First published in 1969, this title explores the origins of Spiritualism as a religious movement. The first part is a history of Spiritualism, with a focus on its origins within America and the development of the organisation within itself. Next, Nelson considers the rise of Spiritualism in Britain, using evidence taken from contemporary journals, other publications and interviews. Finally, the Spiritualist movement is analysed in terms of sociological theory, looking at the Church and the definition of a Cult, as well as concepts of authority and leadership. This is a fascinating work, which will be of great interest to students researching the origins and development of the movement of Spiritualism and its relationship with society.
Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I: The Origins of Modern Spiritualism 1. Beginnings in America 2. The Phenomena of Spiritualism 3. Early Sources of Spiritualism 4. America 1840-60 5. Social Causes of the Rise and Fall of American Spiritualism; Part II: Spiritualism in Britain 6. Movement and Organization 7. The Growth of Organization 8. The Development of Religious Institutions 9. Spiritualism in the Twentieth Century 10. Recruitment and the Child 11. Spiritualism Today 12. Beliefs and Practices; Part III: Sociology and Spiritualism 13. Church, Sect and Cult 14. Authority, Leadership and Organization 15. Social Sources of Spiritualism; Appendix; Statistics of British Spiritualism; Bibliography; Index
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