Exorcism

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Exorcism

Post by Cursakandine on Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:20 pm

The expulsion of Demons or Spirits from a person or place. The duration and nature of an exorcism depends on both the severity of the possession and the religious practices being employed. In Christianity, exorcism usually involves demonic possession, in that a person is possessed by an evil Demon. The helpless victim may go through any one of a large range of phenomena, from Levitation to crude swearing, vomiting, superhuman strength and the sudden ability to speak in different languages.

At the most fundamental level, the exorcism is a battle between the Exorcist and the Devil for the Soul of the victim. Many exorcisms may begin with "I adjure thee, most evil Spirit, by almighty God". While the Demon may spout crudities and insults at the Exorcist, he must continue to counter with demands for the Demon to leave the person's body. Only when the Demon has finally left the body of the victim is that person free once again.


Exorcism (from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek exorkizein - to adjure) is the practice of evicting demons or other evil spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed (taken control of). The practice is quite ancient and part of the belief system of many religions.

The person performing the exorcism, known as an exorcist, is often a member of the clergy, or an individual thought to be graced with special powers or skills. The exorcist may use prayers, and religious material, such as set formulas, gestures, symbols, icons, amulets, etc.. The exorcist invokes God, Jesus and/or several different angels and archangels to intervene with the exorcism.

In general, possessed persons are not regarded as evil in themselves, nor wholly responsible for their actions. Therefore practitioners regard exorcism more as a cure than as a punishment. The mainstream rituals usually take this into account, making sure that there is no violence to the possessed, only that they be tied down if there is potential for violence
The concept of possession by evil spirits and the practice of exorcism are very ancient and were widespread, and may have originated in prehistoric Shamanistic beliefs.

The Christian New Testament includes exorcism among the miracles performed by Jesus. Because of this precedent, demonic possession was part of the belief system of Christianity since its beginning, and exorcism is still a recognized practice of Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox and some Protestant sects. The Church of England also has an official exorcist in each diocese.

After the enlightenment, the practice of exorcism has diminished in its importance to most religious groups and its use has decreased, especially in western society. Generally, in the 20th century its use was found mainly in Eastern Europe and Africa, with some cases gaining media coverage; Anneliese Michel is perhaps the most recent of these. This is due mainly to the study of psychology and the functioning and structure of the human mind. Many of the cases that in the past which were candidates for exorcism are often explained to be the products of mental illness, and are handled as such.

However in 1973 the movie The Exorcist came out, and the idea of Exorcisms became thrust into the limelight. After its release a very large response came from the public in the United States and Europe, and belief in Demon Possession and Exorcisms found a place in contemporary society. Belief in the validity of the practice became less of a radical idea, and more widespread.
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