Plato's Ghost

Plato's Ghost : Spiritualism in the American Renaissance

3.2 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
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In its day, spiritualism brought hundreds of thousands of Americans to seance tables and trance lectures. It has alternately been ridiculed as the apogee of fatuous credulity and hailed as a feminist movement. Its tricks have been exposed, its charlatans unmasked, and its heroes' names lost to posterity. In its day, however, its leaders were household names and politicians worried about capturing the Spiritualist vote. Cathy Gutierrez places Spiritualism in the context of the 19th-century American Renaissance. Although this epithet usually signifies the sudden blossoming of American letters, Gutierrez points to its original meaning: a cultural imagination enraptured with the past and the classics in particular, accompanied by a cultural efflorescence. Spiritualism, she contends, was the religious articulation of the American Renaissance, and the ramifications of looking backward for advice about the present were far-reaching. The Spiritualist movement, says Gutierrez, was a 'renaissance of the Reshow more

Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 162 x 238 x 28mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 18 black and white halftone, 4 line illustrations
  • 0195388356
  • 9780195388350
  • 1,180,331

Review quote

an original and keenly intelligent study of nineteenth-century American spiritualism, one poised to transform scholarly opinion on its heterodox subject ... as fascinating as it is lucid and lively. * Christine Ferguson, Journal of American Studies *show more

Table of contents


About Cathy Guiterrez

Guiterrez is the Associate Professor of Religion at Sweetbriar Collegeshow more

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