Talk:Spiritualism (beliefs)

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Had a stab at improving the start of this topic ... I am not sure about its place here or between other topics such as Mediumship. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 17:06, 17 January 2008 (UTC)


Good heavens! If a student wrote something like this, it would be an "F". Mixing up Hinduism with Shinto, Swedenborg with animism, and finding the lowest common denominator. Definitely OR.--Anthon.Eff (talk) 19:05, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Good heavens, its a stub and work in progress ...
I think what weakens your criticism is a lack of specific detail. I mean, what do you mean by "Hinduism"? Are you honestly suggesting that there are no spiritualistic practises within India?
* Why your comment on Shintoism? The Japanese spiritualists mentioned actually come from a Buddhist background.
* What point are you trying to make and which citations are you questioning?
* And let's back track to the original difference of opinion, your limitation of spiritualism to refer to merely the historical religious movement ... the academic literature, encyclopedias and dictionaries would all appear to suggest you are wrong.
I am sorry Anthon, you need to come up with something better. I will continue working on the article and other related ones. This is not a intended as a narrow academic paper as you might be used to.
I am left guessing that the point you are making is that all of the spiritualistic practises and beliefs, and the different uses of the word Spiritualism, do not fit into your opinion of what Spiritualism (religious movement) is. Well, you are right. They dont and that word has a far broader meaning.
Pour acid on my efforts if you wish. I'll just get on with editing this topic and others like it. I am attempting to create a signpost pointing on to more specific and accurate topics.
--Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 20:44, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Moving without seeking consensus[edit]


stop moving without seeking consensus.

You have not even sought to engage in discussion on the topic page once.

its obviously pressing your buttons, let's discuss on the topic page. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 08:18, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I've been watching this page all along. Where was the consensus on your part to send off Spiritualism (religious movement) to a separate article so you could write this one the way you wanted? What that did is place this article as "the" definition or primary point of view of "spiritualism" and placed "Spiritualism" (big S) as a minority view. That's completely debatable. But that's not even why I made the move. As you point out, there are several meanings to the word "spiritualism", which creates a need for WP:DISAMBIG. Where you effectively did a rewrite without consensus, I simply did a simple disambig which requires very little consensus. Please, by all means, explain why two separate meanings and disambiguation between the two is not necessary, when you were the one who argued for it. In the meantime, stop appealing to consensus when you clearly do not care about it yourself. --Nealparr (talk to me) 08:26, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
If you had been watching, you would have known it was not me.
I would also suggest reading some of the literature. Not once in this ding-dong have you referred to any academic discussion on the subject. You do not have appeared to have gone over any of the ones given.
Are you going to write the topics on the other usage of the word? --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 08:28, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Pay attention. User:Espoo made the move with your support. You then took over and wrote most of what's there now. As you may recall there wasn't consensus. Moving on...
What topics would you like me to contribute on? --Nealparr (talk to me) 08:39, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

The discuss hung out for one month. Athon.Eff had a similar, but different, problem to yours (the American POV being the majority POV). Go through the references and citations to see that the term is used far wider that just Modern Spiritualism' as the religions is known, or Modern American Spiritualism as we know it in Europe. Still, the game has been kicked far wider of those limitations now.

The use of the "spiritualism" within
  • 2) (Philosophy) - needs padding out but you have it serious confused with animism
  • 4) (Ethics) - I have no clue
  • 5) (Epistemology) - I have no clue
  • 6) (Art) - kind of thin, there was only one proponent as far as I can see.

Funnily enough, I think you and I agree on the 'animism POV' whereas Anthon does not. For him it was ONLY the US '1840 to 1920 number'. For me that was another manifestation of the same phenomena that presents its self universally through humanity under many guises. But do not misquote or misinterpret me on the AfD. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 08:57, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

1) Philosophy is covered by Dualism (philosophy of mind). If there is a spiritualistic perspective, that's where it belongs.
2) Ethics are covered by morality, which speaks about the many cultural and anthropological perspectives.
3) Epistemology is covered by (or should be covered by) Spiritualism (beliefs).
4) I would love to see an article on Spiritual art, which would incorporate the spiritualistic art, of course.

--Nealparr (talk to me) 09:12, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Our major difference in editing styles then, if that I am being MUCH more specific in my use of the terminology within each discipline. These are disciplines not just "words".
Please accept this and stand back a bit, e.g. I used spiritualism within art BUT ONLY in its most specific use, e.g. "Abstract Spiritualism"/Gerard Tempest where it is *actually* used rather than just *descriptively* used. However, I would agree that there is room to develop a topic if it does not exist. Do you mean "psychic art", art which expresses the spirit or art about spiritual matters? Specifics, specifics, specifics.
I disagree with you entirely that all the stuff you do not know about is "already covered". A simple Wikipedia search for "spiritualism within philosophy" (excluding religion) proves this despite it being debated by Leibniz, Engel and many others. What happens ... someone comes to the wiki to find out why "Leibniz was the father of modern spiritualism" and goes away thinking he went to seances!?!?
This is exactly what and why I am attempting to clarify matters specifically. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 09:27, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
As I said, I'm with you on the idea that spiritualism has been used to refer simply to a belief in spirits (without all the seance stuff). But if that use is so notable, you may want to correct the fact that the Leibniz article mentions nothing about being the father of modern spiritualism, before writing an entire article about that sort of usage. If anything, such a mistake on Wikipedia's part can be fixed not by an entire article, but by a simple sentence that says "Spiritualism has also been historically used to refer to the belief in spirits, also called animism and a mind/soul separation from the body". Quick fix without all the drama or spin-offs. --Nealparr (talk to me) 09:35, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
So what is your point? Spiritualistic phenomenon manifests itself worldwide ... and is referred to as that. The topic is very well referenced--Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 10:56, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Citations supporting Leibniz as the father of modern spiritualism (nothing to do with animism!).[edit]

For example, citations supporting the quote of "Leibniz as the father of modern spiritualism". The first contains it directly

Now, where are yours Neal? That is the difference between us. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 10:54, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Pick one: [1] (note most of them refer to Spiritualism (big S), or cut to the cliff notes: [2]. Note the association with existing Wikipedia articles, for example: "The word spirit can be substituted for “mind” or even placed above it; and “Spiritualism” is often used, especially in Europe, as a synonym for Idealism." That's your complaint, right? That in Europe spiritualism has a different meaning, one that puts Leibniz as the "Father" of it. Well here's a reference that talks exactly about that and says it's just Idealism (per the reference), so go edit that article and insert "In Europe, spiritualism is often used as a synonym for Idealism" and quit with the wiki drama. --Nealparr (talk to me) 11:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Move approved by consensus. Dreadstar 09:21, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

SpiritualismSpiritualism (beliefs) — By far the most common meaning of Spiritualism is the religious movement that began with the Fox sisters. Prior to January 15 the Spiritualism article discussed that religious movement. On January 15 the article was moved without notice to Spiritualism (religious movement). The current Spiritualism page then became dedicated to a one-editor project to present elements of all religions that resemble animism. Let's follow the suggestion of User:Nealparr and move the current article to Spiritualism (beliefs), and then move Spiritualism (religious movement) back here, to its rightful place. —Anthon.Eff (talk) 15:33, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Can you have a look over some of the references on the topic and offer us your critique of them? Right from the beginning, (Doyle etc) the major authors all recognised the long and universal tradition. As I said to Neal, no, I am sorry. You got your American blinders on here ... the citations offered argue otherwise.
There appear to be rather a lot of academics who use the word spiritualism/spiritualist for a number of difference purposes. And, of course, there are more than a few meanings. I am sorry, it was discussed Athon. Its got to a point where it is ridiculous to suggest otherwise.
I will take you as seriously as you take the references and citations. "Belief" does not fit. It only came about because Neal came a cropper on suggesting ... and entirely confusing ... the issue of Modern

Spiritualism with the philosophical use of the word. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 15:40, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

