From Esoteric Archive of Rochester
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Spiritualism is a school of thought that acts in opposition to the concept of phyisicalism. That is, it denies that the physical reality is the only, or final, reality. Forms of Spiritualism have existed since time immemorial, however, the modern Spiritualist movement is said to have begun on March 31, 1848. It was on that date that Kate and Margaret Fox (pictured) first communicated with the spirit of a peddler buried under their home. Before long, the sisters moved to Rochester, NY and the religion of Modern Spiritualism was born.

Today, Spiritualism is often seen as a delusion, a grift, or simply a form of entertainment. However, the role of Spiritualism in the social reform movements of the second half the 19th century cannot be ignored. In a time when men dominated religion and spirituality, Spiritualism taught that the traits seen as stereotypically feminine at the time (such as being quiet, emotional, and receptive) were seen as traits necessary for mediumship. Furthermore, Spiritualism taught that all people have the capacity to become mediums and communicate with the dead and with divinity. This put access to God directly in the hands of the individual, and making the role of The Church obsolete.

A note of terms: While this archive uses the term Spiritualism, other countries (such as the United Kingdom) use the term Spiritism to refer to (roughly) the same set of beliefs and phenomena. For clarity's sake, the term Spiritualism is used exclusively here.

Pages in category "Spiritualism"

The following 107 pages are in this category, out of 107 total.