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(1,441 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Joachim
Satan in Christian Theology 1. The notion of Satan was coined by Christian theology; in the course of the last two centuries, however, an independent Satanism has developed that can no longer adequately be described through only theological approaches. In terms of religious history, the forerunners of the Christian doctrine of Satan, as well as of explicit Satanism, can be considered to be Iranian → dualism, ancient Hebrew demonology (→ Demon/Demonology), and → gnosticism. The Christian image of Sat…


(945 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Joachim
Concept 1. ‘Exorcism’ (from Gk., exorkizein, ‘adjure to go out’) can be defined generally as the ritual expulsion of spirits from persons (→ Possession) or (other) animate or inanimate objects. As such, it is to be encountered in many historical ages and cultures. Exorcism is always practiced by → specialists (shamans, priests, etc.), and according to prescribed rules. Possession can express itself in illness or in extraordinary conditions seemingly uncontrollable by the subject of the possession. Su…


(1,250 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Joachim
What Does Parapsychology Seek? 1. It is the aim of parapsychology to investigate, by means of academic scientific methodology, phenomena not to be reconciled with scientific images of the world known and acknowledged up until now. Here parapsychology recognizes the fundamental scientific premises that a phenomenon can be regarded as having been demonstrated only when it is inter-subjectively verifiable and experimentally repeatable. The results of parapsychological research have thus far been unable…