You have asserted frequently that the move was discussed. It was not. I was active on this talk page during that time, and the move caught me completely by surprise (as it did everyone else here). If you are curious as to how the move should have been done, then look at the steps I followed to request this move. And I think you need to stop the personal attacks ("Neal came a cropper"). --Anthon.Eff (talk) 16:07, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support move of the current "Spiritualism" article to "Spiritualism (beliefs)"; and of "Spiritualism (religious movement)" back to its original title, "Spiritualism." The term "Spiritualism," with capital "S" and without verbal qualification, is generally applied to the Spiritualist movement that began in New York State in 1847 and spread to Europe, Latin America and elsewhere. Nihil novi (talk) 20:07, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for reasons outlined by Nihil... Johnfos (talk) 20:14, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Likewise, I agree with the reasoning of Nihil. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 21:54, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Actually, I support moving the Spiritualism (religious movement) to Spiritualism and redirecting Spiritualism (beliefs) to Idealism per sources. See my note below in "Sorting it out". To make the move to Spiritualism (religious beliefs), one doesn't have to "move" the article. Spiritualism just redirects here. All you need to do is change the redirect. --Nealparr (talk to me) 05:25, 3 February 2008 (UTC) This article needs a complete rewrite [3] --Nealparr (talk to me) 09:11, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. First, the article was moved without consensus. Second, the blind application of the concept of spiritualism, that being communication with the other side, to include every instance of the practice of trans-communication in all of human history is suggests a lack of understanding about what the article is intended to accomplish. I agree with the reversal of Lucyintheskywithdada move as per Anthon and NealParr. Tom Butler (talk) 00:41, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Things were fine before, I thought. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 00:50, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose This page (the "beliefs" page) is a valuable resource covering related aspects to and related histories linked to Spiritualism and would be far better served using a disambiguation page where the original page specifically on Modern American Spiritualism (the most common attribution) would get top billing (and it might be useful to include the dates in that title as well). I see no need to omit a disambiguation page and place Spiritualism(beliefs) as a hyperlink at the top of the page when usage of the word "Spiritualism" (whether with a capital or uncapitalized 'S') is commonly used in reference to either the American Spiritualist movement or spiritualism as a practise still active today and evident in many shamanic cultures prior to it's beginnings with the Fox sisters. R. Chappell (talk) 03:00, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, Lucy. [4][5] ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 03:56, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi, Martin. Are you actually accusing me of not being a real person because I disagree with you? Do you need to see my driver's license? Is Lucy's past behavior so nefarious that you would accuse anyone who agrees with him as obviously being some manipulative contrivance he orchestrated? I don't know, I haven't kept up with the entire thread. I'm just adding my opinion and I think that a disambiguation page would meet both side's concerns.R. Chappell (talk) 13:52, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Strong oppose - I am sorry. It is a simple matter of challenging American cultural imperialism here ... and the demographics of the wikipedia specifically and internet generally to allow for minority voices to be heard and the wikipedia's readership to have its horizon's broaden along the lines the original spiritualist would have been very happy. Spiritualism did not stop in 1920.
America no more owns the title to "Spiritualism" that it does to "Football" (and in case you don't know what football is, please follow the link). This is basically the form I imagine for a wholistic topic on the use of the word spiritualism and related practises. For those that are not convinced, please spend some time on academic networks reading papers or at least do a Google for Modern Spiritualism or Modern American Spiritualism which is apparently what you really want a topic on. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 15:02, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Comment - I know this section is meant to be a survey, not a forum, but because these things are being brought up, they should be addressed.
I don't think the issue has anything to do with any kind of implied superiority or higher importance of American culture over culture in the rest of the world. That's fine if you feel there is a bias which needs to be countered, but I think this issue is simply about the fact that the label "Spiritualism" became most wide spread and had it's strongest sway over _modern_ society around the world in many disciplines, including scientific thought and the development of psychoanalysis, when it went through it's essential renaissance which happened to occur in America. Because of this I think a disambiguation page could be the ideal fix for this in that it could give equal importance to the cultural phenomenon of "Modern American Spiritualism" and present a separate, equally important page on spiritualism outside of that cultural phenomenon - exploring its roots beyond its appearance around the turn of the century, its parallels, and continuing legacy (all of which are important enough to merit its own page and aren't we served better by more available, researched information than less?). The fact that there are two separate entities, the cultural phenomenon in America and the existence of spiritualistic practises outside of that limited span of time, merits two separate entries and I believe they are close enough to being equally important to merit equal billing on a single page which would give readers a choice.
I think that spiritualism itself today is a subject which often attracks mockery from skeptics and academics and this is why passions are so high about presenting this subject correctly and precisely for people who want to research this subject seriously and themselves be taken seriously. I think this is the reason behind the edit warring, I don't think there is malice on either side, simply people who feel strongly about accuracy and maintaining a high standard for the study of this subject.R. Chappell (talk) 22:26, 4 February 2008 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

It seems to me that the Spiritism article also duplicates much of the information that could be covered in a single "Spiritualism" article...aside from the material specifically about Allan Kardec, and that could be merged into his article. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 12:45, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Spiritism has its origins in Spiritualism, but it evolved in its own way, and its adherents understand it to be something quite distinct. I'm sure the editors who wrote that article (they seem to include Brazilian Spiritists) would not want the merge. Anyway, the current article is quite long enough; Spiritism's development is briefly described in the article, and links easily lead the reader to the full story. The situation is analogous with the Spiritualist Church, Survivalism (life after death), and other articles--the full story needs to be told elsewhere for these developments, since the main article lacks space.--Anthon.Eff (talk) 13:08, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the main article is long, but just with a quick look I see that the following items should be removed:

  1. Native American spiritualism
  2. Spiritualism in the Caribbean
  3. South American spiritualistic traditions
  4. Spiritualism within India
  5. Mediumship in Tibet
  6. Spiritualism within Eastern Asia
  7. Spiritualism and trance in China
  8. Japanese spiritualism
  9. Mediumship on Pacific islands
  10. Mediumship in the Antipodes
  11. African spiritualism
  12. Spiritualism within Islam

None of these have anything to do with the Spiritualist movement that started in the US. Most of them would belong in an article about shamanism. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 20:06, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I understand now--things have become so confusing with all of the article name changes. The core article (written over a period of three years) is now at Spiritualism (religious movement). It was called Spiritualism until three weeks ago, and--should the move proposal succeed--will go back to that name. The other articles (Spiritualism and Spiritualism (beliefs)) are only three weeks old, and are basically the same article. The list you cite comes from those articles. And yes, they mostly deal with shamanism or animism rather than with what is popularly understood as Spiritualism. --Anthon.Eff (talk) 21:26, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
If you actually read any of the references you would discover that many of these have a direct historical connection with Modern Spiritualism. if you also read the academic references, you would discover that academics now consider the activities in the others to be spiritualist and refer to them as spiritualism.
At the end of the day, it is not about what we think, it is about what the references prove. I am afraid I must flag up and caution you about the dangerous of patriotism in this matter. There are many self-describing and academically defined "spiritualist" that are not American. Please see my comments below about American Football. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 14:32, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

"Conveys ideas not attributable to the original sources"[edit]

OK, I am here. Please let us be specific Athon.

Which citations are you referring to and why do you feel they are not quoted or conveyed correctly? --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 17:24, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Had a stab at improving the start of this topic ... I am not sure about its place here or between other topics such as Mediumship. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 17:06, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Name change?[edit]

The name of the [Spiritualism (religious movement)] article is confusing. Spiritualism was a movement; and, for some adherents, it was a religion. But there was no single Spiritualist "religious movement", and the wide diversity of religious beliefs made such a religious movement impossible. It is quite impossible to say, just to give two examples that come to mind, that writers as different in their views as [Allan Kardec] and [Carl Wickland] were within the same religious movement. I suggest changing the name of this article to "Spiritualist movement".

Also, the name of this article, "Spiritualism (beliefs)", is confusing; because, although Spiritualism did involve beliefs, it was even more characterized by its practices. It would be best to have a single article called "Spiritualism". Malcolm Schosha (talk) 15:28, 1 February 2008 (UTC) --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 17:59, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Lucyintheskywithdada, you have attempted to make all of this personal from the beginning when you decided that spiritualism as a concept is universally applied to the practice which involves that concept. When my fiend prays to God, he is not practicing spiritualism. He is practicing the act of communing with people in spirit. You began by insisting that every act of and every form of trans-etheric communication is spiritualism and not once have you negotiated that point.
You next insisted that Spiritualism (Capital "S") is actually Christian Spiritualism, which is actually just a subset of Spiritualism the religion.
You hijacked the article without consensus.
Now you are trying to pitch US Spiritualists against UK Spiritualists. I know a few UK Spiritualists, and as I remember their beliefs, we were in accord. In fact, many of us in the USA think the UK Spiritualists are better at being Spiritualists than we are. They certainly know how to teach.
You are doing no service to Wikipedia of any language by thinking we are being nationalists. As suggested many times before, use a WP:Disambiguation page to make your distinctions. Start a "pray to heaven" article or whatever you like and include Moses talking to Got if you like, but stop trying to hijack articles to suit your view of being academic. Tom Butler (talk) 17:27, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Sorting it out[edit]

Here's the crux of the problem:

A simple Google search on "spiritualism" will show that the most widely used usage of the term refers to the religious movement that gained popularity between 1840 and 1920, but subsequently lost popularity. Granted, it is still around, and has taken different forms since then, but Wikipedia goes by common usage per WP:NAME. Often the religious use is denoted by a big "S" and other usage is denoted by the little "s", but Wikipedia doesn't make distinctions like that, so we have to use a little common sense.

In Europe, spiritualism (little s) is synonymous with Idealism, a widespread philosophical thought. See second entry here:

It would be highly point of view (See WP:WEIGHT) for us to equate the big "S" usage with the little "s" usage. We should not conflate the two to make the religion be just a focused expression of the philosophy, making it appear more widespread than it actually is, when the philosophy of Idealism doesn't involve any of the practices of Spiritualism (religious movement). It's just a belief in the supernatural, ie. that there are "spirits".

