Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Possession (supernatural)
(837 words)

1. Definition

Possession in the context of a belief system is the taking over of a living being, generally a human, by a spirit or demonic entity. Such possession may be voluntary or involuntary. The concept of possession relies on the idea that another being (deity, demon, or deceased person) can use its spiritual power to requisition a living person (or more rarely an animal), inhabiting them and manifesting its pres…

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Labouvie, Eva, “Possession (supernatural)”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 28 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017530>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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