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By 1853, when the popular song Spirit Rappings was published, Spiritualism was an object of intense curiosity.

Spiritualism is a monotheistic belief system or religion, postulating a belief in God, but with a distinguishing feature of belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world can be contacted by "mediums", who can then provide information about the afterlife.[1]

Spiritualism developed in the United States and reached its peak growth in membership from the 1840s to the 1920s, especially in English-language countries,[2][3] By 1897, it was said to have more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe,[4] mostly drawn from the middle and upper classes, while the corresponding movement in continental Europe and Latin America is known as Spiritism.

The religion flourished for a half century without canonical texts or formal organization, attaining cohesion by periodicals, tours by trance lecturers, camp meetings, and the missionary activities of accomplished mediums. Many prominent Spiritualists were women. Most followers supported causes such as the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage.[2] By the late 1880s, credibility of the informal movement weakened, due to accusations of fraud among mediums, and formal Spiritualist organizations began to appear.[2] Spiritualism is currently practiced primarily through various denominational Spiritualist Churches in the United States and United Kingdom.

Contents

Beliefs

The beliefs of Spiritualism vary among groups though they share certain beliefs.

Mediumship and Spirits

Spiritualists believe in communicating with the spirits of discarnate humans. They believe that spirit mediums are humans gifted to do this, often through seances. They believe that spirits are capable of growth and perfection, progressing through higher spheres or planes. The afterlife is not a static place, but one in which spirits evolve. The two beliefs—that contact with spirits is possible, and that spirits may lie on a higher plane—lead to a third belief, that spirits can provide knowledge about moral and ethical issues, as well as about God and the afterlife. Thus many members speak of spirit guides—specific spirits, often contacted, relied upon for worldly and spiritual guidance.[1][2]

Spiritualism was equated by some Christians with witchcraft. This United States 1865 broadsheet also condemned spiritualism's links to abolitionism and blamed it for causing the Civil War.

Compared with other religions

Christianity

As Spiritualism emerged in a Christian environment, it has features in common with Christianity, ranging from an essentially Christian moral system to liturgical practices such as Sunday services and the singing of hymns. Nevertheless, on significant points Christianity and Spiritualism are different. Spiritualists do not believe that the works or faith of a mortal during a brief lifetime can serve as a basis for assigning a soul to an eternity of Heaven or Hell; they view the afterlife as containing hierarchical "spheres", through which each spirit can progress. Spiritualists differ from Protestant Christians in that the Judeo-Christian Bible is not the primary source from which they derive knowledge of God and the afterlife: for them, their personal contacts with spirits provide that.[1][2]

Judaism

In the Jewish faith, spiritualism is strictly forbidden by the Bible. In Leviticus, one of the books concerning Gods laws to Moses (The Commandments), it is written that God says: "I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people." (Leviticus 20:6)

Indigenous religions

Animist faiths, with a tradition of shamanism and spirit contact, are similar to Spiritualism. In the first decades of the movement, many mediums claimed contact with Native American spirit guides, in apparent acknowledgment of these similarities. Unlike animists, however, spiritualists speak of the spirits of dead humans and do not espouse a belief in spirits of trees, springs, or other natural features.[citation needed]

Islam

Within Islam, certain traditions, notably Sufism, consider communication with spirits possible.[5] Additionally, the concept of Tawassul recognises the existence of good spirits on a higher plane of existence closer to God, and thus able to intercede on behalf of humanity.

Hinduism

Hinduism, though heterogeneous, shares with spiritualism a belief in the existence of the soul after death and also the belief of ghosts or spirits. Hinduism teaches both reincarnation and ghosts, as Hindus believe that if a person were to die at an early age, such as by suicide or unnatural death, the spirit then roams the earth until their natural date of death. The spirit is only then reincarnated into its next physical form.[citation needed]

Spiritism

Spiritism, the branch of Spiritualism developed by Allan Kardec and found in mostly Latin America countries, has emphasised reincarnation. According to Arthur Conan Doyle, most British Spiritualists of the early 20th century were indifferent to the doctrine of reincarnation, few supported it, while a significant minority were opposed, since it had never been mentioned by spirits contacted in séances. Thus, according to Doyle, it is the empirical bent of Anglophone Spiritualism—its effort to develop religious views from observation of phenomena—that kept spiritualists of this period from embracing reincarnation.[6]