Fortunately we don't have to. Spiritualism can be an article about the religious movement per WP:NAME and there can be a disambig notice at the top of the page that explains the European philosophical usage of the term with a link to Idealism. Further, the Idealism article, based on sources, can make mention of the common use of spiritualism as a synonym for the same topic.

Conflating the two as being the same thing is wrong, and there's no reason to do so. There's no reason to have two articles creating a fork when one usage is strictly religious and the other usage is already covered by Idealism and needs no separate article. The solution is to send off the European usage to Idealism and make this article about the more notable use.

Other problems: This article jumps from being about classic Western philosophy (little "s" spiritualism), to religion (big "S" Spiritualism), to Eastern mysticism, to shamanism, to animism, to spiritism, to occultism, to... well pretty much everything. It doesn't read as an article, it reads as portal to everything spirit. It smacks of WP:SYNTH, or reducing all shamanism, mysticism, and occultism to spiritualism, with a disjointed classical philosophy side note. Even if a few published sources do that sort of synthesis, so what? We have no reason to because we have separate articles for all those topics, and I'd have to question if that's a notable synthesis because if we really want to make an article about a universal spirituality (dubious that this is it), we already have an article for that too. I truly think it would be best for Wikipedia to leave the idealism in the idealism article, shamanism in the shamanism article, animism in the animism article, spiritism in the spiritism article, and mysticism in the mysticism article, and not try to call it all spiritualism and make a portal out of it. This is especially harmful considering the popular usage (and all the linked up practices) center around the religious use. All the disjointed uses in this article really just boil down to shamanism with a couple of "Oh, this is how it's also these things too, and by the way, did you know Christianity is a form of shamanism?" I really think it's best to drop/merge all these ideas into their already existing articles, starting with idealism (the belief in spirits in general). --Nealparr (talk to me) 20:22, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I think Neal has said this very well. I would add, though, that Idealism is itself an even worse tangle of differing meanings than is "Spiritualism". Leibniz's "spiritualism' is just a subset of "idealism" (which begins at least with Plato). It would be best to avoid disturbing the careful work that has been done on the collection of articles explaining Idealism.
"Spiritualism" has many homonyms, just like the word "cat" has many homonyms. No one would dream of creating an article called cat which discusses all of the homonyms. Instead, the article Cat discusses the most common homonym, with a hatnote at the top linking to Cat (disambiguation), where one finds links to all the homonyms. That's exactly what we should do here--write an article on the most common homonym of spiritualism (the religious movement), with a link to a disambiguation page giving the other homonyms: a strand of idealism; a near-synonym for animism. This is what Neal suggests above, and this makes complete sense to me. --Anthon.Eff (talk) 22:00, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Discussing concepts of animism, shamanism, Spiritualism, etc., in a single article entitled "spiritualism" is like discussing pushcarts, rickshaws and chariots in a single article entitled "automobile." Sure, these vehicles show similarities—they all have wheels and some source of motive power—but they are not at all the same thing. Nihil novi (talk) 01:55, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Can we just refer to the academic papers where the term spiritualism or spiritualist is used through out? Or even the original authors and progenitors of the subject? From Doyle to the quotation you used from the Enc. Brit. backs up the broader and use and meaning of the word, Anthon.

There is also a problem with using Google rather than an academic network because of a) the demographics and b) in your case Neal and Anthon, you are using an American search engine from an American IP address which results will be loaded. Its ridiculous to date the movement's end in 1920.

As a test of integrity, can we try doing a Google for 'Modern Spiritualism' or 'Modern American Spiritualism' and tell me how it looks from your geolocation?


I'd rather take the example of the Football topic. This is what I have in mind and this is what the academic references I have used illustrate.

Ask an American what "football" is, he is going to tell you linebackers etc. Ask anyone else in the world what American Football is and they will tell you the same ... not so football, futbol or whatever. So ... spiritualism and Modern American Spiritualism.

Ditto art and Modern art ... why would Modern Art be called "modern" if there was not an ancient or original art? If someone was to write a topic on Modern Art and claim because it is all they know about and by google modern art is the most popular use of the term, should we allow it to take the title art?

I think not.

In this case, we know that both the original Modern Spiritualists both believed in the continuity of spiritualism throughout all time but also that they and their commentators were largely ignorant of the rest of the world at that time. This has, of course, changed and academia has studied not just the syncretism of Modern Spiritualism with other traditional and indigenous forms but also documented the similarity in contexts and practises.

This is not "my opinion", "my synthesis" ... it is in the references. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 14:26, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Evidence and weeding of synthesis[edit]

  • I removed the "Mediumship in Tibet" section because it's WP:SYNTH.[6] I'm fairly familiar with many Buddhism practices and have never heard of it referred to as "spiritualism" or "mediumship", so I've started my weeding of synthesis there. The source listed for calling Buddhist practices "mediumship" was Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun Kurtis R. Schaeffer. Google Books has that book [7] and a search of the contents makes no mention of either "spiritualism" or "mediumship". How much of this article is made up?
  • Also, references published in the 1800s are not reliable sources for statements like "Spiritualism is used to describe..." At best, they only support "Spiritualism used to describe..." if they're reliable at all. These books were written during the heyday of the Spiritualism movement and are probably biased works. "Spiritualism has been related to the practises of early Christianity" a statement supported by a book published in 1875 and a biased First Spiritual Temple WP:PSTS? Do we even have a source that calls the religious use "Modern American Spiritualism"? Refs [6] and [7] that are supposed to support this statement were written in 1903 and 1870. That's not exactly contemporary. Is there a single recent work that calls it that? Is this entire article BS?
  • The opening statement: "Spiritualism is a term commonly used for various psychic or paranormal practices and beliefs recorded throughout humanity's history" is supposed to be supported by Arthur Conan Doyle, a spiritualist himself WP:PSTS who didn't use the word paranormal.
  • Under "Definition": "In today’s world, it is a growing phenomenon manifesting itself in traditional indigenous religiosity on all continents through non-aligned spiritualistic groups and many syncretistic movements and within elements of orthodox religions by whom it is still seen as a challenge" is supposed to be supported by a Lutheran World Federation publication. That's hardly a reliable fact.
  • Most of the section "Usage" is unsourced. Ref [13] doesn't verify a connection to spiritualism and is just about metaphysics in general. In other words, synthesis.
  • Under "Native American Spiritualism": "... although in reality they are their tradition have suffer considerably under the influences of competing Christian churches" is sourced to Ref [20] Against culture: development, politics, and religion in Indian Alaska which is at Google Books[8] and doesn't contains the word "spiritualism". In other words, synthesis.
  • The other source for "Native American Spiritualism", ref [21] doesn't say anything about spiritualism according to Google Books[9].
  • "Spiritualism in the Carribean" is completely unsourced.

If necessary, I'll point out the problems with the rest of the article too, but isn't this enough WP:RS, WP:V, WP:OR and WP:SYNTH? It's only out of respect for consensus that I haven't removed it already.

This article needs a complete rewrite. It should be...

--Nealparr (talk to me) 09:09, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

  • If you knew *anything* about Tibetan Buddhism at all, you would know that Bon practise has nothing to do with Tibetan Buddhism.
Actually, this in itself ought to dissolve any credibility to your editing on this or any closely related subject, Neal. If do not even know how wrong you are, how can we possibly have any discussion on the matter? Ditto with "idealism being "the belief in spirits in general".
Let's face it, it has become personal now, you have an axe you want to grind. You are tooled up with a load of acronyms and want to have your way. Fine. I am not your grindstone.
But, before I go, let's discuss some of the academic papers and their use of the words and concepts ... and try doing your token google search but use spiritualist instead. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 14:00, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
If Bön practise has nothing to do with Tibetan Buddhism, then why would you use a source about the life of a Tibetan Buddhist to support it's inclusion here? That's the whole problem with the article as it is written, it's WP:SYNTH. First paragraph on the Bön article: "Recently H.H. Dalai Lama ceremonially let the Bön tradition be initiated as the fifth principal Tibetan Buddhist Spiritual School along with Nyingma, Shakya, Kagyu and Gelug," so why bother questioning my familiarization with the topic? If that article needs to be fixed to remove that line, it needs to be fixed there, not here. On "idealism" [10]: "...that matter can be explained by mind but that mind cannot be explained by matter. The word spirit can be substituted for 'mind' or even placed above it; and 'Spiritualism' is often used, especially in Europe, as a synonym for Idealism." On "spiritualist", the Google Book search doesn't have a mention of "spiritualist(s)" in the Tibetan Buddhism source, nor in the Fantasies of the Master Race source for the Native American section. The other book, Against Culture has exactly one mention,[11] in the introduction and never again. The one mention is talking about how one pastor at a Pentecostal church told her congregation to question Native American ceremonies. That hardly supports sythesis towards the statement in our article that "[Native American] tradition[s] have suffer[ed] considerably under the influences of competing Christian churches" or how that has anything at all to do with spiritualism. On the axe to grind issue, WP:AGF, it's about the article. Please keep your discussion related towards the article and stop talking about me. Saying I don't know what I'm talking about isn't going to make the sources you listed match the statements in the article.
Besides, I've pointed out the problems I have with this page as written, and made my arguments for rewriting it into Spirituality (disambiguation), now other editors can decide what's appropriate and what isn't. That's how consensus works. I've made my argument, yours is the page itself, let others decide. I'm a WikiSloth so I don't really care one way or the other as long as it's done by consensus and isn't just what one editor wants. I support the philosophy that if everyone's at least a little bit unhappy it's probably more neutral than if just one person is happy. If the article doesn't need to be rewritten based on my observations, someone should at least go through it and clean it up to remove synthetical statements and make sure the statements match the source for WP:V. I don't have the time for it myself, other editors are more involved here, so I'm just passing along my observations. Everyone feel free to do with them as they will. --Nealparr (talk to me) 01:55, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I think Neal did discuss sources in every one of his points. I don't see an attempt to discuss the sources in your reply, Lucy. I see a personal attack against Neal. Let me also ask about the first sentence: "Spiritualism is a term commonly used for various psychic or paranormal practices and beliefs recorded throughout humanity's history". You use the impossibly vague word various--you need to be specific. You use the qualifier commonly, and you cite Conan Doyle as if that is what he says. He doesn't say that. Here is the section you appear to be referring to:

