Alfred Deakin Institute
The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) is a leading humanities and social sciences research institute based at Deakin University, Australia. Our researchers aim to understand the complex meanings of citizenship, social inclusion and globalisation, and investigate the imp

Projects

Let the Dead speak: Social Engagement in Spiritualism

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.


We are interested in how spirit communication, which is still common in Australia, fosters social engagement and influences family relationships
— A/PROF ANDREW SINGLETON, ASSOCIATE HEAD OF SCHOOL (RESEARCH)
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Project Team

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


Project funding

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