Le kardécisme : un nouvel avatar initiatique?

Abstract : Spiritualism appeared in the USA around 1848 as a popular religious movement which emphasized charisma. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean it took on the form of a doctrine influenced by progressivism and anticlericalism as instigated by Allan Kardec, its French “codifier” who named it in 1848. Finally it underwent a “religiosification” in Brazil in the following decades. Nowadays modern Kardecism is considered to be one of the prevailing religions in Brazil and has followers all over the world. This research aims, first, to deal with contemporary Kardecist observance on the three historical continents of its elaboration. The comparative ethnography of the centers visited in San Francisco’s Bay Area (USA), in Paris (France) and in Salvador (Bahia, Brazil) reveals a stabilization of Kardecism around common references. The profiles of the “converts”, the procedures, and the characteristics and status of knowledge within the groups are all elements that point to the formation of a transnational Kardecist identity standardized despite minor variations in local practices. Secondly, we will focus on Kardecism as an initiatic manifestation. Concern for the self, both moral and experimental, required by the learning of mediumship and the “personal reform” which are the two pillars of the doctrine, is central to an ontological transformation, the mainspring of the initiatic process. Indeed initiation promotes a “change of status” in the personhood of the candidate for initiation. But initiation also involves awakening a sense of the Sacred in the candidate. However, the mediumnic interaction – i.e. the relationship between the medium and his/her spirits – remains somehow mysterious. These mentioned characteristics of initiation do seem preserved in modern Kardecism but in a diluted, rationalized form. Can then Kardecism help recognize the evolutions of the Sacred ?
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Claire Souillac. Le kardécisme : un nouvel avatar initiatique?. Sociologie. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité; Universidade federal da Bahia, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018USPCA065⟩. ⟨tel-02147403⟩



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