It is impossible to give any date for the early appearances of external intelligent power of a higher or lower type impinging upon the affairs of men. Spiritualists are in the habit of taking March 31, 1848, as the beginning of all psychic things, because their own movement dates from that day. There has, however, been no time in the recorded history of the world when we do not find traces of preternatural interference and a tardy recognition of them from humanity. The only difference between these episodes and the modern movement is that the former might be described as a case of stray wanderers from some further sphere, while the latter bears the sign of a purposeful and organized invasion. But as an invasion might well be preceded by the appearance of pioneers who search out the land, so the spirit influx of recent years was heralded by a number of incidents which might well be traced to the Middle Ages or beyond them. vol. 1, page 2

Doyle says that the phenomena experienced and investigated by Spiritualists have always been here and recognized by humans. Where does he say that "Spiritualism is a term commonly used for various psychic or paranormal practices and beliefs recorded throughout humanity's history"? --Anthon.Eff (talk) 15:31, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
And what is your opinions of Lang's quote? In Doyle you have a contemporaneous quotation, in Lang you have a contemporary quotation. So in the beginning, as in the end.
On top of both, we have the original definitions provided by Espoo and 3 minutes on any academic network will provide you with endless papers evidencing the general use of the term for spiritualistic practises and beliefs the world over AND the specific use of the Modern Spiritualism or Modern American Spiritualism.
As far as philosophy goes, I paraphrase, "in late C19th and early C20th European philosophy, particularly French but also German organize their debates around three basic philosophical positions; positivism, idealism, and, situated between these two extremes, various versions of positions they call spiritualism."
I am very clear in my mind about the current use of the word spiritualism and its difference from spirituality. It would be entirely accurate to state from epistemology through to sociology the word is used having no direct connection to Modern American Spiritualism. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 15:47, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Spiritualism vs Spirituality[edit]

This article appears to (intentionally?) confuse Spirituality with Spiritualism. For example, "American Indian Spiritualism" is misused to mean "American Indian Spirituality" and so forth and so on throughout the article. Many of these sections might be welcome additions to articles on Spirituality, but they have nothing to do with Spiritualism. (talk) 20:51, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Oh sorry, I think the article uses "Native American". The editor may want to know that the preferred term of the people he is referring to is actually "American Indian" fwiw... (talk) 20:54, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
No, it was very clear in intent that the section regarding the First Nation or indigenous peoples of the North Americas is about spiritualism; both their sociologically significant archetypal role in Modern Spiritualism (as spirit guides etc) and certain nations practise of spiritualism itself.
Indians live in "India". The big lump sticking out of bottom of Eurasia. "Native American" is more broadly used by academics internationally. Some "indigenous" activists seem to use it as it underlines the issue of the sanctioned persecution and genocide carried out by white Americans, as per nigger by some black activists. I would argue that it is currently the more politically correct term within our context. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 16:04, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Lucyintheskywithdada, you can baffle us all you want with your intellectual babble about academic use of the term, "spiritualism." I do not think we are arguing against your main point. I didn't originate the article, but I suspect it was an attempt to address the practice of spiritualism as a organized system of belief and not as the more broadly defined belief in and communication with "spirits." Until you stop equating the two, and I might add, stop American bashing, your good points will probably continue to be ignored. A disambiguation page can help the reader distinguish between your vision of spiritualism and the one initially intended by the article. Tom Butler (talk) 16:54, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Lucyintheskywithdada, your view of the meaning of Spiritualism seems contrary to the majority view. Would you be willing to cooperate with returning the article to its original intention, and create a new article that would present your view? Or is there another way to find a solution that would satisfy your intention, without disregarding the wishes of the other editors? It would be much better to create a harmonious editing situation. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 23:27, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I have just read R. Chappell's comment above and do not want it drown out by my voice, see; [12] I find this a very reasonable explanation. I am also aghast at how far this debate has gone from the position the original progenitors themselves would have accepted and argued, that of the universality of human spiritual nature. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lucyintheskywithdada (talkcontribs) 13:30, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
At the end of the day, it comes down to two things;
  • Firstly, what the academics say, e.g. how the word is used, and
  • Secondly, our interpretation of the the likely interests or inquiries of the WIkipedia's readership. This is what editorship comes in. Ask the question, "what are individuals going to come asking or looking for?".
Now, it is an absolutely truth that the word and concept of "spiritualism" is used far more widely than just to refer to the religious movement ... especially limiting it to 1840-1920. I have absolutely no dispute with a detail topic on that specific movement. I support specialism. But I also agree with and feel important, that we address the wider use of it, so ... when some kid reads a book, or hears it on a TV programme, and comes look to find out what why Spiritualism was different from Idealism and Materialism, or what the "spiritualist practises" of some tribe relate to (and their universality with other such practises) ... they can find an answer.
I do have a very big problem with dumbing the Wiki down to what someone has read on Google and hatchet jobs by folks that really do not know anything about the subjects they are, in essence, vandalising in their ignorance.
And, I am sorry but this does have a cultural aspect that is being ignored here. As with the quite perfect football example. As soon as someone admits, "Well, yes, actually, there are both academically recognised and self-professed spiritualist all over of the world (and syncretic forms) and perhaps we ought to include their voice and history too", then I will think that person is acting in reason.
Two or three American spiritualists do not a "majority voice" make.
Let's question the academic references ... its all in there. Please! I mean look, we had Neal removing the Declaration of Principles in the other article ... --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 13:06, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Lucyintheskywithdada, does your reply mean that you are, or are not, willing to work in cooperation with the other editors? It appears to me that you intend an edit war. I hope that I am wrong about that. I suppose that requesting an RfC might be a possible next step. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:42, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Lucy, characterizing it as "what someone has read on Google" is a gross misrepresentation of "what someone has read in the actual source, the actual book, located online at Google Books, in textual form". On one hand you say "let's question the academic references" and then on the other hand use my removal of the "Declaration of Principles" as an example when it was never sourced at all, much less to an academic reference. Are those the principles of all spiritualists? Are they the principles of a governing body of spiritualists? Who the heck knows, you didn't say when you added it. It needs to be sourced, and attributed to the source.

I'm not being contentious here, and let's separate the issues. One issue is original research. Does the sources say what you think they say? That's a huge ball of twine to unravel because there is quite a bit of information in this article that is either unsourced, sourced to old texts that may be out of date, or is barely related to the topic. An example of "barely related" is the source on Native Americans. It's academic, it's modern, but it only contains the word "spiritualists" once, and then that somehow becomes a statement in the article about how Native American spiritualism has suffered under Christianity. So there's problems with the content. The other issue is whether the content is needed. I don't think anyone seriously disagrees with you that there are multiple meanings of "spiritualism", but that's exactly what a disambiguation page is for. With sourcing, you can link all the multiple meanings off to their various articles. It's something you might enjoy doing.

