Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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(1,256 words)

1. In Religious Studies

The term “exorcism” refers to a rite of healing intended to expel things or beings that supposedly have penetrated and possessed a person from the alternate reality, causing physical or spiritual suffering. Taking place in ecstatic trance, exorcism represents contact with the realm of the holy, and the rites thus have a sacred character.

Exorcisms occur in religions from every type of society. Among aborigines and bushmen spirit animals or other noxious beings leave …

Cite this page
Goodman, Felicitas D. and Pompey, Heinrich, “Exorcism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 14 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_E682>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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