Author: Emma Bragdon, PhD.

Foreword by Rustum Roy, PhD.

(Chairman: Friends of Health.  Member: U.S. National Academy of Science)

Lightening Up Press, 2004

Amazon.com: Softcover & ebook formats.


A fascinating read for armchair travelers…or anyone curious about the extraordinary Spiritist path of supporting spiritual evolution for people of all ages, without discrimination regarding culture, race, religion, or sexual orientation.   

There are 13,000+ Spiritist centers attending the spiritual needs of approximately 20-40 million people in Brazil.   The centers offer spiritual healing (similar to Reiki), disobsession (a form of spirit-release), as well as classes for all ages, and even medical care  in order to help people develop more wellbeing, compassion and wisdom.  Depending on the size of the community center they may also provide free  dentistry with qualified doctors, as well as a free soup kitchen and free clothing for the poor.  All services are free at the centers and subsidized by the government at the hospitals.

In the USA, you can’t get this kind of help unless you pay out of pocket to an individual, holistic practitioner or attend expensive seminars at growth centers.  Spiritist Centers offer a model of giving all people what they have a right to have to support wellness.  We need this model to improve our ailing health care system and appeal to the spiritual needs of people who are leaving traditional religion.

This is the only book that describes the diverse Spiritist community centers in Brazil.  With each individual chapter Emma Bragdon takes you on a tour of contemporary Spiritist Centers in Brazil, interviews leaders and students, and reveals what is so effective about the healing practices in these centers. Especially interesting for anyone getting acquainted with Spiritism and comparing it to Spiritualism.

The reader gets an introduction to the philosophy of Spiritism in today’s language.  Why is this important?  There is a lot of misinformation about Spiritism…and people outside Brazil generally don’t understand what this social movement is.  It is mistaken as a religion or a cult.  What’s true?  It’s a universal path–open to people of all faiths.  Christians call is a way of life of practical Christianity.

Spiritism-Editorial Reviews

Allan Kardec’s books have played an historic role in the development of several spiritual healing traditions, yet they are virtually unknown to the American public. (This book) attempts to rectify this situation. It is thoroughly researched and thoughtfully written. Many of Kardec’s insights seem surprisingly contemporary, even though he wrote them in the 1800s. Numerous spiritist centers base much of their diagnosis and treatment on Kardec’s pioneering discussion of what is now called “Energy Medicine”. — Stanley Krippner, PhD. Co-author, “Becoming Psychic”, “Extraordinary Dreams”, “Demystifying Shamans and their World: A Multidisciplinary Study“.

Dr. Bragdon is on the leading edge of issues that must be addressed if we are going to realize a transformation in the ways in which health care is currently conceptualized and delivered. The future lies in the development of capacities which lie latent within all of us, and in technology which is more commesurate with recent scientific developments. Dr. Bragdon’s book is an important step in that direction. — Jeffrey Rediger, MD, MDiv. Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA.

Health professionals in the West have become much more open to including spirituality in clinical work. While Kardec’s approach cannot be transferred en toto to contemporary medicine and psychotherapy, Dr. Bragdon’s cross-cultural study of Brazilian Spiritists is a rich resource for seeing how spiritual healing can be taught and practiced. — David Lukoff, PhD. Past Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

We are not just this body, or mind, or feelings. We are essentially the eternal spirit that has no end. I honor Bradon’s great respect for other cultural approaches and can quite clearly see a new spirituality coming from Brazil that will lead our world towards deep healing through a renewal of the teachings of Christ. — Marilyn Feldberg Founder and Director of World Youth Service and Enterprise

Written with insight and sensitivity, this book is an extraordinary introduction to the rich wellness tradition of Brazilian Spiritists. Authentic and lasting body wellness comes with a sound and well adjusted spirit. Dr. Bragdon captured the essence of this grassroots model that will one day transform our medical care environment. A book that has strength and soul. — John Zerio, President of the Allan Kardec Educational Society

In today’s world the rising cost of Health Care Insurance showsthe United States is headed for a time when only the rich can afford Health Care Insurance! Kardec’s Spiritism brings possibilities to light. There is indeed Hope we can avoid financial ruin when spiritual healing is combined with allopathic medicine.–Ron Holman, PhD. CEO of a Mental Health HMO

  Rustum Roy, PhD.

From Rustum Roy, PhD’s Foreword:

Emma Bragdon’s book offers a practical, down to earth, thoroughly researched (i.e. studied, with ample reproducible data),

possible partial solution to the U.S.’ problems. Unbelievable you say!? … well, read it first. As a physical scientist holding five

professorships in three Universities, elected to the National Academies of the U.S. and four major countries, and one who has

intensively studied the field of Whole Person Healing (much superior in accuracy, as a title, to CAM-complementary and

alternative medicine) for some years, I must say that some aspects of Bragdon’s suggestion are much more likely to stay the collapse

of the U.S. system than ANY research, ANY breakthrough, ANY gadget that our dominant high-tech paradigm can produce. More

gas in the tank, or a new battery, or repaired tires, have nothing to contribute to helping your car find its way in a strange city. This is

a long way to say: This book is extremely relevant and important to the future of American health care.


Reviews by Readers

I find Emma Bragdon’s book “Kardec’s Spiritism” excellent — so much so that I regret not having run across it earlier. It is very resourceful, very well written, with much information that I had no idea about and find quite exciting. Dr. Emma Bragdon has an appealing style of writing. As a person with impressive academic training, she comes to the point quickly and understandably. In a neutral, factual way she describes the basics of Spiritism and how it has taken hold in Brazil, and how it became the basis for thousands of alternative health care centers all over Brazil, a few of which she describes in good, factual detail. What is hard for many, in particular us Americans, to understand comes across quite impressively in this book, which is to what extensive degree this pseudo-religion — probably better termed “way of life” — is practiced with the absence of profit motives. I find it particularly intriguing how Emma Bragdon tackles the question what it might be that is underlying the widely documented successful phenomenon/reality of spiritual healing.
“Kardec’s Spiritism” is a book worth while reading; while researched over 7-10 years ago and first published 6 years ago, the book is essentially timeless. In this book, the author makes a highly relevant, well-documented comparison between the U.S. and Brazilian health care systems. This comparison is — sadly — still contemporary.
Well written, the result of tremendous research and dedication, once started, you will not put down this book.–Will H.

You can view other books and films by Emma Bragdon by clicking HERE.