RADICAL SPIRITS SPIRITUALISM AND WOMENS RIGHTS IN NINETEENTH CENTURY AMERICA SECOND EDITION

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Radical Spirits

Author : Ann Braude
ISBN : 025334039X
Genre : History
File Size : 83.89 MB
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In Radical Spirits, Ann Braude proposes that the engagement of women in the Spiritualism movement, with its belief in the direct accessibility of divine truth to individuals through spirit communication, not only provided a religious alternative to male-dominated mainstream religions, but also gave women a social and political voice as well. Because Spiritualists found in their faith a direct divine sanction for advancing social change, many of the women involved with Spiritualism were also tied to the early women's rights movements and to the radical wing of the movement for abolition of slavery. Thus, the early women's rights movement and Spiritualism went hand in hand. While much has changed in the academy since the book was first published, feminist historians continue to view religion as the enemy of women's emancipation, while historians of religion see signs of feminism in women's religious activities. Ann Braude proposes to address this scholarly impasse and to press further her argument for the importance of religion in the study of American women's history. In this new edition, Braude discusses the impact of the book on the scholarship of the last decade and assesses the place of religion in interpretations of women's history in general and the women's rights movement in particular. A review of current scholarship and suggestions for further reading make the book even more useful for contemporary teachers and students.
Category: History

Spiritualism In Antebellum America

Author : Bret E. Carroll
ISBN : 0253114179
Genre : History
File Size : 23.30 MB
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"At a time when the New Age movement is starting to make good on the Spiritualists' vision of America as a 'grand clairvoyant nation', Carroll's work raises provocative questions about the tension betwen freedom and authority in the harmonial religions of today." -- Church History "... offers the most comprehensive, sane examination of its topic yet available, no mean achievement for a subject long afflicted by religious partisanship and now perhaps in danger of sympathetic attraction." -- Journal of American History "... fascinating reading it will be for those with a taste for good scholarly writing and a love of the American past and the manifold varieties of the spiritual quest." -- The Quest "In addition to being an excellent introduction to mid-19th-century Spiritualism, Carroll's work also offers scholars a new vantage point from which to view the religious creativity that was so prominent in antebellum America in general." -- Choice During the decade before the Civil War, a growing number of Americans gathered around tables in dimly lit rooms, joined hands, and sought enlightening contact with spirits. The result was Spiritualism, a distinctly colorful religious ideology centered on spirit communication and spirit activity. Spiritualism in Antebellum America analyzes the attempt by spiritually restless Americans of the 1840s and 1850s to negotiate a satisfying combination of freedom and authority as they sought a sense of harmony with the universe.
Category: History

Talking To The Dead

Author : Barbara Weisberg
ISBN : 0061755168
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 84.61 MB
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A fascinating story of spirits and conjurors, skeptics and converts in the second half of nineteenth century America viewed through the lives of Kate and Maggie Fox, the sisters whose purported communication with the dead gave rise to the Spiritualism movement – and whose recanting forty years later is still shrouded in mystery. In March of 1848, Kate and Maggie Fox – sisters aged 11 and 14 – anxiously reported to a neighbor that they had been hearing strange, unidentified sounds in their house. From a sequence of knocks and rattles translated by the young girls as a "voice from beyond," the Modern Spiritualism movement was born. Talking to the Dead follows the fascinating story of the two girls who were catapulted into an odd limelight after communicating with spirits that March night. Within a few years, tens of thousands of Americans were flocking to seances. An international movement followed. Yet thirty years after those first knocks, the sisters shocked the country by denying they had ever contacted spirits. Shortly after, the sisters once again changed their story and reaffirmed their belief in the spirit world. Weisberg traces not only the lives of the Fox sisters and their family (including their mysterious Svengali–like sister Leah) but also the social, religious, economic and political climates that provided the breeding ground for the movement. While this is a thorough, compelling overview of a potent time in US history, it is also an incredible ghost story. An entertaining read – a story of spirits and conjurors, skeptics and converts – Talking to the Dead is full of emotion and surprise. Yet it will also provoke questions that were being asked in the 19th century, and are still being asked today – how do we know what we know, and how secure are we in our knowledge?
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Ghosts Of Futures Past

Author : Molly McGarry
ISBN : 9780520274532
Genre : History
File Size : 75.4 MB
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“Ghosts of Futures Past is a path-breaking book of vast learning and scrupulous scholarship by a gifted writer. With an impressive command of a variety of cultural domains, Molly McGarry brilliantly rethinks and reframes the relations of gender and intellectual culture, of spiritualism and secularism, and of rationalization and modernity in ways that realign our understanding of the American cultural landscape in the nineteenth century.”—Thomas Bender, author of The Unfinished City: New York and the Metropolitan Idea "In discussing the transfiguration of bodies and genders in American Spiritualism, McGarry provides a fascinating critique of the secularist bias of much of the history of sexuality. This is perhaps the weightiest, the most thoughtful, the most powerfully original, of all the many contributions her book makes."—Henry Abelove, author of The Evangelist of Desire: John Wesley and the Methodists and Deep Gossip “What might American history of the nineteenth century look like if we were not in such a rush to declare religious faith supplanted by science? McGarry's book provides tantalizing answers, inviting us to consider a nineteenth-century America where Spiritualists persisted and where people had good reasons to mourn. She not only shows us the popularity and centrality of connecting the living to the dead, she argues convincingly that this spiritual practice shaped a whole host of other cultural narratives: gender, sexuality, medicine, race, and ethnicity.”—Kathi Kern, author of Mrs. Stanton's Bible
Category: History

Ghostly Communion

Author : John J. Kucich
ISBN : 9781611686913
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 69.99 MB
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In this exceptional book, Kucich reveals through his readings of literary and historical accounts that spiritualism helped shape the terms by which Native American, European, and African cultures interacted in America from the earliest days of contact through the present. Beginning his study with a provocative juxtaposition of the Pueblo Indian Revolt and the Salem Witchcraft trials of the seventeenth century, Kucich examin[e]s how both events forged "contact zones" - spaces of intense cultural conflict and negotiation - mediated by spiritualism. Kucich goes on to chronicle how a diverse group of writers used spiritualism to reshape a range of such contact zones. These include Rochester, New York, where Harriet Jacobs adapted the spirit rappings of the Fox Sisters and the abolitionist writings of Frederick Douglass as she crafted her own story of escape from slavery; mid-century periodicals from the Atlantic Monthly to the Cherokee Advocate to the Anglo-African Magazine; post-bellum representations of the afterlife by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Mark Twain and the Native Americans who developed the Ghost Dance; turn-of-the-century local color fiction by writers like Sarah Orne Jewett, Charles Chesnutt and Maria Cristina Mena; and the New England reformist circles traced in Henry James's The Bostonians and Pauline Hopkins's Of One Blood. Kucich's conclusion looks briefly at New Age spiritualism, then considers the implications of a cross-cultural scholarship that draws on a variety of critical methodologies, from border and ethnic studies to feminism to post-colonialism and the public sphere. The implications of this study, which brings well-known, canonical writers and lesser-known writers into conversation with one another, are broadly relevant to the resurgent interest in religious studies and American cultural studies in general.
Category: Literary Criticism

Talking To The Other Side A History Of Modern Spiritualism And Mediumship

Author : Todd Jay Leonard
ISBN : 9780595363537
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 48.19 MB
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Since its birth in 1848, Spiritualism as a religion, science, and philosophy has experienced great highs and lows. At the center of this purely American-made modern-religious movement are "mediums"-the people who are able to communicate, in some way, with spirit entities that are no longer on the earth plane. Based on three years of on-site investigation, and a plethora of data and research collected on the modern Spiritualist movement in America, Talking to the Other Side focuses upon the ethno-religious aspects of the religion, mediumship, and the mediums themselves. The first four chapters offer an expansive review of the history of religion in America, mediumship, and the Spiritualist movement. Chapters 5-7 comprise the research and data that were compiled and analyzed based on fieldwork analysis, a comprehensive questionnaire, personal interviews, and published literature on the topic of Spiritualism and mediumship. According to Spiritualist mediums, "people don't die, bodies do." Talking to the Other Side offers a contemporary look into the lives and backgrounds of the mediums who bridge this world and the Spirit world, connecting those who have passed over with those they left behind.
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Other Powers

