By Cathy Gutierrez
In its day, spiritualism introduced millions of american citizens to s?ance tables and trance lectures. It has alternately been ridiculed because the apogee of fatuous credulity and hailed as a feminist flow. Its tips were uncovered, its charlatans unmasked, and its heroes' names misplaced to posterity. In its day, even if, its leaders have been family names and politicians nervous approximately taking pictures the Spiritualist vote. Cathy Gutierrez areas Spiritualism within the context of the 19th-century American Renaissance. even if this epithet often indicates the unexpected blossoming of yank letters, Gutierrez issues to its unique which means: a cultural mind's eye enraptured with the prior and the classics particularly, followed through a cultural efflorescence. Spiritualism, she contends, was once the spiritual articulation of the yank Renaissance, and the ramifications of taking a look backward for suggestion in regards to the current have been far-reaching. The Spiritualist flow, says Gutierrez, was once a 'renaissance of the Renaissance,' a tradition in love with background up to it trumpeted growth and futurity, and an expression of what constituted non secular wish between burgeoning know-how and colonialism. Rejecting Christian principles approximately salvation, Spiritualists embraced Platonic and Neoplatonic rules. people have been shot via with the divine, instead of noticeable as helpless and inexorably corrupt sinners within the arms of a transcendent, offended God. Gutierrez's research of this interesting and critical stream is prepared thematically. She analyzes Spiritualist conceptions of reminiscence, marriage, medication, and minds, explores such phenomena as machines for contacting the lifeless, spirit-photography, the belief of everlasting non secular affinity (which implied the need for marriage reform), the relationship among healthiness and spirituality, and mesmerism.