Buckland, who is prominent in Spiritualist circles, has provided a basic, readable encyclopedia of major terms, people, and events in modern Spiritualism. It is written by a believer for believers, and skeptics will not find much in it. The skeptical organization the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal gets one brief, unflattering reference in the introduction. Believers, and those curious about specific terms, practices, or people, will find this work helpful and informative.
Some 500 entries range from short paragraphs to a page or two, and each entry includes a list of sources, often other works by Buckland. Examples of entries include Astral projection; MacLaine, Shirley; Near death experiences; Nostradamus; Seance; and Tarot cards. Boldface terms have their own articles within the dictionary-format text. The index is detailed. The chapter on "Resources" includes both print resources and online sites. Illustrations include both photographs and drawings that should reproduce well, and the writing is accessible without being overly casual.
Recommended for academic libraries with popular religion collections and public libraries where there is an interest in Spiritualism and similar beliefs. Kathleen Stipek
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"Students of the goofily strange will go for this encyclopedia of clairvoyance, channeling and spirit communication. -- PEOPLE magazine, October 31, 2005