The Devil within Hardback

Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West

by Brian Levack;

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The Devil within

Full Product Description

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the era of the Reformation, thousands of Europeans were thought to be possessed by demons. In response to their horrifying symptoms - violent convulsions, displays of preternatural strength, vomiting of foreign objects, displaying contempt for sacred objects, and others - exorcists were summoned to expel the evil spirits from victims' bodies. This compelling book focuses on possession and exorcism in the Reformation period, but also reaches back to the fifteenth century and forward to our own times. Entire convents of nuns in French and Spanish towns, 30 boys in an Amsterdam orphange, a small group of young girls in Salem, Massachusetts - these are among the instances of demon possession in the United States and throughout Europe that Brian Lavack closely examines, taking into account the diverse interpretations of generations of theologians, biblical scholars, pastors, physicians, anthropologists, psychiatrists, and historians.
Challenging the commonly held belief that possession signals physical or mental illness, the author argues that demoniacs and exorcists - consciously or not - are following scripts encoded in their various religious cultures, and their performances can only be understood in those contexts.

The Devil within by Brian Levack was published by Yale University Press in March 2013. The ISBN for The Devil within is 9780300114720.

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Details for The Devil within

Page last updated 14th October 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatHardback
PublisherYale University Press (March 2013)
Number of Pages352
Thickness35 mm
Height242 mm
Width163 mm
Product Code4066742
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