(Spiritualism). Belief in intercommunication bet. mortals and departed spirits. Spiritists study psychic phenomena and explain them in terms of discarnate spirits. They believe development is continued in the hereafter, but deny the deity of Christ and the existence of devil, demons, and angels and try to unite evil and good, falsehood and truth, vice and virtue.
Marriage is not regarded as a divine institution but as based on laws of human nature and as the result of natural and spiritual affinities; the two parties united are not so much united into one flesh as virtually into one spirit and soul; divorces are to be freely given when desired by one or both.
The Nat. Spiritualists' Assoc. of the USA was organized 1893; name changed later to Nat. Spiritualist Assoc., Inc., and (in the 1950s) to Nat. Spiritualist Assoc. of Chs.. The Morris Pratt Institute Assoc., founded 1901, supports and promotes the work of the NSAC.
Cf. Dt 18:914; see also Ancestor Worship; Fox, Margaret.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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