Spiritism – A General Summary of the Religion

Spiritism is a philosophy, religion, and a way of life originated in the 19th century by French educator Hypolite Leon Denizard Rivail, Pen name Allan Kardec (1804-1869).  Rivail began using his pen name “Allan Kardec” after his communication with a spirit whom identified itself as “Zefiro”.  He decided to continue to use the name Allen Kardec when writing of his Spirit communications.  The Spirit writings were generally written for high school students at that time.  His first published book on Spiritism signed “Allan Kardec” was published April 18, 1857 entitled “The Spirits Book”.  The subject was over a thousand answered questions that people had posed to Kardec in recent years.  The book incidentally became the first of the five books that makes up the Spirtist Codification.

There has been some debate on the official religious status of Spiritism.  Various classifications consist of philosophy, a way of life, religion, and a brank of science.  It has been listed in numerous religious data banks as a Christian denomination, specifically of the “Marginal Christian” denomination group, which consists of approximately 1600 denominations such as Spiritualist, Spiritist, and many other Marginal Christian denominations.  Coincidentally, Camille Flammarion (French Astronomer and author) who happened to deliver Kardec’s Eulogy when he passed away in Paris March 31, 1869, voiced her opinion on Kardec’s classification of his Spiritism invention as “not a religion but a science”. 

To understand Spiritism one must first understand Allan Kardec.  It wasn’t until he was in his 50’s when he discovered his interest in spirits and strange phenomenon.  During the time of his initial interest, there was a large and notable need for assistance in this area, specifically within the United States and France (the vast majority of the people affected by spiritual events were found to be of the “high society” crowd). 

Allan Kardec was not formally trained above the high school level in any area.  He had never attended a college or university.  All of his knowledge was accumulated through self-education and research.  Kardec developed a common sense approach of educating himself within the spirit world and all that it implies.  He took his time and developed questions to ask those who were in the field.  Through his research methods, experiments, and persistence, he became not only well versed in the spiritual world; he became a teacher, and founded a new…

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