Believe Not Every Spirit Hardback

Possession, Mysticism, and Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism

by Moshe Sluhovsky;

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Believe Not Every Spirit

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From 1400 through 1700, the number of reports of demonic possessions among European women was extraordinarily high. During the same period, a new type of mysticism - popular with women - emerged that greatly affected the risk of possession and, as a result, the practice of exorcism. Many feared that in moments of rapture women who had surrendered their souls to divine love were not experiencing the work of angels, but rather the ravages of demons in disguise. So how then, asks Moshe Sluhovsky, were practitioners of exorcism to distinguish demonic from divine possessions? Drawing on unexplored accounts of mystical schools and spiritual techniques, testimonies of the possessed, and exorcism manuals, "Believe Not Every Spirit" examines how early modern Europeans dealt with this dilemma. The personal experiences of practitioners, Sluhovsky shows, trumped theological knowledge. Worried that this could lead to a rejection of Catholic rituals, the church reshaped the meaning and practices of exorcism, transforming this healing rite into a means of spiritual interrogation.In its efforts to distinguish between good and evil, the church developed important new explanatory frameworks for the relations between body and soul, interiority and exteriority, and the natural and supernatural.

Believe Not Every Spirit by Moshe Sluhovsky was published by The University of Chicago Press in May 2007 and is our 52686th best seller. The ISBN for Believe Not Every Spirit is 9780226762821.

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Details for Believe Not Every Spirit

Page last updated 14th October 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatHardback
PublisherThe University of Chicago Press (May 2007)
Number of Pages384
Thickness26 mm
Height239 mm
Width162 mm
Product Code1147573
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