This chapter examines Spiritualist writings about health and the body. For a movement that was otherworldly in its focus, Spiritualists were extremely interested in medicine and many, including Andrew Jackson Davis, worked as healers and country doctors. In an epoch when bloodletting and heroic measures were still common, a spiritual or philosophical explanation for ill health was often preferable to mainstream authority. Spiritualists embraced the idea of the Grand Man from Swedenborg, where the microcosm of the human body reflected the macrocosm of the universe as a whole. Resembling the Kabbalah’s articulation of Adam Kadmon and tracing its roots to Plato’s Timaeus, this construction of the body as the cosmos in miniature did not distinguish between the material and spiritual worlds but rather saw them as united parts of the divine.
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