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spiritualism

[spir-i-choo-uh-liz-uh m] /ˈspɪr ɪ tʃu əˌlɪz əm/
noun
1.
the belief or doctrine that the spirits of the dead, surviving after the mortal life, can and do communicate with the living, especially through a person (a medium) particularly susceptible to their influence.
2.
the practices or phenomena associated with this belief.
3.
the belief that all reality is spiritual.
4.
Metaphysics. any of various doctrines maintaining that the ultimate reality is spirit or mind.
5.
spiritual quality or tendency.
6.
insistence on the spiritual side of things, as in philosophy or religion.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35; spiritual + -ism
Related forms
spiritualistic, adjective
spiritualistically, adverb
antispiritualism, noun
antispiritualistic, adjective
Can be confused
spirited, spiritual, spiritualistic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for spiritualism
  • Since ancient times people have marked their bodies as a form of cultural spiritualism.
  • Also, spiritualism and the search for meaning are in vogue.
  • He is talking a lot less about architecture and spiritualism these days.
  • The movie's fuzzy pop-spiritualism carries a disturbing implication.
  • His spiritualism studies also influenced some of his science fiction.
British Dictionary definitions for spiritualism

spiritualism

/ˈspɪrɪtjʊəˌlɪzəm/
noun
1.
the belief that the disembodied spirits of the dead, surviving in another world, can communicate with the living in this world, esp through mediums
2.
the doctrines and practices associated with this belief
3.
(philosophy) the belief that because reality is to some extent immaterial it is therefore spiritual
4.
any doctrine (in philosophy, religion, etc) that prefers the spiritual to the material
5.
the condition or quality of being spiritual
Derived Forms
spiritualist, noun
spiritualistic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for spiritualism

in philosophy, a characteristic of any system of thought that affirms the existence of immaterial reality imperceptible to the senses. So defined, spiritualism embraces a vast array of highly diversified philosophical views. Most patently, it applies to any philosophy accepting the notion of an infinite, personal God, the immortality of the soul, or the immateriality of the intellect and will. Less obviously, it includes belief in such ideas as finite cosmic forces or a universal mind, provided that they transcend the limits of gross Materialistic interpretation. Spiritualism as such says nothing about matter, the nature of a supreme being or a universal force, or the precise nature of spiritual reality itself.

Learn more about spiritualism with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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