A History of Exorcism in Catholic Christianity by Francis Young

By Francis Young

This publication lines 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 lots favorite. this can be the 1st paintings in English to track the advance of the liturgy, perform and authorisation of exorcisms in Latin Christianity. The ceremony of exorcism, and the declare through Roman Catholic monks so that it will force demons from the possessed, is still a permanent resource of renowned fascination, however the origins and historical past of this arguable ceremony were little explored. Arguing that trust within the want for exorcism commonly re-emerges at sessions of trouble for the church, Francis younger explores the moving barriers among authorized exorcisms and unauthorised magic all through Christian background, from Augustine of Hippo to Pope Francis. This publication deals the ancient heritage to – and indicates purposes for – the present resurgence of exorcism within the worldwide Catholic Church.

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28. 4 See for instance Levack (2013), pp. 32–55 who makes a direct transition from the Antenicene period to the thirteenth century. EXORCISM IN THE EARLY CHRISTIAN WEST, 300–900 29 not always move in these directions. However, changing attitudes to exorcism reflected changes in the church’s relationship with a Christianized society in which the practice of infant baptism became increasingly common and spiritual conflict with pagan religion less marked. Furthermore, progressively greater reliance on the exceptional holiness of the saints and their shrines was reflected in the development of exorcism as a holy miracle rather than a ministry of lay Christians.

10 The Donatist controversy was concerned with whether Christians who had succumbed to apostasy during periods of persecution could be readmitted to the church, but also included discussion of whether church goods confiscated by pagans required exorcism. 12 The liturgy of exorcism practised at Rome was that found in the Traditio apostolica, a collection of canons and liturgical regulations relating primarily to the Roman church, whose earliest Latin text dates from between 375 and 400.  10. Ibid.

And Lichtenberger, H.  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.

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