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Demonic Possession and Exorcism : In Early Modern France - Sarah Ferber

Demonic Possession and Exorcism

In Early Modern France

Hardcover Published: 22nd April 2004
ISBN: 9780415212649
Number Of Pages: 227

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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.

Industry Reviews

'Ferber's book is ... both an excellent introduction to the spiritual world of early modern France and an incisive and persuasive contribution to the cutting edge of early modern history.' - Marion Gibson, Renaissance Studies

'A profound and intelligent analysis of the ends to which exorcism was put in France in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries ... Well-informed and sensitive, is a true contribution to our knowledge of the subject.' - The Heythrop Journal

'original and penetrating analysis of cases of possession and exorcism' - Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Introductionp. 1
Scepticism and Catholic reform : introductory remarksp. 17
'Into the realm of the senses' : Nicole Obry and the Miracle of Laonp. 23
Marthe Brossierp. 40
Priestcraft and witchcraft : introductory remarksp. 63
The trial of Louis Gaufridy, Aix-en-Provence, 1609-11p. 70
Fighting fire with fire? : exorcism against ecstasy, Louviers, 1642-54p. 89
Ecstasy, possession, witchcraft : the will to hierarchyp. 115
'God's witches' : two possessed womenp. 124
Conclusionp. 148
Notesp. 154
Selected bibliographyp. 198
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415212649
ISBN-10: 0415212642
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 227
Published: 22nd April 2004
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.08 x 15.75  x 1.96
Weight (kg): 0.49
Edition Number: 1