Author : Barbara Goldsmith
ISBN : 9780307800350
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 53.93 MB
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From the author of Little Gloria . . . Happy at Last, a stunning combination of history and biography that interweaves the stories of some of the most important social, political, and religious figures of America's Victorian era with the courageous and notorious life of Victoria Woodhull, to tell the story of her astonishing rise and fall and rise again. This is history at its most vivid, set amid the battle for woman suffrage, the Spiritualist movement that swept across the nation (10 million strong by midcentury) in the age of Radical Reconstruction following the Civil War, and the bitter fight that pitted black men against white women in the struggle to win the right to vote. From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Strangers And Pilgrims

Author : Catherine A. Brekus
ISBN : 9780807866542
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41.19 MB
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Margaret Meuse Clay, who barely escaped a public whipping in the 1760s for preaching without a license; "Old Elizabeth," an ex-slave who courageously traveled to the South to preach against slavery in the early nineteenth century; Harriet Livermore, who spoke in front of Congress four times between 1827 and 1844--these are just a few of the extraordinary women profiled in this, the first comprehensive history of female preaching in early America. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Catherine Brekus examines the lives of more than a hundred female preachers--both white and African American--who crisscrossed the country between 1740 and 1845. Outspoken, visionary, and sometimes contentious, these women stepped into the pulpit long before twentieth-century battles over female ordination began. They were charismatic, popular preachers, who spoke to hundreds and even thousands of people at camp and revival meetings, and yet with but a few notable exceptions--such as Sojourner Truth--these women have essentially vanished from our history. Recovering their stories, Brekus shows, forces us to rethink many of our common assumptions about eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American culture.
Category: Social Science

Gothic Arches Latin Crosses

Author : Ryan K. Smith
ISBN : 9780807877289
Genre : History
File Size : 70.50 MB
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Crosses, candles, choir vestments, sanctuary flowers, and stained glass are common church features found in nearly all mainline denominations of American Christianity today. Most Protestant churchgoers would be surprised to learn, however, that at one time these elements were viewed with suspicion as foreign implements associated strictly with the Roman Catholic Church. Blending history with the study of material culture, Ryan K. Smith sheds light on the ironic convergence of anti-Catholicism and the Gothic Revival movement in nineteenth-century America. Smith finds the source for both movements in the sudden rise of Roman Catholicism after 1820, when it began to grow from a tiny minority into the country's largest single religious body. Its growth triggered a corresponding rise in anti-Catholic activities, as activists representing every major Protestant denomination attacked "popery" through the pulpit, the press, and politics. At the same time, Catholic worship increasingly attracted young, genteel observers around the country. Its art and its tangible access to the sacred meshed well with the era's romanticism and market-based materialism. Smith argues that these tensions led Protestant churches to break with tradition and adopt recognizably Latin art. He shows how architectural and artistic features became tools through which Protestants adapted to America's new commercialization while simultaneously defusing the potent Catholic "threat." The results presented a colorful new religious landscape, but they also illustrated the durability of traditional religious boundaries.
Category: History

Free Spirits

Author : Mark A. Lause
ISBN : 9780252098567
Genre : History
File Size : 28.47 MB
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Often dismissed as a nineteenth-century curiosity, spiritualism influenced the radical social and political movements of its time. Believers filled the ranks of the Free Democrats, agitated for land and monetary reform, fought for abolition, and held egalitarian leanings that found powerful expression in campaigns for gender and racial equality. In Free Spirits , Mark A. Lause considers spiritualism as a political and cultural force in Civil War-era America. Lause reveals the scope, spread, and influence of the movement, both in its links to reformist causes and its ability to amplify previously marginalized voices. Rooting spiritualism's appeal in the crises of the time, Lause considers how spiritualist influences, through the distillation of the war, forced reassessments of the question of Radical Republicanism and radicalism in general. He also delves into unexplored areas such as the movement's role in Lincoln's reelection and the relationship between Native Americans and spiritualists.
Category: History