spiritualism


spir·i·tu·al·ism

noun \ˈspir-i-chə-wə-ˌli-zəm, -i-chə-ˌli-, -ich-wə-ˌli-\

: a belief that the spirits of dead people can communicate with living people

Full Definition of SPIRITUALISM

1
:  the view that spirit is a prime element of reality
2
a :  a belief that spirits of the dead communicate with the living usually through a medium
b capitalized :  a movement comprising religious organizations emphasizing spiritualism
spir·i·tu·al·ist \-list\ noun often capitalized
spir·i·tu·al·is·tic \ˌspir-i-chə-wə-ˈlis-tik, -i-chə-ˈlis-, -ich-wə-ˈlis-\ adjective

First Known Use of SPIRITUALISM

1796

spiritualism

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Belief that the souls of the dead can make contact with the living, usually through a medium or during abnormal mental states such as trances. The basis of spiritualism is the conviction that spirit is the essence of life and that it lives on after the body dies. A medium is a person sensitive to vibrations from the spirit world, who may hold meetings known as séances in order to seek messages from spirits. A “control” is a spirit that gives messages to the human medium, who in turn gives them to other people. Spirits are also thought to manifest themselves through such means as rapping or levitating objects. Some spiritualists claim powers of paranormal healing. Scientific study of spiritualist phenomena has been the focus of the Society for Psychical Research, founded in Britain in 1882. See also theosophy.

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