Spiritualism: A Popular History from 1847

by Joseph Martin McCabe


Joseph Martin McCabe was born on November 12, 1867. At the age of 15 he began training in the Franciscan order, and in 1890 was ordained. He was praised for his excellent scholarly work, especially in philosophy and was selected to study at the Catholic University of Louvain. By February 1896, he left the priesthood after losing his faith. Of his experience, McCabe wrote From Rome to Rationalism, published in 1897, and later the expanded version, Twelve Years in a Monastery.

McCabe was a truly prolific writer, publishing over 250 works. He became a secretary of the Leicester Secular Society, a founding board member in 1899 of the Rationalist Press Association, a member of the South Place Ethical Society, the National Secular Society, an advocate of women’s rights, associated with the Rationalist Association, and much more throughout his life.

McCabe was extremely critical of the spiritualism movement. Among other confrontations, in 1920 McCabe debated the famous author Arthur Conan Doyle, a spiritualist advocate. This work is a collection of arguments against spiritualism, and debunks many of its popular claims. McCabe felt spiritualism was a collection of tricks.

The new edition of this volume is dedicated to those scholars and scientists studying the perplexing history of spiritualism.