31 Oct 2019

Speaking with the Dead

Erik R. Seeman. Speaking with the Dead in Early America. University of Pennsylvania Press. (1 November 2019)
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"For more than two decades, Erik R. Seeman has been the leading authority on attitudes toward death in the early modern Atlantic world, and Speaking with the Dead in Early America is his most imaginative and compelling work to date. Seeman reconstructs the surprising history of Protestant communication with the dead during the two centuries prior to the advent of nineteenth-century Spiritualism, examining an impressive array of manuscript and published texts and material culture artifacts. The resulting book is deeply researched, compellingly written, and entirely persuasive."—Douglas L. Winiarski, University of Richmond

In Speaking with the Dead in Early America, Erik Seeman undertakes a 300-year history of Protestant communication with the dead, from Elizabethan England to the mid-nineteenth-century United States. Through prodigious research and careful analysis, he boldly reinterprets Protestantism as a religion in which the dead played a central role.