Occult

Spiritualism also differs from occult movements, such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or the contemporary Wiccan covens, in that spirits are not contacted to obtain magical powers (with the exception of power for healing). For example, Madame Blavatsky (1831–91), the founder of the Theosophical Society, only practiced mediumship to contact powerful spirits capable of conferring esoteric knowledge. Blavatsky did not believe these spirits were deceased humans, and held beliefs in reincarnation different from the views of most Spiritualists.[2] Spiritualists at that time viewed Theosophy as unscientific and both occultist and cult-like. Theosphists viewed Spiritualism as unsophisticated and uncosmopolitan.[7]

Origins

Spiritualism first appeared in the 1840s in the "Burned-over District" of upstate New York, where earlier religious movements such as Millerism, and Mormonism had emerged during the Second Great Awakening.

This region of New York State was an environment in which many thought direct communication with God or angels was possible, and that God would not behave harshly—for example, that God would not condemn unbaptised infants to an eternity in Hell.[1]

Swedenborg and Mesmer

The onlookers' excitement is palpable as the Mesmerist induces a trance. Painting by Swedish artist Richard Bergh, 1887.

In this environment, the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) and the teachings of Franz Mesmer (1734–1815) provided an example for those seeking direct personal knowledge of the afterlife. Swedenborg, who claimed to communicate with spirits while awake, described the structure of the spirit world. Two features of his view particularly resonated with the early spiritualists: first, that there is not a single hell and a single heaven, but rather a series of higher and lower heavens and hells; second, that spirits are intermediates between God and humans, so that the Divine sometimes uses them as a means of communication.[1] Although Swedenborg warned against seeking out spirit contact, his works seem to have inspired in others the desire to do so.

Mesmer did not contribute religious beliefs, but he brought a technique, later known as hypnotism, that it was claimed could induce trances and cause subjects to report contact with supernatural beings. There was a great deal of professional showmanship inherent to demonstrations of Mesmerism, and the practitioners who lectured in mid-19th-century North America sought to entertain their audiences as well as to demonstrate methods for personal contact with the Divine.[1]

Andrew Jackson Davis, about 1860

Perhaps the best known of those who combined Swedenborg and Mesmer in a peculiarly North American synthesis was Andrew Jackson Davis, who called his system the Harmonial Philosophy. Davis was a practicing Mesmerist, faith healer and clairvoyant from Poughkeepsie, New York. His 1847 book, The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind,[8] dictated to a friend while in a trance state, eventually became the nearest thing to a canonical work in a Spiritualist movement whose extreme individualism precluded the development of a single coherent worldview.[1][2]

Reform-movement links

Spiritualists often set March 31, 1848, as the beginning of their movement. On that date, Kate and Margaret Fox, of Hydesville, New York, reported that they had made contact with the spirit of a murdered peddler. What made this an extraordinary event was that the spirit communicated through rapping noises, audible to onlookers. The evidence of the senses appealed to practically minded Americans, and the Fox sisters became a sensation.[1][2]

Amy and Isaac Post, Hicksite Quakers from Rochester, New York, had long been acquainted with the Fox family, and took the two girls into their home in the late spring of 1848. Immediately convinced of the genuineness of the sisters' communications, they became early converts and introduced the young mediums to their circle of radical Quaker friends.

It therefore came about that many of the early participants in Spiritualism were radical Quakers and others involved in the reforming movement of the mid-nineteenth century. These reformers were uncomfortable with established churches, because they did little to fight slavery and even less to advance the cause of women's rights.[2]

Women were particularly attracted to the movement, because it gave them important roles as mediums and trance lecturers. In fact, Spiritualism provided one of the first forums in which U.S. women could address mixed public audiences.[2]

The most popular trance lecturer prior to the U.S. Civil War was Cora L. V. Scott (1840–1923). Young and beautiful, her appearance on stage fascinated men. Her audiences were struck by the contrast between her physical girlishness and the eloquence with which she spoke of spiritual matters, and found in that contrast support for the notion that spirits were speaking through her. Cora married four times, and on each occasion adopted her husband's last name. During her period of greatest activity, she was known as Cora Hatch.[2]

