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

I recently received from my colleague and friend, Alexander Moreira-Almeida, interviewed a while back in this blog (click here), an announcement about an important online project about the life and work of Allan Kardec (Hyppolite-Léon-Denizard Rivail), founder of Spiritism in France in the nineteenth century. The project, based in Brazil, is a unique use of the Web to disseminate information about the history of Kardec and Spiritism. I present below parts of the announcement of the project that Alexander sent me.

Allan Kardec

Allan Kardec

The Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) in Brazil launches next Tuesday (September 1st), in a virtual event, at 7 pm, the portal of the Allan Kardec Project, which gathers original manuscripts by Allan Kardec (1804-1869), a French thinker who studied psychic/spiritual phenomena and founded a spiritualist philosophy which he called Spiritism. The launch event can be followed live by TV NUPES on YouTube, at: https://youtu.be/fVpFmp9hdc4.

Despite Kardec’s influence, academic research on him and his work has a significant limitation: the almost total absence of primary sources of study, apart from the works he published. Now, more than 150 years after his death, many of his original manuscripts will be made public.

“The portal gathers letters written or received by Kardec, as well as working material, such as reflective texts and prayers that he wrote with his own hand,” says Professor Klaus Chaves Alberto Ph.D., one of the coordinators of the Allan Kardec Project, which currently gathers 13 researchers, and more than 20 collaborators.

Klaus Alberto

Klaus Chaves Alberto

The portal will make available 50 manuscripts collected in France, by Brazilian researcher Silvino Canuto Abreu (1892-1980) in the middle of the 20th century. Currently, this material is preserved at the Center for Documentation and Rare Works of the André Luiz Spiritist Foundation – FEAL (São Paulo-SP, Brazil).

For each manuscript, there will be a digitized version of the original, as well as a transcription in French and a translation into Portuguese. The website will be constantly updated. Hundreds of manuscripts will be made available as the university receives new materials from institutions or individuals who hold a relevant document.

According to Alberto: “The function of the portal is to collect, translate and disseminate original manuscripts and documents by Allan Kardec for free. We are already in negotiations with the AKOL Museum – Allan Kardec Online Museum, which also holds a large number of manuscripts. They are already being digitized and will be available soon for consultation. With everyone’s support, we should bring hundreds of new documents to the public soon.”

In addition to the manuscripts, the portal will provide information that will help contextualize the reading of this material. “The creation of mini-biographies of the people mentioned in the letters and whom Kardec maintained contact is in process.”

According to Prof. Alberto, the portal will also list academic papers and books published about Kardec and aims to become a reference for research worldwide on the topic.

Kardec Livre Esprits 1857

Kardec Livre des Mediums

Important Books by Kardec

The launch event of the Allan Kardec Project portal will feature the presentation of academic studies about the French thinker, his work, and its impact. The website and its features will also be presented. At the end of the event, the portal will be available to the public.

Here are the topics to be discussed and the participants of the event to launch the project.

Allan Kardec – Profile and Legacy

Marion Aubrée

Researcher at the Center for Research on Contemporary Brazil at the School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris, France. Author of more than 100 articles and three books, including La table, le livre et les esprits. Paris: Éditions Jean-Claude Lattès, 1990.

Marion Aubrée

Marion Aubrée

Brief Notes on the Reception and Academic Study of Kardec’s Work in Brazil

Marcelo Camurça

Full Professor at the Department of Science of Religion and its Graduate Program at UFJF. He is a productivity researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development who has investigated Spiritism in Brazil for about 20 years.

Marcelo Camurça

Marcelo Camurça

From Skeptical Professor to Founder of Spiritism: What Made Professor Rivail into Allan Kardec?

Marcel Souto Maior

Journalist and writer, author of 10 books, including biographies of Chico Xavier and Allan Kardec, adapted for the cinema. Screenwriter and director of Rede Globo TV.

Marcel Souto Maior

Marcel Souto Maior

Kardec’s Proposal for Research on the Spiritual Dimension

Marcelo Gulão Pimentel

Graduated in History from UERJ, M.Sc. in Health from Nupes-UFJF and Ph.D. in History from UERJ – State University of Rio de Janeiro. Professor of History at Colégio Naval.

Marcelo Gulau Pimentel

Marcelo Gulau Pimentel

Link to the launch event of the Allan Kardec Project portal: https://youtu.be/fVpFmp9hdc4 The portal can be accessed from the end of the launch event at: http://projetokardec.ufjf.br (this link will work after the launching event on Sept 1st)