Messages from Beyond

Messages from Beyond : Spiritualism and Spiritualists in Melbourne's Golden Age 1870-1890

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Description

With its seances, mediums, trances, magnetisers', table-tilting and other mysterious psychic phenomena, the Spiritualist movement attracted media frenzy and public furore, but also many deeply serious converts - often highly intelligent and talented people who rejected orthodox religion in favour of scientific rationalism. Spiritualists sought rational, discoverable answers' to life's mysteries. They sought to 'prove' empirically the continued existence of the human personality after death, while maintaining - somewhat paradoxically - that the movement was a genuine religion. In Messages from Beyond, Al Gabay shows that for most believers the seance was not a 'scientific' enterprise but a religious and highly ritualised event. In this fascinating history, he explores the origins of the Spiritualist movement and relates its rise and fall to the wider intellectual and religious currents in colonial Australian society.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.8 x 17.8mm | 362.88g
  • Melbourne University Press
  • Carlton, Australia
  • English
  • Annotated
  • Annotated edition
  • 13 b&w photos
  • 0522849105
  • 9780522849103
  • 1,681,027

About Al Gabay

Dr Al Gabay is Senior Lecturer in History and Religious Studies in the School of Arts and Education at La Trobe University (Bendigo campus). He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals on aspects of the spiritualist movement in Australia, and is the author of The Mystic Life of Alfred Deakin (CUP, 1992).show more