For an example of what the disambig page may look like, consider how beneficial this may be:

  • Spiritualism, especially in Europe, has been used to describe Idealism.[source]
  • Spiritualism is often used to describe the French spiritual philosophy of Spiritism.[source]
  • Spiritualism has been used to refer to the Buddhist practice of Bön.[source]

I mean, you can go crazy here as long as the information is sourced reliably. But what's best is that this solution solves most of the problems editors have with this article. You have the main article Spiritualism that redirects to Spiritualism (religious movement) and then you have a Spiritualism (disambiguation) that looks like the above. It's a great solution if you take the other editor's feedback on your content seriously. Right now you're the only editor supporting this page as written. I'd support the above disambig page. --Nealparr (talk to me) 15:46, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

The fact remains that the article was moved without consensus and it looks like most of the editors want that reversed and a disambiguation page added, rather than simply adding a disambiguation page. We should begin with that measure and then decide how to parse the content of the Spiritualism article. Tom Butler (talk) 16:26, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Spiritualism (religious movement) can be moved to Spiritualism and Spiritualism (beliefs) can be rewritten and moved to Spiritualism (disambiguation) and fix all the problems. Only one editor contests this, so, well, what can you do? --Nealparr (talk to me) 18:49, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
This seems a reasonable approach; and there appears to be a consensus for it. Nihil novi (talk) 20:04, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
No, you have R.Chappell very reasonably supporting the broader view and myself provided a considerable weigh of evidence by way of academic references and citations to suggest that it is valid. I do not see anyone providing references to counter such a view.
From my point of view Neal, and I probably repeat myself, your modus operandi reveals a such lack of understanding or appreciation of the subject that I really do not know why you are involved in it. I mean that honestly. Given the manic history and threats over the infobox, I can only presume it is a personal one now.
Firstly, you refuse to confirm the most reasonable of questions such as what access do you have to the academic sources, elements no one else seems to be contributing. So how can we possible discuss?
Secondly, you come up with the most extreme confusions (e.g. re the use of spiritualism in Europe for both spiritualistic and philosophical ) and unsustainable of assertions) and rejections of key developments such as the acceptance of the Declarations without any apparent awareness of how
Thirdly, you block erase entire referenced passages, multiple citations, even correct formatting and do not reflect this in your editing summaries. I am sorry, but I have experienced this MO on the wiki before. Its what I called "intellectual slamdancing" to one ways.
Lastly, you come up with statements denying there are references when the references are there on the page. For me it is like the typical position of "I am not go ing to read it therefore it does not exist" ... and this, it has to be said, is redolent of the discussion we had with Anthon, "I am not going to discuss it therefore it has not been discussed".
I am sorry, No. The American movement does not own the word, no more than America owned the word football. The references both historic and contemporary bear me out.
I do not see one of you responding once to the multiple quotations that refer to the American movement as "Modern Spiritualism" or "Modern American Spiritualism". To me that says it all ... I am sorry but Google is not the final arbitrator, the "Cliff Notes" of academic research. The demographics of the Wiki, Google (if you are using the US page) and the internet may be tilted towards American domination BUT that does not reflect the whole of reality. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 03:40, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Lucy, do you realize how many uncivil comments and personal attacks you've made against me since you were commuted from an indefinite block? The unblocking administrator even said "I don't normally go in to bat for users like this, and I hope I don't have to again..." I've had admins email me asking me if I want you blocked again and I said no, we'll work this out. If I had an axe to grind, I'm pretty sure I would have ground it already. What you should have said is, "I disagree with Neal because I feel the sources reflect a broader use of the term that warrants more than a disambig page, and here's my sources." That's civil. I don't respond to personal attacks (with the occasional exception), so that's probably why you're not getting what you want from people. Who wants to talk to someone who's belligerent?
Now, if you play nice, I'd be happy to respond, as I've said on many occasions. Here they are in the order you put them above.
First question: My access to sources is none of your business. I have already shown where you were mistaken using your sources.
Second question: I already showed you the source that says in Europe "spiritualism" is used often to refer to Idealism. The Declarations of Principles you added were unsourced. You can't add draft material to articles. I explained that to you clearly.
Third question: You almost doubled the article with partially sourced material and expected editors to figure out what was legitimate information and what wasn't. Drafted material should be complete when it is installed. I explained that to you clearly as well.
Fourth question: Again (as I explained to you clearly), only some of the information was sourced. Draft material needs to be complete. You shouldn't add a Declaration of Principles for example without sourcing. For all anyone knows, it's your personal manifesto. I explained all of this to you on that article's talk page. And you're still adding unsourced material in with the sourced stuff as of this timestamp. Who is supposed to clean that up and source it for you when you're the one who wrote it?
Unnumbered question: I did respond to your "Modern Spiritualism" or "Modern American Spiritualism", see above in "Evidence and weeding of synthesis". Your sources for that were published in the 1800s, when it actually was "modern".
I can not emphasize this any more clearly. Stop with the uncivil comments and personal attacks, now, seriously. --Nealparr (talk to me) 06:19, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
As I pointed out to Anthon, I have given two references; one contemporary and one contemporaneous. I also provided on your talk page another example. On this one I actually agree with the use of Google, see, [13]. For an example, Modern Art is still called "Modern Art" ... even though it dates back as far as Modern Spiritualism. Again, please check the multiple academic sources given to assure this.
Regarding the other sources, you have not because, as far as I understand, you don't have access to them, e.g. the book on the Buddhist nun referred to Bonpo practises.
If you check my edits, I continue to add references and citations on the articles. From my perspective, if one does not have a good knowledge of a topic, one really should limit one's editing of it. Beyond a certain point, editing topics require some knowledge or expertise, vis a vis the role and acceptance of Declaration of Principles etc. Personally, I think they should have their own article in time (... but only as soon as it can be assured that good edits or articles are not going to trashed left, right and center).
To be honest, spiritualism within philosophy is NOT regarded the same as idealism. Indeed, especially in French philosophy, it is one of three major themes and occupies the middle ground between the two. Given that Leibniz, Feuerbach, Engels, Chersterton et al were given to discuss it in exactly that terminology, I - especially with a European background - think it is fair for us to do so.
With regards your generally remarks of unsourced inclusions of definitions, see the bottom of the page to the accumulated definitions given from numerous encyclopedia and dictionaries. it was there from the beginning but as it was a broad reference, I moved it to the bottom.
I think that answers all your questions. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 08:12, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
The most contemporary source for "Modern Spiritualism" listed is 1903, during the years of Spiritualism. If you'd like to find a more contemporary source than that, great, but 1903 is too old. The Google search is fine for a prima facie demonstration, but the source in this actual article needs to be a current one. I'm sure you can find one.

Regarding the other sources, you have not because, as far as I understand, you don't have access to them, e.g. the book on the Buddhist nun referred to Bonpo practises.

Again, the book is right here. I already linked to it before. You can read it, you can search it, and it doesn't say anything about spiritualism. What you need is a source that synthesizes Bonpo with spiritualism.
Britannica says that in Europe spiritualism is often used to refer to Idealism. I am quite sure it is also used to refer to many different things. That's the whole point of a disambig page. You say:
  • Spiritualism refers to ___
  • Spiritualism also refers to ___
and so on.
Familiarity with the subject is your assumption. You don't know me and you don't know what I'm familiar with.
Finally, you still haven't explained why this page shouldn't be a disambiguation page. You've talked at great length about multiple uses, and about how America shouldn't own the term, but that's exactly what disambiguation pages are for. This page makes it seem that it's all the same thing, that Leibniz's use is the same as Native American use, and the Modern Spiritualism religion's use. It doesn't disambig at all. It equates it all as one big shamanistic ground to all these things, and it's not. Buddhist Bonpo is not Native American shamanism. This is neither Bonpo or Native American shamanism, or related in the least to Plato or Descartes. It's a mashup when it should be a disambig. --Nealparr (talk to me) 08:37, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


I've stated my objections to the content, and have other more pressing things to do. So I just wanted to leave a note in case someone had a question for me that I may not get to right away. --Nealparr (talk to me) 04:44, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Intro sentence[edit]

I've now examined the first three sources in the article, those used to support the assertion of the first sentence: "Spiritualism is a term commonly used for various psychic or paranormal practices and beliefs recorded throughout humanity's history[1] and in a variety of cultures.[2][3]"

As I've already stated there is nothing in the first source (Conan Doyle) supporting that assertion. In the Lang source (footnote 3), there is also nothing--simply the use of "spiritualism" as a synonym for animism (the book is in Google Books, see page 50). By the way, the book is not "contemporary", it was first written in 1887 (the Google books version is from 1901). The Kucich reference (footnote 2) DOES take a broad view similar to that espoused by the author of the first sentence. But Kucich makes clear (in his Introduction--see Google books) that he is doing something unusual, and that the motivation is "political" (page xii) (i.e., he wishes to speak of the African and American Indian influences on Spiritualism); Kucich is a professor of literature, apparently a post-modernist. Tally: one real cite in support, two fake cites.

