By Francis Young
This publication strains the advance of exorcism in Catholic Christianity from the fourth century to the current day, and seeks to provide an explanation for why exorcism remains to be rather a lot prominent. this is often the 1st paintings in English to track the improvement of the liturgy, perform and authorisation of exorcisms in Latin Christianity. The ceremony of exorcism, and the declare by means of Roman Catholic monks which will force demons from the possessed, continues to be a permanent resource of well known fascination, however the origins and historical past of this debatable ceremony were little explored. Arguing that trust within the want for exorcism in general re-emerges at classes of main issue for the church, Francis younger explores the moving barriers among approved exorcisms and unauthorised magic all through Christian heritage, from Augustine of Hippo to Pope Francis. This publication bargains the historic historical past to – and indicates purposes for – the present resurgence of exorcism within the worldwide Catholic Church.
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Extra info for A History of Exorcism in Catholic Christianity
27–8. 5. 24 F. YOUNG GENDER AND STATUS An influential thesis advanced by Nancy Caciola interprets Catholic exorcism in the medieval and early modern periods as a gendered activity that involved the male-led church designating women as demonic. The evidence from late antiquity and the twentieth century indicates that women do not necessarily constitute the overwhelming majority of demoniacs at all periods in history. However, it is undeniable that for at least a thousand years, between the ninth and nineteenth centuries, most recorded exorcisms were performed on women.
27. 38–42. 10. 75 Frankfurter saw exorcists as demonologists whose task was to take the fears of ordinary people and explain them. However, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that exorcists were always interested in the nature of the beings they cast out. 76 The ability to perform effective exorcisms has not always been accompanied by demonological knowledge or an ability to define the exact nature of possession and demons. Furthermore, in many cases the presence of the exorcist alone has acted as a catalyst for ‘demoniac’ behaviour, suggesting that the presence of the exorcist, and his holiness, was thought to provoke demons into revealing their presence.
Indeed, as beliefs shifted in the late Middle Ages and possession was seen as not just the consequence of sin, exorcism became a charitable act towards the unfortunate. 251–4. INTRODUCTION 25 Scholars of medieval religion are divided on the extent to which women were seen as the obvious targets of demonic attack. 81 It is the argument of this book that exorcism always involves an exercise of power. Throughout history, the subjects of exorcism have often been among those then perceived as the weakest members of society: women, children and those who failed to meet cultural standards of rationality.