"Cecilia fixed her with her spiritualist's gaze "

Spiritualism is a monotheistic religion claiming a belief in a contactable spirit world. There are various Spiritualist traditions, but shared concepts include the essentially Christian moral system and the belief that the soul outlives the body and that spiritual growth is possible after death. Unlike Christianity, Spiritualists do not believe Jesus Christ died to save mankind. Instead, there is emphasis on personal responsibility for life circumstances, but 19th and early 20th century followers were also prominent supporters of the abolition of slavery and the suffrage movements. Spiritualists also do not believe the dead are sent to Heaven or Hell for eternity based on life works, but instead the afterlife contains hierarchical spheres through which the dead can progress. Spiritualism was particularly popular amongst women and the middle and upper classes from the 1840s to the 1920s, with more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe by 1897. Women spiritualists were among the first to lecture mixed audiences in the United States. Today Spiritualism is still practiced primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom, but has declined in popularity since the late 19th century because of accusations of fraud and the condemnation of both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.