Image of Allan Kardec


Lifetime: 1804 - 1869 Passed: ≈ 155 years ago





Allan Kardec

Allan Kardec. He is the author of the five books known as the Spiritist Codification, and the founder of Spiritism.

Rivail was born in Lyon in 1804 and raised as a Roman Catholic. He pursued interests in philosophy and the sciences, and became an acolyte and colleague of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. Rivail completed a number of educational courses including a Bachelor of Arts degrees in science and a doctorate in medicine. He was also fluent in German, English, Italian, and Spanish, in addition to his native French. Kardec became interested in Protestantism after his education in Switzerland.

He was a member of several scholarly societies, including the Historic Institute of Paris (Institut Historique), Society of Natural Sciences of France (Société des Sciences Naturelles de France), Society for the Encouragement of National Industry (Société d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale), and The Royal Academy of Arras (Académie d'Arras, Société Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Arts). He organized and taught free courses for the underprivileged.

Rivail's work with Pestalozzi helped lay the foundations for the teaching model in schools in France and Germany. For several decades he helped advance Pestalozzi's pedagogy in France, founding schools and working as a teacher, educational writer and translator.

On 6 February 1832 he married Amélie Gabrielle Boudet.

In 1839, with a new partner, Mr. Maurice Delachatre, a merchant, he created a so-called "exchange" bank, which aimed to facilitate commercial transactions and thus create new opportunities for trade and industry, in order to support in default of pecuniary resources for the natural products. The duration of the trading bank was fixed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry at ten years.

According to “My predictions concerning spiritualism” as he himself described in his manuscript written between 1855 and 1856, "in May 1855, he met a certain Mr. Fortier, a magnetizer, who took him to Madame de Plainemaison, a medium who lived in the Rue de la Grange Bateliere in Paris, just a step away from the Opera House. In the presence of other guests for the session, he entered into communication with a spirit named Zephyr, who gave him the mission of being the spokesman of the Dead. For him, it was a revelation. He was there, for the first time, witnessing the phenomenon of turntables jumping and running".

After his death caused by aneurysm, Kardec was buried at the Cimetière du Père Lachaise.

Books by Allan Kardec

The Spirits' Book Cover image

The Spirits' Book

Spirit Religion Death Commentary Spirituality Beliefs God

The Spirits' Book is part of the Spiritist Codification, and is regarded as one of the five fundamental works on Spiritism. It was published by the French educator Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail, under the pen name of Allan Kardec on April 18, 1857....