Another famous woman spiritualist was Achsa W. Sprague, who was born November 17, 1827, in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. At the age of 20, she became ill with rheumatic fever and credited her eventual recovery to intercession by spirits. An extremely popular trance lecturer, she traveled about the United States until her death in 1861. Sprague was an abolitionist and an advocate of women's rights.[2]

Yet another prominent spiritualist and trance medium prior to the Civil War was Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825–1875), an African-American "Free Man of Color," who also played a part in the Abolition movement.[9] Nevertheless, many abolitionists and reformers held themselves aloof from the movement; among the skeptics was the eloquent ex-slave, Frederick Douglass.[10]

Believers and skeptics

Frank Podmore, ca. 1895.

In the years following the sensation that greeted the Fox sisters, demonstrations of mediumship (séances and automatic writing, for example) proved to be a profitable venture, and soon became popular forms of entertainment and spiritual catharsis. The Foxes were to earn a living this way and others would follow their lead.[1][2] Showmanship became an increasingly important part of Spiritualism, and the visible, audible, and tangible evidence of spirits escalated as mediums competed for paying audiences. Fraud was certainly widespread, as independent investigating commissions repeatedly established, most notably the 1887 report of the Seybert Commission.[11] In a few cases, fraud practiced under the guise of Spiritualism was prosecuted in the courts.[12]

Harry Price, 1922.

The claims of spiritualists and others as to the reality of ghosts were investigated by the Society for Psychical Research, founded in London in 1882. The Society set up a Committee on Haunted Houses and a Literary Committee which looked at the literature on the subject.[13] Prominent investigators who exposed cases of fraud came from a variety of backgrounds, including professional researchers such as Frank Podmore of the Society for Psychical Research or Harry Price of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, and professional conjurers such as John Nevil Maskelyne. Maskelyne exposed the Davenport Brothers by appearing in the audience during their shows and explaining how the trick was done. During the 1920s, professional magician Harry Houdini undertook a well-publicised campaign to expose fraudulent mediums. He was adamant that "Up to the present time everything that I have investigated has been the result of deluded brains."[14]

William Crookes. Photo published 1904.

Despite widespread fraud, the appeal of Spiritualism was strong. Prominent in the ranks of its adherents were those grieving the death of a loved one. One well known case is that of Mary Todd Lincoln who, grieving the loss of her son, organized séances in the White House which were attended by her husband, President Abraham Lincoln.[10] The surge of interest in Spiritualism during and after the American Civil War and World War I was a direct response to the massive casualties.[15]

In addition, the movement appealed to reformers, who fortuitously found that the spirits favored such causes du jour as equal rights.[2] It also appealed to some who had a materialist orientation and rejected organized religion. The influential socialist and atheist Robert Owen embraced religion following his experiences in Spiritualist circles.

Many scientists who investigated the phenomenon also became converts. They included chemist and physicist William Crookes (1832–1919), evolutionary biologist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913)[16] and Nobel-laureate physiologist Charles Richet. Other prominent adherents included journalist and pacifist William T. Stead (1849–1912)[17] and physician and author Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930).[15] The Ghost Club, founded in London in 1862, was an early "ghost hunting" organization. Famous members of the club have included Charles Dickens, Sir William Crookes, Sir William Fletcher Barrett and Harry Price.[18] Pioneering American psychologist William James studied spiritualism, publishing supportive conclusions. The séances of Eusapia Palladino were attended by investigators including Pierre and Marie Curie. The celebrated New York City physician, John Franklin Gray, was also a well-known and prominent Spiritualist in New York City.[19][20]

Unorganized movement

The movement quickly spread throughout the world; though only in the United Kingdom did it become as widespread as in the United States.[3] Spiritualist organizations were formed in America and Europe, such as the London Spiritualist Alliance, which published a newspaper called The Light, featuring articles such as “Evenings at Home in Spiritual Séance”, “Ghosts in Africa” and “Chronicles of Spirit Photography”, advertisements for "mesmerists” and patent medicines, and letters from readers about personal contact with ghosts.[21] In Britain, by 1853, invitations to tea among the prosperous and fashionable often included table-turning, a type of séance in which spirits would communicate with people seated around a table by tilting and rotating the table. A particularly important convert was the French pedagogist Allan Kardec (1804-1869), who made the first attempt to systematise the movement's practices and ideas into a consistent philosophical system. Kardec's books, written in the last 15 years of his life, became the textual basis of Spiritism, which became widespread in Latin countries. In Brazil, Kardec's ideas are embraced by many followers today.[1][2][22] In Puerto Rico, Kardec's books were widely read by the upper classes, and eventually gave birth to a movement known as Mesa Blanca (White Table).

