Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The belief that the dead communicate with the living, as through a medium.
  • n. The practices or doctrines of those holding such a belief.
  • n. A philosophy, doctrine, or religion emphasizing the spiritual aspect of being.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A philosophic doctrine, opposing materialism, that claims transcendency of the divine being, the altogether spiritual character of reality and the value of inwardness of consciousness.
  • n. A belief that the dead communicate with the living through a medium having special powers.
  • n. The quality or state of being spiritual.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being spiritual.
  • n. The doctrine, in opposition to the materialists, that all which exists is spirit, or soul -- that what is called the external world is either a succession of notions impressed on the mind by the Deity, as maintained by Berkeley, or else the mere educt of the mind itself, as taught by Fichte.
  • n. A belief that departed spirits hold intercourse with mortals by means of physical phenomena, as by rappng, or during abnormal mental states, as in trances, or the like, commonly manifested through a person of special susceptibility, called a medium; spiritism; the doctrines and practices of spiritualists.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being spiritual; spiritual character.
  • n. In philosophy, the doctrine of the existence of spirit as distinct from matter, or as the only reality: opposed to materialism.
  • n. The belief that disembodied spirits can and do communicate with the living, especially through the agency of a person particularly susceptible to spiritualistic influences, called a medium; also, the various doctrines and theories, collectively, founded upon this belief.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. concern with things of the spirit
  • n. the belief that the spirits of dead people can communicate with people who are still alive (especially via a medium)
  • n. (theology) any doctrine that asserts the separate existence of God

Etymologies

spiritual +‎ -ism (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term spiritualism has come to signify more than has usually been ascribed to it, for some recent authors are now using the term to denote

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 520, December 19, 1885

  • Still, as I said, the only way for a homosexual to believe in spiritualism which accepts homosexuality, Buddhism is the only faith.

    Religion And Sexual Ethics « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

  • The Sherlock Homes stories certainly seem to endorse logic and science, and yet he was involved in spiritualism and in the Cottingley Fairies affair.

    The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

  • There's clearly some serious value that smart, ethical people derive from participation in spiritualism and even organized religion.

    Boing Boing

  • And you're describing the United States which is much more hyper-charged in spiritualism and ideology than most people think.

    America in Foreign Eyes

  • This slushiness, like his sporadic interest in spiritualism and the occult, is of exactly the sort that he was best at lampooning — most especially in the Princess Diana — like person of Madeleine Bassett, a ghastly girl who thinks that the stars are God's daisy-chain.

    The Honorable Schoolboy

  • It抯 hardly surprising then that some in the Jewish community are angry at the way the centuries-old spiritualism is being used as a catch-all life improvement service.

    Old-time religion of Madonna and child

  • Among his recreations were an interest in spiritualism and the writing of a few dramatic works.

    Charles Richet - Biography

  • The generic term spiritualism, which I began by using merely as the opposite of materialism, thus subdivides into two species, the more intimate one of which is monistic and the less intimate dualistic.

    A Pluralistic Universe Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the Present Situation in Philosophy

  • Mr. Barkas believes, and we cordially agree with him, "that the common practise of spiritualism is injurious to mind and body, and entirely unnecessary to Christian men and women who possess a reasonable faith; that those who practise it render themselves liable to pernicious obsession; that there is a considerable analogy between some forms of modern spiritualism and ancient witchcraft, sorcery, and necromancy; and that the less we become devotees of modern spiritualism the better we shall succeed in the Divine life."

    Echoes of the Week

Comments

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  • 1831 CARLYLE Sart. Res. II. viii, Savage Animalism is nothing, inventive Spiritualism is all.

    May 22, 2008