Conclusion: The initial sentence isn't true, because the word "commonly" is certainly not true. And if the word "commonly" can't be included, then what's the point of an article about this? --Anthon.Eff (talk) 22:47, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Looking over the text of this article, I see that it has become a giant disambiguation page, and really says very little about what Spiritualism is as a concept. The drive to include every cultural application of the belief in communication with discarnate entities has made something of a monster that serves no master. All of the information is good, but more appropriately found in its individual article. Tom Butler (talk) 17:10, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Could someone take it upon himself to boil this inchoate mass down into a more usable frank disambiguation page? Nihil novi (talk) 20:42, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
The eventual disambiguation page would have a name such as Spiritualism (disambiguation). I could write the initial version of that. But then there is the issue of what to do with all of this material in the current article. The author should be given the opportunity to keep it, in a sandbox, because perhaps with more reading and reflection it could mature into something encyclopedic. As it stands now, it should be nominated for deletion. But let's not move precipitously--if the move is successful, then nomination for deletion would be the logical next step. I believe the page is no longer protected against a move, but an administrator needs to close the move proposal before it can be done. --Anthon.Eff (talk) 22:47, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

This is really an answer to both Anthon's comments and Neal's above. Again Anthon, I think you have Modern Spiritualism and the general use of spiritualism confused. One one hand you criticise a direct quote as WP:COPYVIO, on the other hand you contrive paraphrasing as WP:SYN ... the first statement is entirely non-controversial given, a) the amalgamated dictionary definitions first given when this page was started, and b) the weight of evidence proved throughout the references and citations used. To suggest the term is not used broadly is ... what more can I say? I am very happy for additional material to be added define "what spiritualism is" and have done so. Someone might want to offer critical POV to balance all the non-critical documentation of spiritualism across the planet.
  • Holding the example of the football topic in mind for a moment ... the reason this is not, and cannot be a disambiguation page is that disambiguation page are used where the same word is used for entirely different means, e.g. voodoo; a video card, fighter jet ... oh, and some old fashioned hoodoo too.
  • With spiritualism, the difference is that the same word is used to describe the same phenomena internationally and, increasingly, across historically too. Something that is recognised by the major authors and organizations of Modern Spiritualism. If you want me to present a list of 10 or more contemporary references to the use of Modern Spiritualism, then I can do so.
Either you are just honest and state that you are pushing your POV (to re-take the generic term for the specific religious movement) because it appears awfully lazy to say that the latest mention of the term Modern Spiritualism is nineteen-oh-whatsit. This is the problem when individuals are either unable to read the citations or not bothered to do so.
IMHO, to continue to asserts so underlines a lack of knowledge and awareness of the topic. I offer the example on the NSAC's website, today;
  • Ancient and Modern Spiritualism; so often in a lecture or a book, we hear the term "Modern American Spiritualism". Why Modern? It is Modern Spiritualism to distinguish it from the ancient form of Spiritualism, for spiritual manifestations and communications between the physical world and the spiritual world have been evident and recorded by all civilizations. In fact, every religion that has ever been, has registered Spirit manifestations. Most all of the great spiritual leaders conversed or communicated with spirits although they were called other names, such as devas, pitris, gods, ancestral spirits, ghosts and magic ... Thus, to make a short phase long, this is why we call our religion, MODERN AMERICAN SPIRITUALISM. [14]
Peronsally, I accept the NSAC as a higher authority in the matter than any of we editors of this topic. Does this not seem reasonable?
As an aside, I would love to hear how the mechanics of the spiritual healing, mediumship or even channelling of, say, an African marabout who does miraculously differs from that of, say, a Brazilian Kardecist ... or Mrs Edna Fairclough of Godalming, Surrey (SNU accredited)*. Come on guys, admit it. Its all just a guise to try and take back "spiritualism" as a whole for "Modern American spiritualism". --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 08:40, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
  • real identity hidden
I really don't think you get it. You said: With spiritualism, the difference is that the same word is used to describe the same phenomena internationally and, increasingly, across historically too. That's not the article you're writing. You're writing an article about shamanism, which does appear in every culture, and then equating that with Western philosophers like Plato, Leibniz, Descartes, etc., and wrapping it all together and saying it's all the same thing. That's, frankly, BS. Same word, maybe, same thing, not at all. Talking to spirits is not what Western philosophers were talking about. None of the people you have listed under "Usage" said go talk to spirits, and none of them advocated the practices you have under "Spiritualistic activities". It's an appeal to authority of Western philosophy. Then you're taking the shamanistic practices of actual "spiritists" and equating it with every form of shamanism on the planet, again, saying it's all the same thing, and again, it's not. Asian shamanism is not the same thing as African shamanism and not the same as shamanism in the Americas, and even if it were, it's more frequently called "shamanism". I don't know what purpose you're doing all of this for, but Wikipedia is not a soap box. I haven't even begun to talk about the neutrality problems with what you wrote. The reason it needs to be a disambiguation page is exactly because it is the same term with different usages. You can't equate it all as the same thing. --Nealparr (talk to me) 11:18, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
A good test in situations like this is to look at how other encyclopedias treat the topic. Look at Encarta, Britannica, Columbia, and World Encyclopedia. None of them mix or equate "spiritualism" (in terms of communicating with spirits) with Western philosophy. --Nealparr (talk to me) 12:21, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Neal's point is true, and we've discussed that repeatedly--it would help matters, Lucy, if you would simply acknowledge the correctness of his point (that it's foolish to have an article in which all homonyms of the same word are treated as the same thing). It would also help, Lucy, if you try to address the points raised. I began this thread with the point that the three sources given do not support the first sentence: "Spiritualism is a term commonly used for various psychic or paranormal practices and beliefs recorded throughout humanity's history[1] and in a variety of cultures.[2][3]" By agreeing or disagreeing (with reasons stated, of course), you will help us move on in this discussion.
You've raised a few asides. The quote from the NASC is probably the best thing you've presented yet in support of your position for a small-s spiritualism (embracing, according to the quote, every religion known to humanity). My reply, though, is that the usage of the NASC is not our guide for what belongs in this encyclopedia. An article on Spiritualism (as used by NASC websites) could claim that quote as authoritative. An article simply on Spiritualism must use the word the way in which it is most commonly used.
The phrase "Modern Spiritualism" can be found fairly often. But take a look at the references in the Spiritualism article. All of the titles use "Spiritualism", none use "Modern Spiritualism". Is it the NASC or the NAMSC? Is it the SNU or the MSNU? Not only is the religious movement by far the most common use of the word "Spiritualism", but by far the most common name for the religious movement is "Spiritualism".
Like you, I'm fascinated by how mediumship occurs within a wide variety of religious traditions, and am also interested in animism. But I wouldn't try to put all of those ideas together here on WP, because this is an encyclopedia, aiming to put knowledge out in little boxes, where general cultural agreements determine the content of those little boxes. If I wished to put together my own ideas on mediumship and animism, I would take advantage of the gratis Google Page Creator offer, and make my own website. --Anthon.Eff (talk) 15:22, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree with NealParr and Anthon. First I need to say that the NSAC should not be taken as an authority on Spiritualism. They should be taken as an authority on NSAC Spiritualism. They are a religion and no pretense is made to be religious scholars. Even in the Declaration of Principles, you will see considerable differences amongst the various umbrella organizations. In fact, I would not be able to support the other versions without exception, as I do the NSAC Principles.

Lucy said, "With spiritualism, the difference is that the same word is used to describe the same phenomena internationally and, increasingly, across historically too. Something that is recognized by the major authors and organizations of Modern Spiritualism." This is a point of view which appears to be unique to you. The "major authors and organizations of Modern Spiritualism," are talking about the common practice of spirit contact. They are not calling the groups conducting these practices "Spiritualists."

If we were to continue your approach, then it would be necessary to include EVP, Botkin's Induced After Death Communication, Also that of Moody, nead-death studies, reincarnation studies and the New Age card readers. A common denominator of all of these is communication with a loved one or a friend. They by no means approach the contact as a religion, but the practice is virtually the same and so by your point of view, should be included as spiritualism. Tom Butler (talk) 17:20, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

