Icelandic Spiritualism Mediumship and Modernity in Iceland

by Loftur Reimar Gissurarson

Icelandic Spiritualism Mediumship and Modernity in Iceland Synopsis

Icelandic Spiritualism is an engaging social anthropological study of the place of spiritualism in Icelandic church and society during the first half of the twentieth century. Challenging standard theoretical approaches to the study of religion, the book contributes a wealth of data on the history of religion and psychical research, presenting it in a vivid descriptive narrative. The authors trace the role of the spirit world in Icelandic culture, giving particular attention to the distinctive history of Iceland's conversion to Christianity. They focus on the appearance of modern spiritualism as a distinct phenomenon in Icelandic life. The book studies the interaction between various groups in fin-de-siecle Icelandic society, not least in the state church, as mediumistic phenomena became widely reported through the newspapers. To some, Icelandic spiritualism may be considered a deviant case of Protestantism. What makes this book interesting, however, is that the spiritualism is seen as integral to Iceland's transition to modernity. While Icelandic Spiritualism concentrates mainly on the first half of the twentieth century, it also provides a summary of the continuation of spiritualist phenomena up to the current period. This intriguing study will be of interest to theologians, philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists.

Icelandic Spiritualism Mediumship and Modernity in Iceland Press Reviews

-William A. Swatos's original interest was in the process of secularization. In directing his attention to research on Icelandic society, however, what he discovered, in this seemingly secular lecture, was a significant presence of spiritualism. In conjunction with Loftur Reimer Gissurarson, Swatos decided to explore the presence of spiritualism in Iceland at the turn of the century. It is the theoretical aim of this study to redress . . . a major weakness in contemporary sociology of religion.- --Ann Preston Hoffman, The Journal of Religion William A. Swatos's original interest was in the process of secularization. In directing his attention to research on Icelandic society, however, what he discovered, in this seemingly secular lecture, was a significant presence of spiritualism. In conjunction with Loftur Reimer Gissurarson, Swatos decided to explore the presence of spiritualism in Iceland at the turn of the century. It is the theoretical aim of this study to redress . . . a major weakness in contemporary sociology of religion. --Ann Preston Hoffman, The Journal of Religion William A. Swatos's original interest was in the process of secularization. In directing his attention to research on Icelandic society, however, what he discovered, in this seemingly secular lecture, was a significant presence of spiritualism. In conjunction with Loftur Reimer Gissurarson, Swatos decided to explore the presence of spiritualism in Iceland at the turn of the century. It is the theoretical aim of this study to redress . . . a major weakness in contemporary sociology of religion. --Ann Preston Hoffman, The Journal of Religion

Book Information

ISBN: 9781560002734
Publication date: 30th November 1996
Author: Loftur Reimar Gissurarson
Publisher: Transaction Publishers an imprint of Taylor & Francis Inc
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 270 pages
Categories: Religion: general,

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