Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-century America

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Indiana University Press, Jan 1, 2001 - History - 268 pages
10 Reviews
In Radical Spirits, Ann Braude proposes that the engagement of women in the Spiritualism movement, with its belief in the direct accessibility of divine truth to individuals through spirit communication, not only provided a religious alternative to male-dominated mainstream religions, but also gave women a social and political voice as well. Because Spiritualists found in their faith a direct divine sanction for advancing social change, many of the women involved with Spiritualism were also tied to the early women's rights movements and to the radical wing of the movement for abolition of slavery. Thus, the early women's rights movement and Spiritualism went hand in hand.
While much has changed in the academy since the book was first published, feminist historians continue to view religion as the enemy of women's emancipation, while historians of religion see signs of feminism in women's religious activities. Ann Braude proposes to address this scholarly impasse and to press further her argument for the importance of religion in the study of American women's history.
In this new edition, Braude discusses the impact of the book on the scholarship of the last decade and assesses the place of religion in interpretations of women's history in general and the women's rights movement in particular. A review of current scholarship and suggestions for further reading make the book even more useful for contemporary teachers and students.
  

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Review: Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America

User Review  - El - Goodreads

Referenced in The Reluctant Spiritualist: The Life of Maggie Fox. Read full review

Review: Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America

User Review  - Kristi - Goodreads

I really loved this book, beginning with the very first sentence in the "Acknowledgments." Braude has written a fascinating and balanced blend of social, gender, and religious history. She examines ... Read full review

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Contents

My Souls Thraldom and Its Deliverance
1
All Beings
10
The Blessedness of Sinless Childhood in the World Beyond
32
Thine for Agitation
56
The Meaning of Mediumship
82
The Body and Soul Destroying Marriage Institution
117
Mediums versus Medical Men
142
No Organization Can Hold Me
162
The Same Hand that Guided Me Here
192
ABBREVIATIONS
203
REFERENCES
239
INDEX
257
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Ann Braude teaches at the Harvard Divinity School and is co-editor of Roots of Bitterness: Documents in the Social History of American Women.

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