Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

An interesting discussion of mediumship in Brazil in presented by Bettina E. Schmidt in her article : “Spirit Mediumship in Brazil: The Controversy about Semi-Conscious Mediums” (Diskus: The Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, 17, 38-53). Here is the abstract:

“This article focuses on spirit mediumship in Brazil. The term mediumship refers to the communication between humans the spirit world which is the core of Spiritism. In anthropological literature it is often categorised as altered states of consciousness, however, people experiencing it reject these categorizations. This article presents excerpts from interviews with Brazilian spiritists in order to illustrate the different ways people explain mediumship to an outsider, an anthropologist from Europe. The article then discusses their interpretation within the wider academic discourse surrounding this kind of experience. The intention is that Brazilian Spiritism and the wider discourse surrounding mediumship will serve as a case study to present the complexity of this form of religious experience.”