Fieldwork in Religion, Vol 3, No 2 (2008)

Meeting the Spirits: Puerto Rican Espiritismo as Source for Identity, Healing and Creativity

Bettina E. Schmidt
Issued Date: 15 Jan 2010


Spiritism based on Allan Kardec’s teaching (1804–1869) has influenced Latin America since the nineteenth century. This article presents the development of Puerto Rican spiritism (espiritismo) and its central ideas before illustrating the significance of espiritismo for Puerto Ricans. It will show the involvement of espiritismo in the establishment of Puertorriqueñidad, the sense of belonging to the island. It will explain the therapeutic offers of spiritist healing, and it will illustrate the creative energy of espiritismo that inspires Puerto Rican artists to the present day.

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DOI: 10.1558/firn.v3i2.178

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