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The Transmigration of Souls

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D. Alfred Bertholet
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The Transmigration of Souls, written by a professor of theology at the University of Basle named Alfred Bertholet, is an examination of the concept of transmigration, also known as reincarnation. First written in German, this work was translated into English by Reverend H.J. Chaytor and has now been republished by Forgotten Books.This is a brief work that argues for the existence of transmigration by tracing the concept across different religions and through various societies and cultures. The author begins the book by laying out three preliminary suppositions that form the foundation for the book's discussions: the existence of a soul separate from the body, the belief that non-humans possess souls, and the acceptance that souls can be transferred between organisms.The book begins with a discussion of the souls of various living beings: plants, animals, and humans. The latter part of Bertholet's work traces the concept of reincarnation through various religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. Space is also devoted to a discussion of metempsychosis in ancient Greece and amongst the Celts.While the author covers a good deal of ground in The Transmigration of Souls, very little of the text is written in a persuasive manner. The concept is presented more as a matter of fact, which may be difficult to accept for the skeptical reader. On the other hand for those who already believe in reincarnation, it may be a reaffirming read.

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