Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Spritism religion in Brazil - a religão Espírita - η Θρησκεία του Πνευματισμού στην Βραζιλία

In the second half of the nineteenth century a general interest in spirituality, especially mediumistic phenomena, spread through Western countries. It became a heterogeneous social movement that shared a belief in the existence and survival of spirits after death, and in their communication with the living, known as ‘modern spiritualism’ (Braude, 1989; Doyle, 1926/1975; Trimble, 1995).
In 1855 in France, Hippolyte-Léon Denizard Rivail, an intellectual pseudonymously called Allan Kardec, planned to perform a scientific investigation on the supposed manifestations of spirits. Once convinced of the veracity of the phenomena, he aimed to develop a method to obtain valid knowledge from communication with spirits. After comparing and analysing the answers obtained through mediums from different countries, Kardec organized the information into a single theory in 1857. The resulting philosophy he called ‘Spiritism,’ or ‘Spiritist Doctrine’ (Kardec, 1857/1994), defined as ‘a science which deals with the nature, origin and destiny of Spirits, as well as their relationship with the corporeal world’ (Kardec, 1859/1995). Kardec regarded Spiritism as a science and philosophy with essentially moral implications, and
not as a religion – as it is more usually regarded.1
Spiritism adopts a dualistic concept of the human being. It postulates that we are, essentially, immortal spirits that temporarily inhabit physical bodies for several necessary incarnations to attain moral and intellectual improvement. It also implies a possible beneficent or maleficent influence of the spirits over the incarnate human.
Spiritist Codification is the customary name given by spiritists to the set of books written by Allan Kardec between the years 1857 and 1868 which are considered to contain the fundaments of Spiritism:
Contents
1 The Spirits' Book
2 The Mediums' Book
3 The Gospel According to Spiritism
4 Heaven and Hell
5 The Genesis According to Spiritism

Definido como um sistema filosófico, científico e religioso, o Espiritismo, enquanto proposta doutrinária, surge na segunda metade do século XIX, a partir da codificação coordenada por Allan Kardec (pseudônimo do educador francês Hyppolite Leon Denizard Rivail), de cinco obras bibliográficas básicas (O Livro dos. Espíritos,. O .Livro. dos. Médiuns, .A Gênese,. O .Céu e o
Inferno, O Evangelho Segundo o Espiritismo), consideradas o pentateuco do Espiritismo. A grosso modo, o espiritismo baseia-se em três premissas básicas:1) A pluralidade das existências, ou seja, o espírito passa por diversas encarnações, que tem por objetivo a promoção de sua evolução;2) A evolução do espírito é contínua e inexorável, até que este atinja a condição de espírito perfeito;3) Há comunicação entre os dois planos habitados pelos espíritos: o plano material e o plano espiritual.
Organizado sob a forma de perguntas e respostas, O Livro dos Espíritos (lançado, em sua primeira edição em 1857), pretende fornecer interpretações espíritas, os aspectos fundamentais do Cosmos e da Natureza Humana. Neste sentido, é possível identificar elementos que possam nortear a explanação sobre questões referentes à sexualidade e situações de conjugalidade.

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