Good Grief? by Richard J. Mammana, Jr.

Good Grief?

Searching for Raymond: Anglicanism, Spiritualism, and Bereavement Between the Two World Wars
by Rene Kollar
New York and Oxford: Lexington Books, 2000
(208 pages; $60.00, cloth)

reviewed by Richard J. Mammana, Jr.

The First World War, with its unprecedented losses, brought bereavement as never before to vast numbers of British families. Immediately after the 750,000 English wartime casualties came the further deaths of more than 150,000 Britons in an influenza epidemic. All this hit a church without explicit liturgical prayers for the dead very hard. Survivors wishing to have some sort of contact or assurance regarding their departed loved ones often turned to the welcoming arms of spiritualism. Through séances, channeling, automatic writing, and other means, many found more for their comfort than they saw in traditional Christian teaching about the afterlife. Rene Kollar (a Roman Catholic priest teaching at Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania) chronicles the official Anglican reaction to this tendency in Searching for Raymond. At eight decades’ remove from the events in question, one can’t but see a pastoral blunder of the most extraordinary proportions. From the outset, ecclesiastics formed committees to handle the issue. As usual, this was to the detriment of Christian souls.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

23.5—September/October 2010

No Ado About Something

The Loss of a Christian Understanding of Virginity Is Pure Tragedy by Eleanor Bourg Donlon

32.4—July/August 2019

Image- Bearers for God

Does Biblical Language for Man Matter? by Stephen F. Noll

28.2—March/April 2015

The Icon of Materialism

Why Scientism's Cherished Progress Narrative Fails by Jonathan Witt

00