Exorcism: Beliefs & Practices

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Beliefs and Practices

Exorcism, by definition, is ‘the expulsion or attempted expulsion of an evil spirit from a person or place’ ( 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” ( 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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