By Moshe Sluhovsky

From 1400 via 1700, the variety of reviews of demonic possessions between eu ladies used to be terribly excessive. in the course of the similar interval, a brand new form of mysticism—popular with women—emerged that vastly affected the danger of ownership and, consequently, the perform of exorcism. Many feared that during moments of rapture, ladies, who had surrendered their souls to divine love, weren't experiencing the paintings of angels, yet relatively the ravages of demons in cover. So how then, asks Moshe Sluhovsky, have been practitioners of exorcism to differentiate demonic from divine possessions?

Drawing on unexplored bills of mystical faculties and non secular strategies, tales of the possessed, and exorcism manuals, Believe now not each Spirit examines how early smooth Europeans handled this predicament. the non-public studies of practitioners, Sluhovsky exhibits, trumped theological wisdom. fearful that this may result in a rejection of Catholic rituals, the church reshaped the that means and practices of exorcism, remodeling this therapeutic ceremony right into a technique of non secular interrogation. In its efforts to tell apart among solid and evil, the church built very important new explanatory frameworks for the kin among physique and soul, interiority and exteriority, and the common and supernatural.

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Believe Not Every Spirit: Possession, Mysticism, & Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism by Moshe Sluhovsky

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