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Q&A: What is Spiritism?


I am interested in Spiritism, a type of ideology or religion, which I think started in Brazil. Can you help me find sources?


Starting with our online catalog, Socrates, and just searching the term spiritism, I get 49 titles. Scrolling down to Samba in the night : spiritism in Brazil and looking at the Detailed Record, I see Subject headings (LC) such as Spiritualism Brazil; you can click on these to get other books.

A great source is ATLA, a database with resources for religious and theological scholarship. It includes journal articles, essays, and book reviews. For example, I found a book review (scroll down to Hess, David J.: Spirits and Scientists), which looks like Hess's work gives a good historical perspective and discussion of the issues involved in Spiritism. Checking Socrates for the title Spirits and Scientists: Ideology, Spiritism and Brazilian Culture, you can see we own the book and that it has an extensive bibliography. Also, look at the subject headings.

Go back to your ATLA search and scroll through the results. You can also go up to the Choose Databases tab at the top and also select Academic Search Premier, a multidisciplinary database that offers additional content.

If you'd like some statistics on followers of Spiritism, by country, check Adherents.

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