Spirits by J.C. Dening (2003). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 67/3, 217-18.

Miracles of the Bible: The Old Testament in the Light of Psychical Research and Related Studies by M. Cassirer (2003). Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 67/3, 219-20.

Melvyn Willin

Literature

Christie-Murray, D. (1970). Glossolalia and xenolalia. A proposed survey. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 45, 260.

Christie-Murray, D. (1978). Voices from the Gods. Speaking with Tongues. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Ellis, D. (ed.) (2010). Obituary: David Hugh Arthur Christie-Murray. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 74/3, 202-7.

References

  • 1. Ellis (2010).
  • 2. Christie-Murray (1970), 260.
  • 3. Ellis (2010), 203.
  • 4. Crabbe (1991), 15.
  • 5. Christie-Murray (1994), 22.