Let the Dead speak: Social Engagement in Spiritualism

Project overview

This is a unique, three-year investigation of the sociological, anthropological, and historical dimensions of Spiritualism in Australia, a small but highly influential religious movement. Ideas about the afterlife that Spiritualism introduced to Australia in the 19th century have shaped many citizens’ beliefs that individual personality survives death in a family-centered spirit realm.

Sociologically, the project aims to discover how Spiritualism articulates with the wider Australian religious context. Anthropologically, it aims to examine ritual forms in which Spiritualists attempt to speak with the dead. Taken together, the researchers plan to innovatively map the production and effect of belief on family, civic participation and ethics.

Our team

Associate Professor Andrew Singleton
Associate Professor Matt Tomlinson (Australian National University)

We are interested in how spirit communication, which is still common in Australia, fosters social engagement and influences family relationships

Associate Professor Andrew Singleton

Associate Head Of School (Research)

Project funding

This project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant Scheme: DP170100563