At once controversial and intriguing, Spiritualism has spread from the United States to become a global movement. Bringing together perspectives from within the movement and without, this unique collection treats readers to insights about Spiritualism's history, belief, and practice.
Based on the belief that the dead can communicate with the living through mediums, Spiritualism touches concepts as timelessly fascinating as human mortality and the continuing existence of the soul beyond bodily death. This comprehensive work will help readers parse the mysteries of this uniquely American religion through three thematically organized volumes: Spiritualism in the U.S. and Globally, Evidence and Beliefs, and Cultural and Social Issues. Drawing on fields as diverse as psychology, sociology, religious studies, anthropology, history, ethnic and gender studies, literature, and art, this broad-based collection frames Spiritualism through the views of a team of international scholars.
Among the many things that separate Spiritualism from mainstream religions is the involvement of women in central leadership roles. Such cultural and political elements of the movement are one aspect of this study. Of equal interest to believers and skeptics alike will be the work of scholars who have devoted themselves to examining the claim that communication through mediums proves the existence of life after death.
- Documents Spiritualism's history as it grew from a small 19th-century movement in upstate New York to a global presence
Takes an interdisciplinary approach that includes psychic research, as well as more traditional fields
Discusses human experiences that have been documented across cultures and throughout history
Explores the Spiritualist movement in nations as diverse as Italy, France, Australia, Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States