The Rise of Contemporary Spiritualism

Concepts and Controversies in Talking to the Dead

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Anne Kalvig
Studies in Death, Materiality and the Origins of Time
  • New York, NY: 
    Routledge
    , October
     2016.
     118 pages.
     $160.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781472466884.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Ethan Doyle White forthcoming.

Description

Talking to the dead and communication with 'the other side' is often presented as a taboo in an increasingly technological and medically advanced world. However, practices of spiritualism and mediumship continue to remain popular and in high demand within contemporary Western societies. This book analyses the practices of today’s mediums, who insist on standing at the threshold between life and death, interpreting signs and passing on communications, and asks how such concepts and practices are perceived by contemporary society. Using first-hand material gathered from alternative fairs, mediumistic congresses, séances, and interviews with both practitioners and clients, as well as thorough textual analysis, Anne Kalvig provides a clear overview of the various forms of consumption of mediumship in Western society and places these within a socio-cultural, religious and historical context. She also raises questions as to the controversies surrounding spiritualism and its representation and relationship with popular culture and the media. This book will be of interest to researchers in the field of sociology, religious studies, folklore, media studies and anthropology as well as to anyone interested in the upsurge of contemporary spiritualism, psychic phenomena and the paranormal.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Anne Kalvig is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Stavanger, Norway.

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