Middle-class Chicago women discuss Spiritualism (1906).

Spiritualism was mainly a middle- and upper-class movement, and especially popular with women. U.S. spiritualists would meet in private homes for séances, at lecture halls for trance lectures, at state or national conventions, and at summer camps attended by thousands. Among the most significant of the camp meetings were Camp Etna, in Etna, Maine; Onset Bay Grove, in Onset, Massachusetts; Lily Dale, in western New York State; Camp Chesterfield, in Indiana; the Wonewoc Spiritualist Camp, in Wonewoc, Wisconsin; and Lake Pleasant, in Montague, Massachusetts. In founding camp meetings, the spiritualists appropriated a form developed by U.S. Protestant denominations in the early nineteenth century. Spiritualist camp meetings were located most densely in New England and California, but were also established across the upper Midwest. Cassadaga, Florida, is the most notable spiritualist camp meeting in the southern states.[1][2][23]

A number of spiritualist periodicals appeared in the nineteenth century, and these did much to hold the movement together. Among the most important were the weeklies The Banner of Light (Boston), The Religio-Philosophical Journal (Chicago), Mind and Matter (Philadelphia), The Spiritualist (London), and The Medium (London). Other influential periodicals were the Revue Spirite (France), Le Messager (Belgium), Annali dello Spiritismo (Italy), El Criterio Espiritista (Spain), and The Harbinger of Light (Australia). By 1880, there were about three dozen monthly spiritualist periodicals published around the world.[24] These periodicals differed a great deal from each other, reflecting the great differences among Spiritualists. Some, such as the British Spiritual Magazine were Christian and conservative, openly rejecting the reform currents so strong within Spiritualism. Others, such as Human Nature, were pointedly non-Christian and supportive of socialism and reform efforts. Still others, such as The Spiritualist, attempted to view spiritualist phenomena from a scientific perspective, eschewing discussion on both theological and reform issues.[25]

Books on the supernatural were published for the growing middle class, such as 1852’s Mysteries, by Charles Elliott, which contains “sketches of spirits and spiritual things”, including accounts of the Salem witch trials, the Cock Lane Ghost, and the Rochester Rappings.[26] The Night Side of Nature, by Catherine Crowe, published in 1853, provided definitions and accounts of wraiths, doppelgangers, apparitions and haunted houses.[27]

Mainstream newspapers treated stories of ghosts and haunting as they would any other news story. An account in the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1891, "sufficiently bloody to suit the most fastidious taste", tells of a house believed haunted by the ghosts of three murder victims seeking revenge against their killer’s son, who was eventually driven insane. Many families, “having no faith in ghosts”, thereafter moved into the house, but all soon moved out again.[28] In the 1920s many "psychic" books were published of varied quality. Such books were often based on excursions initiated by the use of Ouija boards. A few of these popular books displayed unorganized Spiritualism, though most were less insightful.[29]

The movement was extremely individualistic, with each person relying on her own experiences and reading to discern the nature of the afterlife. Organisation was therefore slow to appear, and when it did it was resisted by mediums and trance lecturers. Most members were content to attend Christian churches, and particularly Universalist churches harbored many Spiritualists.

As the Spiritualism movement began to fade, partly through the bad publicity of fraud accusations and partly through the appeal of religious movements such as Christian Science, the Spiritualist Church was organised. This church can claim to be the main vestige of the movement left today in the United States.[1][2]

Other mediums

William Stainton Moses (1839–92) was an Anglican clergyman who, in the period from 1872 to 1883, filled 24 notebooks with automatic writing, much of which was said to describe conditions in the spirit world.

London-born Emma Hardinge Britten (1823–99) moved to the United States in 1855 and was active in spiritualist circles as a trance lecturer and organiser. She is best known as a chronicler of the movement's spread, especially in her 1884 Nineteenth Century Miracles: Spirits and their Work in Every Country of the Earth.