The problem with the NSAC source is that as a primary source their statements are only reliable enough when it concerns their views, not views as facts. In other words the view that communications between the physical world and the spiritual world have been evident and recorded by all civilizations, and that this is spiritualism, must be attributed as their view and not presented as a flat fact. A comparative example would be the Theosophy claim that their philosophy is based largely on Eastern mysticism. It's fine to say Theosophists believe their philosophy is based on Eastern mysticism, but you can't say Theosophy is based on Eastern mysticism, especially when most scholars say that Theosophists cherry-picked Eastern mystic practices and created something unrecognizable to the original. So while it may be the view of the NSAC that people have always been communicating with spirits, that Plato was the first spiritualist or whatever, that it's all spiritualism, it's not a flat fact/truth. It's just their biased opinion, or what they believe to be true. --Nealparr (talk to me) 19:29, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Nealparr, I agree about your comments concerning NSAC. A statement to the effect that the NSAC says they believe this or that and as attributable to the NSAC is evidential, but a statement that the NSAC claims something outside of the belief system should be sourced to material reasonably supporting those claims. The example you used for instance, but also the claim by NSAC that the phenomena of Spiritualism are scientifically proven. In the claim of scientific support must be taken as a matter of belief unless it is substantiated. There happens to be fairly substantial body of support for that view based on turn-of-the-century research, but I doubt that any of the research would stand the muster of modern science.
And that is the second problem that has been brought up in this discussion. When is a reference valid for an online encyclopedia? (Emphasis is on "online" being researchable online.) I do not know the answer to that question, but I do know that, if there is more recent work, then it should be preferred. I will add as a personal preference and one we are implementing in the AA-EVP as possible, more available references take precedence and online references that do not require membership are first choice.
I know this is a little off-subject, but this bombardment of unrelated material and references makes it difficult for me to participate and forces me to question the authenticity of the article on grounds of obscure references. Had there not been such a determined effort to push a point of view, I would not normally make an issue of this. As it is ... Tom Butler (talk) 21:58, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
If the subject of Spiritualism passes the Wikipedia standard for notability (it certainly does), and if the sources that are used meet the standards for good sources, and if the sources reliability represent the subject; then that is all that is needed for a good article. It is not the job of editors to decide the truth of Spiritualism's positions and claims, because that would involve the editors in original research. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 22:28, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
All you said is true. It is just that you left out the point of the disagreement here. It is true that some of the sources are being questioned, but some of the items they pertain to do not belong in this article. I was just bitching about sources that the average person cannot access for verification, and that I have the sense these sources need verifying. If we are going to live in a go-no-go world here, then I would vote to either go with a disambiguation page or include every single instance of contact with the other side that has ever occurred.
Blind adherence to the letter of wiki law without considering intent and intent of the article has managed to turn the article into a nightmare. Tom Butler (talk) 00:22, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
My underlining of the NSAC reference was merely to counter Neal's uninformed opinion that the most recent use of the term "Modern Spiritualism" was in the early 1900s. The SNU's position is similar [15]
  • Of course that assertion of his was wrong. I could have chosen from 100s of current usages of the term in academia (which I alone seem to be referring to) and general use. All you need to do is google.
Again, I raise the football card. Of course, the correct name for American Football is just that but once introduced in a paper, article or conversation, or in common usage in America only, it is then referred to as just "football". Entirely confusing for the rest of the world who play football with their feet not hands.
To be honest, I have never read any papers on shamanism, only those relating to spiritualism and spiritualist pratices. It is outside of my speciality. But what little I have read about shamanism traditions is that by no needs are all of its practises are related to spirits and equally not all of its practitioners are spiritualists. So, no. I would have to disagree. (Although I suppose, as interest bit of WP:OR, one could suggest that the Victorian Spritualists were the shamans of their time and place).
I am sorry to underline this Neal but, to me, this is down to your confusion and lack of knowledge of the available academic literature on this topic (although I suppose we could introduce a section on spiritualism within shaman traditions if it could be specified and adequately referenced) and I would prefer if you would clarify what your POV actually is, e.g. paranormalist or anti-spiritist (i.e. the religious aspects). Perhaps then I could understand the strength of your feelings about it.
How is it possible to discuss the academic literature when no one is going any further than their own cultural POV and Google!?! I am sorry Neal but I have watched your edits around this subject and from the very beginning it was clear that you were headed way off course, e.g. over the spiritualism (philosophy) move and so on. I am equally sorry but English is international language and we have to meet the enquiries of an international audience.
From my POV; Anthon is trying it on to mix everything up with animism. You are trying it on to mix everything up with shamanism. But underlining both is a desire on behalf of American editors to retake a widely used generic term, i.e. spiritualism, for their own cultural application of it ... where there are far better and more accurate terms for it, e.g. Modern American Spiritualism. All this chat and irrational instability over the topics (e.g. reversions) is just wasting good editing time. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 01:47, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Your source for "Modern Spiritualism" is a book written in the early 1900s. I never said there's no recent use of the term somewhere else. I said your source has problems. Your material, synthesis of sources, and original research are the problems here, that's all. You can stop acting like everyone is ignorant but you when I've already pointed out serious problems with what you've written based on the sources you yourself provided. --Nealparr (talk to me) 03:39, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

its impossible to have a discussion with individuals who will not read detailed responses. I answered your (entirely unfounded) comments about the 1900 book and pointed you to the many current and institutional academic references relating to Modern Spiritualism --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 07:30, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Time to act on the servey[edit]

Context, context, context! When you talk to am American, you think Super Bowl. When you talk to a British person, you think head butting a ball and riots in the street. When you talk about Spiritualism, you think about the system of belief known as Spiritualism. When you talk to a Shaman, you think of shamanic practices. Sounds like Intellectual 101 to me.

"Irrational instability" can be cured by less irrelevant American bashing and a little more negotiation. So far, you have only negotiated as long as it has been your way. When it has not gone your way, you hijacked the article. You are right, that is very Un-American. Tom Butler (talk) 02:24, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposed document tree[edit]

This is a document tree that everyone should be happy with. It incorporates Lucy's international use, Anton's historical use, and my point that Western philosophy should not be mixed with, nor confused with, the information in this article.

  • Spiritualism - Keyword
    • Spiritualism (disambiguation) - A page for links to the following
    • Spiritualism (religious movement) - The keyword "Spiritualism" should redirect here for notablity reasons. As shown through Encarta, Britannica, Columbia, and World Encyclopedia it is what most English speaking readers will be looking for. Disambig link at the top points them to the other uses.
    • Spiritualism (beliefs and practices) - This page, with a slight name change. This page, whatever it's original intent, has developed into an international "beliefs and practices" page. It should not include the Western philosophy use because that is extremely different than what we're talking about in this article.
    • Spiritualism (Western philosophy) - Currently there is a "Spiritualism (philosophy)" page that links to "idealism" (closest match on current Wikipedia articles). That gets renamed to "Western philosophy" so there's no confusion over this page which also has philosophical ideas, but ideas that are wholly different from Western philosophers. (Note, already moved it to "Western philosophy" since there's no contention over this issue).

There is absolutely no reason why everyone should not be happy with this fix as it addresses everyone's concerns. The actual disputes over content of the individual articles are separate issues that don't pertain to this document tree or organization of the pages. --Nealparr (talk to me) 04:17, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Why not give it a try? Nihil novi (talk) 05:52, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm OK with this too, though it falls a bit short of keeping the title Spiritualism on the original article. But in the spirit of compromise...
If we do this then the move issue is moot, so perhaps we should hear from everyone first. Tom? Lucy? RChappel? Martin? Malcolm? John? Do we follow Neal's suggestion? --Anthon.Eff (talk) 15:22, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The tree looks good to me. I still have a problem with "religious movement." It would be better as "religion" or "As a religion." As it is, the title sounds like the dead religion club. Even so, the parsing looks right so lets use it. We will see how it implements. Good move Neal.Tom Butler (talk) 16:32, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support But I would prefer calling it just a 'movement', not a 'religious movement', because it had no unified set of religious beliefs. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 18:47, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I misunderstood. I think the article on the "Spiritualism" that began in New York State in 1847 should revert to its original title, "Spiritualism." Nihil novi (talk) 01:33, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Do I understand correctly that Spiritualism is just a redirect that links to Spiritualism (disambiguation)?
There are already redirects from Modern Spiritualism and Modern American Spiritualism etc that take care of the additional terms. Certainly "religious movement" is broadly used in the literature. I have no strong feelings against that and it is likely that it would be used as a search topic. Do we take the discussion about whether we limit Spiritualism (religious movement) to 1940 to 1920 (which does make it a "dead religion club" back to that page or address it here?
It is worth applying a little thought to these and related topics as there are a web of cross-overs. It would be good if someone could sit down and graphically map all these out. I would like a little time to think it over, e.g. it moves this topic over towards mediumship and does not highlight the universal/international nature of the phenomena. There are really only 3 main usages though and the minor ones could just be parked in the disambiguation page. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 07:51, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Where Spiritualism redirects is up in the air. What this document tree proposes is renaming Spiritualism (beliefs) to Spiritualism (beliefs and practices) and creating a new page, Spiritualism (disambiguation) that links to the various articles. Are you opposed to either of those? --Nealparr (talk to me) 07:58, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate that you have worked with Dreadstar before Neal, but the move that has happened does seem to have gone beyond the discussion on both pages.
How do you account for this? --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 06:35, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
You'll have to be clearer. What's your complaint this time? --Nealparr (talk to me) 07:25, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Made the changes per above[edit]

I created the disambiguation page and renamed the "beliefs" page to Spiritualism (beliefs and practices). Remaining is the question of whether "Spiritualism (religious movement)" is renamed to "Spiritualism", or something else. Discuss... --Nealparr (talk to me) 17:17, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

As I flagged up on the other talk page. The moves all happened without a clear consensus and beyond the remit of the discussion. --Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 08:31, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
The related discussion: [16] Feel free to chime in and express your views. --Nealparr (talk to me) 08:36, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

"Spiritualism ("religious movement," "movement" or "as religion")?[edit]

Malcolm, I agree with you in that Spiritualist churches are not well organized under a single umbrella. But neither is Christianity. Just as the many denominations of Christianity are united by a common belief in the divinity of Jesus, Spiritualist churches are united by the belief in the existence of discarnate entities, the mediumship of trans-communication and the mediumship of trans-influences, such as energy healing. No one would seriously call Christianity a religious movement from a modern perspective. In the same way, Spiritualism has been around for quite a while and is not some kind of cult movement that you need to keep away from the Cool Aid.

