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Is Spiritism a religion?

Is then Spiritism a religion?

Yes, of course it is Dear Sirs, it is a religion in the philosophical sense which honor us very much since it constitutes the doctrine through which the fraternity bounds and the communion of thoughts are based upon solid supports: the very laws of Nature, and not upon simple conventions.

Why did we not declare Spiritism as a religion? Because there is just one word to express two different ideas. Also because, according to the general opinion, the word religion is inseparable from the notion of cult. This, however, brings the idea of form to which Spiritism bears no relation at all. Had it been declared as a religion, people would have taken it as a new edition of absolute principles of faith, together with their new cast of priests, hierarchical processions, ceremonies and privileges. They would not distinguish it from the ideas of mysticism and the mistakes of which it is very well free.

Since, according to the usual meaning of the word, Spiritism have no relation to religion, it could not or should not present itself under a title whose meaning gives rise to inevitable misunderstandings. This is the reason for it to present itself just as a moral and philosophical doctrine.

Allan Kardec [In ``Le Spiritisme est-il une religion?'' - Revue Spirite, p. 357, 1868. Trans. by A. L. Xavier Jr.]