Beliefs and Practices
Exorcism, by definition, is ‘the expulsion or attempted expulsion of an evil spirit from a person or place’ (Dictionary.com). For this research paper, I have chosen to research exorcism and the beliefs, history and practices that go along with it. This is a topic that has always interested and been fascinating to me. There have been numerous movies, documentaries, and stories written and performed relating to exorcism- both claiming to be true and fictional- and it was a topic I was deeply curious to learn more about. This paper will explore the history and beliefs of exorcism and will also explore the role of the exorcist, which is the person who is intended to rid the affected of their …show more content…
The article goes into more depth on whether believers can be possessed by demons. It states that ‘tthe good angels are the holy ones, the bad angels are the evil ones, which the Bible calls demons, and the ugly angels are demons disguising themselves as good angels. These ugly angels have deceived many people in a culture that has embraced "angel mania”’(Demonology).
The Role of the Exorcist
An exorcist is a person who is believed to be able to cast out demons. By definition, they are “ a person who performs the ridding of demons or other supernatural beings who are alleged to have possessed a person, or (sometimes) a building or even an object” (Dictionary.com). It was said in Toner’s article that ‘strolling Jews who professed to be able to cast out demons’ were the first ever exorcists (Toner). Toner’s article describes the role of exorcists by stating, “Depending on the spiritual beliefs of the exorcist, this [ridding the affected of their demons] may be done by causing the entity to swear an oath, performing an elaborate ritual, or simply by commanding it to depart in the name of a higher power (Toner). Exorcists are not known to be able to only rid people of their demons or demonic possession but are also believed to have
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There is a large history associated with helping profession. It was once believed that mental illness was caused by evil spirits. In early forms of treatment the focus was on eliminations of the demons within the person. One procedure used was called trephining the skull, which removed a disk of bone in the head to let the evil spirit escape. Another common treatment
The assigned readings present multiple occult beliefs, and describe potential causes and reinforcers. Alcock (1995) held the view that the brain and nervous system worked together to create beliefs targeting survival, while Singer and Benassi (1981) believed social, environmental, and cognitive factors acted in separate ways to reinforce occult beliefs. Parallels exist between contributing factors desccrive by Singer and Benassi (1981) and the seven units listed by Alcock (1995); however, Alcock (1995) described them as causes of the belief engine, while Singer and Benassi (1981) described them as factors contributing to the support and growth of occult beliefs.
They could make their victims see them in a demon figure. They had the power to get inside their vic-tims heads, and torment them into doing anything they asked. They had ways of making their victims speak without them being responsible for any of the words coming out of their mouth. They would mentally and physically abuse their victims. They always had something over their victims, so the victims would never speak up (“Matthews”, 1).
Many of the acts associated with witches that are prevalent in the literature on this subject seem to be of a diabolical nature. The primary cause of this is that the elites had access to a literary medium which tended to leave behind sources that the historian can access in a more direct manner than the mainly oral traditions of popular culture (p. 61 course manual). These oral traditions were the primary means of conveyance for these
People received derogatory comments by members of the community/family members. They were made to stay in chains at home and left to wonder the streets because they were not understood by the community. There were some people that treated people with mental illness with respect and there were people that used their behaviors as community mockery. Middle Age treatment of mental ill individuals included exorcism (using higher powers through prayers and rituals) and cutting the skull in hopes of removing wicked spirits. When these interventions did not cure the individuals, the
When you hear witchcraft what comes to your mind? Do you think of witches flying around in brooms? Well back in 1962 a group of girls claimed that they were being possessed. In addition this was the start of The Salem witch trials. This event is Important to America's History Because it was a time Where people thought witchcraft was happening and innocent People were getting P, but in reality it was just mass hysteria. In this event 1962, Salem there were witch hunts leading to persecution, mass hysteria Because of religion, betrayal, and lies.The work presents several important issues, shows a reflection on a submerged society in fear and intolerance, hysteria, power of reflection the role of women, violence that implement, etc., are the
The author further explains this narrative by exploring the spirituality and religious practice in the Caribbean culture (Patel, 4). “[The] folklore is rich with belief in Obeah, Voodou, or Santeria [and have entrenched their] basis in African cultures” (Patel, 4). This concludes that anyone exhibiting symptoms of mental health disorders is cursed, or possessed, or were given the evil eye, hence they need an exorcist to be treated (Patel, 4). This is however more prevalent for women than men, and the usual treatment suggested by the town elders is to pray (Patel, 4). In the case of Stacy-Ann, her therapist was Dr. Natasha Browne who is a Toronto based psychologists and accepts the stigma around mental health in the community as
Levack gives three reasons that could potentially explain why people were thought to be possessed by demons. The first explanation given is that the person symptoms are from the Devil entering one and controlling their mind and body. Another reason is that one might be lying about the symptoms and faking their behaviors, or that they are mentally ill. The final explanation is that the possessed were actually actors, acting from a script they had memorized.
