The Spiritualism Symposium, curated by Shannon Taggart

About this series

Spiritualism, the American-born religion based on the belief in communication with spirits of the dead, was once a popular movement that influenced Western culture. Yet Spiritualism’s legacy has often been censored or neglected by academia and the media. The Spiritualism Symposium examines the surprising path from the séance room to the history of science, medicine, technology, politics, and art. It also explores topics related to mediumship and the study of the supernatural. This series presentations are drawn from past symposium’s hosted annually by Shannon Taggart in Lily Dale, New York, USA—home to the world’s largest Spiritualist community.

Each lecture will be sold separately, see below for details of the other lectures in the series (if missed, these will be available on demand)

Nature, Enchantment, and the Paranormal, with Jack Hunter, Ph.D.

About this event

What role does the earthly dimension play in spiritual experiences? Can we learn about spirits from trees and fungi? Could paranormal research help us re-establish a connection with the natural world? In this illustrated talk, Jack Hunter poses these questions and more. Topics of discussion will include the history of faeries and gardens in early Spiritualism, the metaphysical significance of nature in the town of Lily Dale, and the potentials of sacred space to help the ecological environment.

Dr. Jack Hunter is an anthropologist exploring the borderlands of consciousness, religion, ecology and the paranormal. He is an Honorary Research Fellow with the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, and a tutor with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, where he is lead tutor on the MA in Ecology and Spirituality and teaches on the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. He also teaches on the Alef Trust’s MSc in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology. He is a Research Fellow with the Parapsychology Foundation, and a Professional Member of the Parapsychological Association. In 2010 he founded Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal. He is the author of Spirits, Gods and Magic (2020) and Manifesting Spirits (2020), and is the editor of Mattering the Invisible (2020), Greening the Paranormal (2019), Damned Facts (2016) and Talking with the Spirits (2014). His website can be found at

Shannon Taggart is an artist and author exploring the intersection between Spiritualism, photography, and the representation of belief. Her work has been exhibited and featured internationally, including within the publications TIME, New York Times Magazine, Discover, and Newsweek. Taggart’s monograph, SÉANCE (Fulgur Press, 2019), was named one of TIME’s ‘Best Photobooks of 2019.’

The Spiritualism Symposium, curated by Shannon Taggart