Description - Demonic Possession and Exorcism by Sarah Ferber
'This is an important and gripping book on the series of extraordinary cases of possession which fascinated contemporaries in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France.' Lyndal Roper, Balliol College, Oxford. 'An admirable book ...readable and to the point, [it] contains much fascinating detail, yet never lingers. It avoids facile moral judgements in favour of a more sophisticated and balanced approach, exploring the ways in which almost all of those concerned in these mostly tragic affairs were, in their own fashion, victims.' Robin Briggs, All Souls College, Oxford 'Sarah Ferber's illuminating study ...also deepens our understanding of the complex relationship between possession and witchcraft.' Brian P. Levack, University of Texas This is a highly original study of demon possession and the ritual of exorcism, both of which were rife in early modern times, and which reached epidemic proportions in France. Catholics at the time believed that the Devil was everywhere present, in the rise of the heretics, in the activities of witches, and even in the bodies of pious young women.
The rite of exorcism was intended to heal the possessed and show the power of the Church - but it generated as many problems as it resolved. Possessed nuns endured frequently violent exorcisms, exorcists were suspected of conjuring devils, and possession itself came to be seen as a form of holiness, elevating several women to the status of living saints. Sarah Ferber offers a challenging study of one of the most intriguing phenomena of early modern Europe. Looking towards the present day, the book also argues that early modern conflicts over the Devil still carry an unexpected force and significance for Western Christianity.
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(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Author Biography - Sarah Ferber
Sarah Ferber is Lecturer in History at the University of Queensland, Australia. She teaches early modern history, and the history of modern bioethics.