Who is Allan Kardec?
Background and Education of Rivail  |  Rivail, the Intellect, Writer, and Educator |
Rivail Begins His Study of Spiritual Phenomena   |  Rivail Becomes Kardec

Background and Education of Rivail

Allan Kardec is actually the pen name of the man we refer to today as the codifier of Spiritism, Hippolyte Denizard Rivail.

Rivail was born in Lyon, France in 1804, a descendent in a line of many generations of lawyers and magistrates.  His parents, the judge Jean Baptiste Antoine Rivail and Jeanne Duhamel, raised him with high principles of honor and morals.  

As a young boy, Rivail demonstrated strong intellectual abilities, particularly in the areas of science and philosophy.  Wanting to provide him with the best education possible, his parents sent him to the Yverdon Institute in Switzerland, founded and run by Johan Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827). 

Pestalozzi has often been said to have revolutionized European Education at that time with his radically new methods of teaching, based on the principles of Enlightenment, in which he submitted his pupils to a formidable daily regime of studies, and at the same time instilled the ideas of liberty and fraternity, encouraging his students to embrace the ideals of political and social reform.  Catholic religious instruction was also available.  

At the Yverdon institute, Rivail assisted less advanced pupils in their studies and was asked by Pestalozzi to teach officially, whereby the professor took him on as his eager disciple. 

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