What it seems to come down to is who is naming the names. As far as I can tell, the ones doing the naming here only know Spiritualism from the perspective of old text that were probably written by Christians. As I said, the subtitle is not a show stopper, just unnecessary Tom Butler (talk) 00:16, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

If the article intended to describe what the philosophy of spiritualism is as it developed after the Fox Sisters, then I would think periods such as 1920-1940 are rather arbitrary. Lucy, I suppose you have some academic that likes that division. Is he a Spiritualist? I would be more inclined to look at the evolution of the organized churches and their time periods. (In which case, "movement" would work and the article would be just a historical account with individual articles for the many manifestations. Remember that, once a list is begun, it is seldom finished. Better not to make lists as you have done Lucy.)
History is not my strong suit. Besides verifiable and appropriate references (facts that correctly inform and not facts that exist because an academic said so), I have only one litmus test for an article about Spiritualism: Can I find the philosophy/religion I know in the article and is there room for the other expressions? Spiritualism has many expressions, it is also very small when compared to the world's major religions, but it is very much alive and well. It has not been a "movement" for quite a while, unless you mean that other religions are beginning to adopt some of the practices. In that case, you need to name the article "Spiritualism, the philosophical movement.
Let me give you an example. In the twenty or so different Spiritualsit churches I have attended, I have heard zero references to Indian guides or messages designed to enlighten anyone. Yet one of the Spiritualism (religious movement) articles, under "Characteristic Beliefs" suggests that mediumship is all about trans-communication for enlightenment from old indian guides who are now closer to god. Any trained Spiritualist understands that "dead" does not equal enlightened. Trance mediumship tends to include enlightenment because there is more opportunity to ask questions, but the vast majority of mediumship activity involves communication with loved ones. Mediumship is an important tool for grief management, whether or not the individual messages have been verified by science. Look at the Forever Family Foundation for instance [17]. They are not Spiritualist as a religion, but they even certify mediums.
As I said, this is not a show-stopper for me. The current name does seem to me to be academic arrogance, but I saw the same in the naming of EVP: phenomena or phenomenon. Tom Butler (talk) 19:03, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
For instance on the issue of reincarnation. For some Spiritualists, such as Allan Kardec, it is a core belief. But Carl Wickland denies that there is any such thing as reincarnation, and Oahspe states flatly that to teach reincarnation leads to evil. I see no basis for calling Spiritualism even a very diverse religion. It is a movement that has in common a set of methods for contacting the spirit world. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 20:08, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, that settles it then. Spiritualism must not be a religion. Tom Butler (talk) 22:49, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Move closed[edit]

The move is closed and Spiritualism is now back to what it used to be. --Anthon.Eff (talk) 23:08, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Lucy, the move was discussed. Much more than the move you made. Take a breath and try to find a different way to express your thoughts. Tom Butler (talk) 07:05, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I am glad to see the disambiguation page. I would be happier if "Spiritualism" redirected to the disambiguation page rather than the Spiritualism (religion) page, though I do see that at the very top of the Spiritualism (religion) page is a link to further information on spiritualism. This has been my key concern, that the compiling of information done by Lucy here is quite useful for people wanting to research spiritualism further, it covers a lot of ground and is backed up plenty with citations which can be further researched by anyone interested as well. I apologize for not being able to keep up with negotiations on this page, I have been too busy with personal concerns to be able to keep up with it for the past week. I am glad to see this page was not removed as had been threatened. I believe, in this case, more information for interested researchers and readers IS of much more benefit as long as it's not erroneous information. Thanks for your work on this page, Lucy. (and by the way I'm an American originally from Tennessee) R. Chappell (talk) 16:43, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


Why is spritiualism considered to be dualism? Steve Dufour (talk) 00:13, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

All spiritualism presumes a fundamental dualism of mind and matter. I have been trying to organize many belief, -isms, and theory articles under their appropriate categories under the theories category tree. I am interested in making sure that spiritual and religious theories are also covered under the metaphysics category tree, however I am not interested in spiritualism being kept under philosophical theories directly or metaphysics directly (because it's not real philosophy). Placing spiritualism under dualism accomplishes what I am am trying to accomplish category-wise... and it makes sense. Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 00:48, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I guess in that sense it works. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:33, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was no consensus for move, especially given the earlier discussion (with wide participation) that resulted in the current name. Abecedare (talk) 10:19, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Spiritualism (beliefs)Spiritualism — The more general title "Spiritualism" should be reserved for the most general concept (people who believe that there is such a thing as spirit: Spiritualism). More specific instances should have more specific titles (a particular monotheistic group: Spiritualist Church). Furthermore it is the general concept that people are wikilinking to with this name, not some specific group. Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 01:50, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Oppose: You are trying to stir up an old fight. What you see today is the solution after a lot of discussion. Why not read the talk page of Spiritualism?--Anthon.Eff (talk) 12:48, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, I have seen some discussion, however, I am unaware of any big fight. The "solution" of concocting "(beliefs)" really only serves to place a particular article in a prominent position it doesn't warrant. Words ending in -ism should be reserved exclusively for general terms, not any particular organization (consistent with all the other -isms). There are many and varied groups participating in "Spiritualism." Let's show some respect, by not favoring any particular one because of an accident of naming. Incidentally, the proper name of the organization currently described in Spiritualism is not "Spiritualism" so that alone requires attention.Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 21:41, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment:Let me repeat myself, Spiritualism is not an "organization". The Spiritualist Churches ARE organizations. They are a subset of Spiritualism, which through most of its history was "unorganized" (let me invite you again to read the article). As to whether all beliefs in spirit are properly called Spiritualism, that's not at all clear (even what is meant by spirit is not at all clear). But the most common use of the word Spiritualism is certainly the religious movement, beginning in the United States in the 1840s, and widespread until the 1920s. By WP:NCCN the article Spiritualism is correctly named.--Anthon.Eff (talk) 20:44, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Response: The organized/nonorganized Spiritualism is irrelevant really. This is a theistic version of Spiritualism which is less general than Spiritualism (beliefs) and therefore it is only right, fair, appropriate and consistent to move it. Yes all beliefs in "spirit" consist in some form of spiritualism as covered in Spiritualism (beliefs). No the most common use of the word "Spiritualism" does not consist in the religious movement dating from the 1840's. Not by a very long shot?!?! I am quite surprised by that claim. Most folks never heard of them, but everyone has heard of the general concept. It is quite unfair and inconvenient to those readers looking for and linking to it. Perhaps moving it to Spiritualism (theism) or Spiritualism (movement) would be more appropriate. Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 02:25, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

For the edification of all, the entry on Spiritualism from the Oxford English Dictionary. The first two definitions are archaic synonyms for "spirituality". The third is the common usage of the word. The last is a usage found in early anthropology, as a synonym for animism. Greg's attempt to hijack the meaning is something off this list entirely--sounds like he's using it as a synonym for dualism.--Anthon.Eff (talk) 02:39, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

1. The exercise of the mental or intellectual faculties, or their predominance over body. rare.

1831 CARLYLE Sart. Res. II. viii, Savage Animalism is nothing, inventive Spiritualism is all.

   2. a. Tendency towards, or advocacy of, a spiritual view or estimate of things, esp. as a leading principle in philosophy or religion.

1796 [see IDEAL n. 1]. 1836 LYTTON Athens (1837) II. 408 The serene and lofty spiritualism of Anaxagoras. 1857 ROBERTSON Serm. Ser. III. i. (1857) 6 We find the Unitarian of the old school denouncing the spiritualism of the new and rising school. 1869 SEELEY Ess. & Lect. v. 133 Religion re-assumed its ancient Judaic form of austere and ardent spiritualism. 1884 Contemp. Rev. Feb. 264 The very source of [Dante's] inspiration is the austere spiritualism of the Catholic creed.

   b. A spiritual view or aspiration.

1850 CARLYLE Latter-d. Pamph. vii. (1872) 224 Like a set of grisly undertakers come to bury the dead spiritualisms of mankind.

   c. Spiritual nature or quality.

1855 MILMAN Lat. Chr. XIV. ii. (1864) IX. 96 Dante [could] represent such things with the most objective truth, yet without disturbing their fine spiritualism.

   3. The belief that the spirits of the dead can hold communication with the living, or make their presence known to them in some way, esp. through a ‘medium’; the system of doctrines or practices founded on this belief. Cf. SPIRITISM. 
 Also specifically called modern spiritualism by way of distinction from sense 2.

1853 J. DIX Transatlantic Tracings xiv. 244 Every two or three years the Americans have a paroxysm of the present time it is Spiritual-ism. 1855 E. W. CAPRON (title), Modern Spiritualism, its Facts and Fanaticisms, its Consistencies and Contradictions. 1860 All Year Round No. 66. 370 Witchcraft, demonology, possession, and the like, revived in the modest phrase of Spiritualism. 1878 T. SINCLAIR Mount 37 Spiritualism, or, as its advocates name it now on both sides of the Atlantic, Spiritism. 1886 MYERS Phant. Living I. Introd. p. lix, On this basis the creed of ‘Modern Spiritualism’ has been upbuilt.

   4. Belief in the existence and influence of spiritual beings.

1850 J. R. LOGAN in Jrnl. Indian Archipelago IV. 552, I would proceed at once to facts illustrative of the different forms of spiritualism which prevail in Eastern Asia and Asianesia. 1867 E. B. TYLOR in Proc. R. Inst. V. 90 A slight acquaintance with the spiritualism of the savage has sometimes led to its being considered as the result of a degeneration from the opinions of more cultured races. 1871 TYLOR Prim. Cult. I. 385 The sense of Spiritualism in its wider acceptation, the general doctrine of spiritual beings, is here given to Animism.

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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