Spiritual Matters: American Spiritualism and Material Culture


ACLS Project Development Grants


Religious Studies


“Spiritual Matters” examines the material culture of American Spiritualism to reveal remarkable and major shifts in American religion. Spiritualism emphasized the spirit, the ephemeral, and the intangible, and it depended on material culture. “Spiritual Matters” interrogates this dynamic and argues that American Spiritualists saw themselves in an interconnected world that included the ethereal and the material. In the process, I narrate an important period in American religious history—one in which the world was an increasingly modern place and still a magical one. This grant will support important archival research and writing during the 2020–2021 year.