Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Spiritualism and New Age

  • Waleska AurelianoEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_83

Key Information

Spiritualism refers to the possibility of communicating with spirits, also understood as mediumship or channeling. This communication can be established with the spirits of dead people or with entities conceived to belong to a nonhuman spiritual world (e.g., the Orixás in Afro-Brazilian religions or the encantados, “enchanted ones,” found in the cosmology of some Brazilian indigenous groups).

Communication between humans and spirits has been observed in various historical periods, countries, and religious traditions. In Western cultures, in the mid-nineteenth century, a movement emerged that sought to recognize and systemize the relations between humans and spirits. This became known as Modern Spiritualism. Its origin can be traced back to the Fox sisters and their communications with spirits in Hydesville, New York.

Born into a Presbyterian family, the sisters Margaret and Katie Fox – aged 15 and 12, respectively, when their first experiences occurred – established a...

Keywords

Spiritualism New Age Mediumship Brazil Brazilian Spiritism Afro-Brazilian religions Popular New Age 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Science Institute/Department of AnthropologyUniversidade do Estado do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil