spiritualism is an excellent focal point from which the various dynamics inherent in the Victorian society can be examined and understood
One example of the cultural contextuality of death practices and beliefs:
As with Victorian religion and society at large, spiritualism sought to successfully integrate the traditional spiritual beliefs with the new tenets and methods of science (and the new confidence inspired by science). One writer claimed that “authority, in the world of physical science is backed up by the knowledge that it can always be checked,” as assertion that the modem religions of the nineteenth century and spiritualism hoped to be able to duplicate.
Thanks, medical science.
Interesting also that the author describes the relationship between “the scientific approach to spiritualism” and “the new field of psychology”, particularly how spirtualists rationalised their science using theoretical constructs of the self that were emerging in my own field:
One writer applauded the discovery of the concept of “personality,” of a mental being wholly separate from the physical self, and related this as a “scientific proof” of the possibility of the “survival of the human personality after physical death.”
Points to a new rationalisation during that period of the concept of a soul separate from the physical human: “The general principle of spiritualism, that the soul was immortal, was seen to be proven by science”. This has been under debate throughout human history, and seems to be learned at an early age.
Frankenstein was, of course, the artificial intelligence debate of the Romantic Period.
In Gregory, C. (1989-1990). A Willing Suspension of Disbelief, The Student Historical Journal, Vol 21: Loyola University.