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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Spiritualism Divides Church of England

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Spiritualism Divides Church of England is an article published in The New-York Times on 16 october 1919.

Arthur Conan Doyle is criticized by Rev. J. A. Magee.

Spiritualism Divides Church of England

The New-York Times (16 october 1919, p. 2)

"Gloomy Dean" Starts a Spirited Debate at the Church Congress.

Leicester. Oct. 15. (Associated Press). — The Congress of the Church of England today held a warm debate over spiritualism, which started through an attack from the Very Rev. William R. Inge, Dean of St. Paul's, London, who is known to the newspapers as the "Gloomy Dean," owing to his sometimes despondent views on present-day life.

The Right Rev. James E. C. Welldon, Dean of Durham, and one or two other prominent clergymen made a vigorous defense of spiritualism, and the Arch-bishop of Canterbury said the entire subject would be considered by the Bishops when the Lambeth Conference meets next year.

"If," said Dean Inge, "this kind of after life were true — that portrayed in the pitiable revival of necromancy in which many desolate hearts have sought spurious satisfaction — it would, indeed, be a melancholy postponement or negation of all we hope and believe about our dead."

Replying. Dean Welldon said:

"It is too late to dismiss spiritualism as a fraud, as some say, a nauseous fraud."

The Dean added that spiritualistic phenomena had won the assent of men of science like Crooks, Lodge, Flammarion, and Lombroso, and continued:

"I take it that the evidence is good that the foundations of Edgar Chapel at Glastonbury were discovered through communications received by authentic writing. I think spiritualism has come to fill a void in church practice, and because of the coldness in the services intercessions for the departed should be restored. I believe."

The Rev. J. A. Magee, the last speaker, was loudly applauded. He said:

"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is moving from city to city ministering to a popular craze. I challenge Sir Arthur to deny that spiritualism is perilous to the mental, moral and physical health. Every second or third young lady one meets now imagines herself a modern St. Theresa."

Spiritualism is undergoing a remarkable revival In England, apparently partly through the hope of many war-bereaved persons of communicating with lost relatives. The revival in said to be due largely to the writings of Sir Oliver Lodge and popular discussions in which Sir Conan Doyle figures as the chief champion of the cult.