Many people like Thomas Aquinas had a huge risk of losing their practice for thinking mental illness came from insanity and other psychological theories other than demonic association (Thompson 9-10). The idea of witchcraft continued until the 1700’s. The word lunatic became the new term for describing those who were mentally ill. Thousands of people were sent to asylums and treated like wild animals by intimidation, physical abuse, bloodletting, straightjackets, and many other punishments that were similar to the treatments generally reserved for criminal practices (Thompson 11). There were still no specific identifications for the different mental issues in people.
On a gloomy Tuesday night, a group of teenagers from George Mason University circled around an Ouija board to find out what their final grade from a psychology class, Mystery, Madness, and Murder would be. Soon after, the planchette moved, allowing them to communicate with evil spirits from another dimension. Unfortunately, this communication led them into learning not only their final grade, but also into being haunted by an evil spirit until the end of their lives. This, surprisingly, is a very common practice in the United States. Even the International Exorcists’ Association (AIE) states that the usage of Ouija boards increased the exorcism practices within the U.S. (cite). According to a recent poll on LiveScience, 65% of Americans believe
Lim’s treatment did not consist of exorcism but of other means. The first was ritualistic massage. He would use an idol of Siamese sex god called "Phragann" and rub it all over the women’s bodies. After that, he would proceed to fornicate with them. He claimed that this treatment was effective in curing emotional problems. The second method was electro-shock therapy. He would attach electric wires on the women’s temples and requested them to soak their feet into a basin of water. Then, he administered electric shocks to them. He claimed those shocks would drive any evil spirits that was causing problems and adversities to them (Rajendran, 1997).
The topic of religion is very controversial and at times, is seen as something negative. The practice of witchcraft can be considered unholy and pure evil to some, but to others, it is a religion and a way of life. Wicca, founded in England in the mid 20th century, is a religion based on pre-Christian traditions that practices modern witchcraft. Witchcraft is often referred to the human usage of supernatural powers for the malevolent purpose of practicing black magic (“History and Background of Wicca”). The acceptance of those who were involved in sorcery was difficult for the people of Great Britain. The negative reactions and thoughts affected the members of Wicca in numerous ways. The practices of witchcraft in Great Britain lead to the influences and modern day practices of the witches in the religion of Wicca.
Antonio and I are doing our best to respect the Nigerian culture. There is a lot of cultural differences between Nigerian culture and American culture sometimes it can be very confusing for me and Antonio. Did you know that half of the religious beliefs here is Muslim and the rest is split between Christianity and indigenous beliefs? There Constitution guarantees religious freedom; however, Christians live in the southern parts of the country where as the Muslim live predominantly in the northern parts. Native religious people believe in deities, spirits, and ancestral worship are spread throughout Nigeria. One day I was passing a nearby village where I witnessed a possessed man with a demon inside of him. They brought him to the village spirit doctor, where he chanted some spells while holding him down to cast the demon out. It was to believe that after all of that the man was relieved from his demon. It was scary and interesting for me to watch the exorcism being performed. Although, Americans do those things too Christianity is the dominant religion. Instead of seeing a witch doctor for help with your demons, most people would just confess their sin to a pastor or father of the church after which they then walked away feeling forgiven and blessed. Which is basically way easier and less
When the term exorcism is mentioned, many people think of the devil-possessed head spinning, lead character in the 1973 movie The Exorcist. What is the actual definition of exorcism that Hollywood does not share with us? Exorcism as defined by the Catholic Encyclopedia is (1) the act of driving out, or warding off, demons, or evil spirits, from persons, places, or things, which are believed to be possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice; (2) the means employed for this purpose, especially the solemn and authoritative adjuration of the demon, in the name of God, or any of the higher power in which he is subject (Toner). However, man people are far less versed in the Roman Catholic form