Eusapia Palladino (1854-1918) was an Italian Spiritualist medium from the slums of Naples who made a career touring Italy, France, Germany, Britain, the United States, Russia and Poland. Her stratagems were unmasked on several occasions, though some investigators, including Nobel laureate scientists, credited her mediumistic abilities.

One believer was the Polish psychologist Julian Ochorowicz, who in 1893 brought her from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Warsaw, Poland. He introduced her to the novelist Bolesław Prus, who participated in her séances and incorporated Spiritualist elements into his historical novel Pharaoh.[30] Ochorowicz studied as well, 15 years later, a home-grown Polish medium, Stanisława Tomczyk.[31]

Adelma Vay (1840-1925), Hungarian (by origin) spiritistic medium, homeopath and clairvoyant, authored many books about spiritism, written in German and translated into English.

After the 1920s

After the 1920s, Spiritualism evolved in three different directions, all of which exist today.

Syncreticism

The first of these continued the tradition of individual practitioners, organised in circles centered on a medium and clients, without any hierarchy or dogma. Already by the late 19th century Spiritualism had become increasingly syncretic, a natural development in a movement without central authority or dogma.[2] Today, among these unorganised circles, Spiritualism is similar to the New Age movement. However, Theosophy with its inclusion of Eastern religion, astrology, ritual magic and reincarnation is an example of a closer precursor the 20th century New Age movement.[7] Today's syncretic Spiritualists are quite heterogeneous in their beliefs regarding issues such as reincarnation or the existence of God. Some appropriate New Age and Neo-Pagan beliefs, whilst others call themselves 'Christian Spiritualists', continuing with the tradition of cautiously incorporating Spiritualist experiences into their Christian faith.

Spiritualist Church

The second direction taken has been to adopt formal organization, patterned after Christian denominations, with established liturgies and a set of Seven Principles, and training requirements for mediums. In the United States the Spiritualist churches are primarily affiliated with the National Spiritualist Association of Churches, and in the U.K. with the Spiritualists' National Union, founded in 1890. Formal education in Spiritualist practice emerged in 1920, continuing today with the Arthur Findlay College at Stansted Hall in England, and the Morris Pratt Institute in Wisconsin, USA. Diversity of belief among organized Spiritualists has led to a few schisms, the most notable occurring in the U.K. in 1957 between those who held the movement to be a religion sui generis (of its own with unique characteristics), and a minority who held it to be a denomination within Christianity. The practice of organized Spiritualism today resembles that of any other religion, having discarded most showmanship, particularly those elements resembling the conjurer's art. There is thus a much greater emphasis on "mental" mediumship and an almost complete avoidance of the apparently miraculous "materializing" mediumship that so fascinated early believers such as Arthur Conan Doyle.[23]

