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Mediumship - communication with spirits - is one of the foundation stones of Spiritualism. Mediumship enables us to prove the "continuity of life" - that we live on after death - by demonstrating that we can communicate with, and identify, our loved ones in spirit.
Some people, especially scientific-minded ones, say that mediumship cannot be scientifically proven, that it is "quackery". Science requires that phenomena must be "reproducible"; that is, a certain cause or action must lead to the same result every time, time and time again. Mediumistic readings and seances, they say, do not always produce the same results - the same message or spirit does not "come through" each time. Therefore, they must be false, fakery, etc.
In fact, well-regarded scientists and scientific organizations have studied and analyzed psyhic phenomena for over 150 years, right up to the present day. The British and American Societies for Psychical Research began their work in the 1800's. More recently, colleges and universities have sponsored research into phenomena, mediumship, near-death experiences (NDE's), and reincarnation. Individual researchers have also made significant contributions.
One of the most important modern-day researchers is Dr. Gary Schwartz, PhD. He has studied mediumship and spiritual healing, and published several noteworthy books detailing his work. Further, in recent years, scientific researchers and writers have come to perceive a closer relationship between science and religion, between our physical world and the spirit world. Much of this change in understanding has come about as a result of our explorations and discoveries in quantum physics.
Some interesting and very readable books which have explored the scientific approach to mediumship, healing, and the new relationship between science and religion include: