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|Born||Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail|
(1804-10-03)October 3, 1804
|Died||March 31, 1869(1869-03-31) (aged 64)|
|Cause of death||aneurysm|
|Known for||Systematizer of Spiritism|
 Early lifeRivail was born in Lyon in 1804. He was a disciple and collaborator of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, and a teacher of mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, physiology, comparative anatomy and French in Paris. For one of his research papers, he was inducted in 1831 into the Royal Academy of Arras. He organized and taught free courses for the underprivileged.
On February 1832, he married Amélie Gabrielle Boudet.
 Spirit interestHe was already in his early 50s when he became interested in the wildly popular phenomenon of spirit-tapping. At the time, strange phenomena attributed to the action of spirits were reported in many different places, most notably in the U.S. and France, attracting the attention of high society. The first such phenomena were at best frivolous and entertaining, featuring objects that moved or "tapped" under what was said to be spirit control. In some cases, this was alleged to be a type of communication: the supposed spirits answered questions by controlling the movements of objects so as to pick out letters to form words, or simply indicate "yes" or "no."
At the time, Franz Mesmer's theory of animal magnetism was popular in the upper reaches of society. When confronted with the phenomena described, some researchers, including Rivail, pointed out that animal magnetism might explain them. Rivail, however, after personally seeing a demonstration, quickly dismissed the animal-magnetism hypothesis as being insufficient to completely explain all the facts observed (see Chapters VIII and XIV in The Book on Mediums). Rivail was determined to understand exactly what was causing the physical effects popularly attributed to spirits.
 Researchmedium himself, he compiled a list of questions and began working with mediums and channelers to put them to spirits. Soon the quality of the communications, allegedly with spirits, appeared to improve.
Rivail used the name "Allan Kardec" allegedly after a spirit identified as Zefiro, whom he had been communicating with, told him about a previous incarnation of his as a Druid by that name. Rivail liked the name and decided to use it to keep his Spiritists writings separate from his work, basically books for high school students.
On April 18, 1857 Rivail (signing himself "Allan Kardec") published his first book on Spiritism, The Spirits' Book, comprising a series of 1,018 answered questions [n 1] exploring matters concerning the nature of spirits, the spirit world, and the relations between the spirit world and the material world. This was followed by a series of other books, like The Book on Mediums and The Gospel According to Spiritism, and by a periodical, the Revue Spirite, which Kardec published until his death. Kardec thus produced the books that form the Spiritist Codification.
Allan Kardec coined the word "spiritism." Camille Flammarion, a French astronomer and author, said "spiritism is not a religion but a science".
 Memorialaneurysm, Kardec was buried at the Cimetière du Père Lachaise. The eulogy was delivered by Camille Flammarion.
- The number of questions in the first edition was actually 501. The second edition was greatly expanded to the final count.
 See also
- Spiritist Codification:
- (Portuguese) Textos - Allan Kardec
- Allan Kardec's eulogy on April 2, 1869, in "Death and Its Mystery - After Death. Manifestations and Apparitions of the Dead; The Soul After Death" Translated by Latrobe Carroll (1923, T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd. London: Adelphi Terrace.), online version at Manifestations of the Dead in Spiritistic Experiments
- The Spirits' Book
- The Book on Mediums
- The Gospel According to Spiritism
- Heaven and Hell
- The Genesis According to Spiritism
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Allan Kardec|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:|
- The Spirits' Book codified by Allan Kardec (PDF file) or as HTML
- The Spirits' Book by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- The Book on Mediums by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- The Gospel According to Spiritism by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- Heaven and Hell by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- Genesis by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- Allan Kardec Educational Society
- ALLAN KARDEC: spiritisme, spiritism...
- Allan Kardec Biographic Information
- The Spirits' Book by Allan Kardec
- Divulgacion de Espiritismo en Argentina de Allan Kardec
- Libros de Espiritismo de Allan Kardec
- Works by Allan Kardec at Domínio Público