Survivalism

The third direction taken has been a continuation of its empirical orientation to religious phenomena. Already as early as 1882, with the founding of the Society for Psychical Research, secular organisations emerged to investigate spiritualist claims. Today many persons with this empirical approach avoid the label of "Spiritualism", preferring the term "survivalism". Survivalists eschew religion, and base their belief in the afterlife on phenomena susceptible to at least rudimentary scientific investigation, such as mediumship, near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, electronic voice phenomena, and reincarnation research. Many Survivalists see themselves as the intellectual heirs of the Spiritualist movement. An example of the modern approach is the work of the Professor of Psychology, David Fontana, who has written about the subject from a number of points of view.[32]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Carroll, Bret E. (1997). Spiritualism in Antebellum America. (Religion in North America.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 248. ISBN 0-25333-315-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Braude, Ann Braude (2001). Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America, Second Edition. Indiana University Press. pp. 296. ISBN 0-25321-502-1. 
  3. ^ a b Britten, Emma Hardinge (1884). Nineteenth Century Miracles: Spirits and their Work in Every Country of the Earth. New York: William Britten. ISBN 0766162907. 
  4. ^ Times, New York (29/11/1897). THREE FORMS OF THOUGHT; M.M. Mangassarian Addresses the Society for Ethical Culture at Carnegie Music Hall.. The New York Times. pp. 200. 
  5. ^ Noor Muhammad Kalachvi 1999: Irfan
  6. ^ Doyle, Arthur Conan (1926). The History of Spiritualism, volume 2. New York: G.H. Doran. ISBN 1-4101-0243-2. http://www.classic-literature.co.uk/scottish-authors/arthur-conan-doyle/the-history-of-spiritualism-vol-ii. 
  7. ^ a b Hess, David J. (June 15, 1993). Science In The New Age: The Paranormal, Its Defenders & Debunkers. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 20. ISBN 0299138208. 
  8. ^ The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind, Andrew Jackson Davis, 1847.
  9. ^ Deveney, John Patrick (1997). Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician. Sunny Press. ISBN 0791431193. 
  10. ^ a b Telegrams from the Dead (a PBS television documentary in the "American Experience" series, first aired October 19, 1994).
  11. ^ Preliminary Report of the Commission Appointed by the University of Pennsylvania, The Seybert Commission, 1887. 2004-04-01.
  12. ^ Williams, Montagu Stephen. 1891. Later Leaves: Being the Further Reminiscences of Montagu Williams. Macmillan. See chapter 8.
  13. ^ John Fairley, Simon Welfare (1984). Arthur C. Clarke's world of strange powers, Volume 3. Putnam. ISBN 0399130667. 
  14. ^ A Magician Among the Spirits, Harry Houdini, Arno Press (June 1987), ISBN 0405028016
  15. ^ a b Arthur Conan Doyle, The History of Spiritualism Vol I, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1926.
  16. ^ The Scientific Aspect of the Supernatural, Alfred Russel Wallace, 1866.
  17. ^ Stead on Spiritualism at The William T. Stead Resource Site
  18. ^ Underwood, Peter (1978) "Dictionary of the Supernatural", Harrap Ltd., ISBN 0245527842, Page 144
  19. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=vPkDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA524&lpg=PA524&dq=john+f.+gray+and+spiritualism&source=bl&ots=621dhtLRot&sig=cp3avtLg8CjFSRdRozpEc1tisZY&hl=en&ei=vutESqpjk7CyA4qp-O8N&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3
  20. ^ http://www.survivalafterdeath.org.uk/mediums/davenport.htm
  21. ^ The Light: A Journal Devoted to the Highest Interests of Humanity, both Here and Hereafter, Vol I, January to December 1881, London Spiritualist Alliance, Eclectic Publishing Company: London, 1882.
  22. ^ Hess, David (1987). Spiritism and Science in Brazil. Ph.D thesis, Dept. of Anthropology, Cornell University. 
  23. ^ a b Guthrie, John J. Jr.; Phillip Charles Lucas; Gary Monroe (2000). Cassadaga: the South’s Oldest Spiritualist Community. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-1743-2. 
  24. ^ (Harrison 1880: 6)
  25. ^ (Alvarado, Biondi, and Kramer 2006: 61-63)
  26. ^ Charles Wyllys Elliott, Mysteries, or Glimpses of the Supernatural, Harper & Bros: New York, 1852.
  27. ^ Catherine Crowe, The Night Side of Nature, or Ghosts and Ghost-seers, Redfield: New York, 1853.
  28. ^ “Dreadful Tale of a Haunted Man in Newton County, Missouri”, Chicago Daily Tribune, January 4, 1891.
  29. ^ White, Stewart Edward (March 1943). The Betty Book. USA: E. P. Dutton & CO., Inc.. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0898041511. 
  30. ^ Tokarzówna, Krystyna; Stanisław Fita (1969). Bolesław Prus, 1847-1912: Kalendarz życia i twórczości (Bolesław Prus, 1847-1912: a Calendar of [His] Life and Work). Warsaw: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy. 
  31. ^ Fodor, Nandor (1934). An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science. 
  32. ^ Life Beyond Death, David Fontana (Watkins Publishing) 2009, pp.1-195

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Contents

English

Noun

Singular
spiritualism

Plural
uncountable

spiritualism (uncountable)

  1. A philosophic doctrine, opposing materialism, that claims transcendency of the divine being, the altogether spiritual character of reality and the value of inwardness of consciousness.
  2. A belief that the dead communicate with the living through a medium having special powers.

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