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By Francis Young

This publication lines the improvement of exorcism in Catholic Christianity from the fourth century to the current day, and seeks to provide an explanation for why exorcism remains to be a lot well known. this can be the 1st paintings in English to track the advance of the liturgy, perform and authorisation of exorcisms in Latin Christianity. The ceremony of exorcism, and the declare by means of Roman Catholic monks on the way to force demons from the possessed, continues to be a permanent resource of renowned fascination, however the origins and background of this arguable ceremony were little explored. Arguing that trust within the desire for exorcism as a rule re-emerges at sessions of drawback for the church, Francis younger explores the moving limitations among approved exorcisms and unauthorised magic all through Christian background, from Augustine of Hippo to Pope Francis. This ebook bargains the old historical past to – and indicates purposes for – the present resurgence of exorcism within the international Catholic Church.

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32 Ordo XI 4–5 (OR vol.  418–19). 33 Ordo XI 14 (OR vol.  421): … Ergo, maledicte diabole, recognosce sentenciam tuam et da honorem Deo vivo et vero, da honorem Iesu Christo filio eius et spiritui sancto, recede ab his famulis Dei, quia istos sibi Deus et dominus noster Iesus Christus ad suam sanctam gratiam et EXORCISM IN THE EARLY CHRISTIAN WEST, 300–900 35 Therefore, accursed devil, recognise your sentence and give honour to the living and true God, give honour to Jesus Christ his Son, draw back from this servant of God, because God himself and our Lord Jesus Christ deigns to call these [catechumens] to his holy grace and blessing, the font, and the gift of baptism; by this sign of the cross on their foreheads, which we give, and which you, accursed devil, may never dare to violate.

181.  41.  27–8.  5. 24 F. YOUNG GENDER AND STATUS An influential thesis advanced by Nancy Caciola interprets Catholic exorcism in the medieval and early modern periods as a gendered activity that involved the male-led church designating women as demonic. The evidence from late antiquity and the twentieth century indicates that women do not necessarily constitute the overwhelming majority of demoniacs at all periods in history. However, it is undeniable that for at least a thousand years, between the ninth and nineteenth centuries, most recorded exorcisms were performed on women.

Ritual magic is unauthorized exorcism. The separation of exorcism and magic is a difficult—if not impossible— historical exercise, and reiterated ‘official’ statements from the church that 50 See, for instance, Elmer, L. , ‘Exorcism: Theology’ in New Catholic Encyclopedia (2003), vol.  553: ‘It is always the Church that prays through the instrumentality of the exorcist, so that the efficacy of the rite is analogous to that of the sacramentals’. 51 Nicolotti (2011), p. 32. , Les Mots, la Mort, les Sorts (Paris: Gallimard, 1977).

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