Online Encyclopedia

EXORCISM (Gr. EEop,d av, to conjure out)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 80 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!

EXORCISM (Gr. EEop,d av, to conjure out)  , the expulsion of evil
See also:
spirits from persons or places by incantations, magical
See also:
rites or other means . As a corollary of the animistic theory of diseases and of belief in Possession (q.v.), we find widely spread customs whose
See also:
object is to get rid of Lie evil influen::es . These customs may take the form of a -;eneral expulsion of evils, either once a
See also:
year or at irregular intervals; the evils, which are often regarded as spirits, sometimes as the souls of the dead, may be expelled, according to
See also:
primitive philosophy, either immediately by spells, purifications or some form of coercion; or they may be put on the back of ascapegoat or other material vehicle . Among the means of compelling the evil spirits are assaults with warlike weapons or sticks, the noise of musical
See also:
instruments or of the human voice, the use of masks, the invocation of more powerful good spirits, &c.; both fire and
See also:
water are used to drive them out, and the use of iron is a
See also:
common means of holding them at
See also:
bay . The
See also:
term exorcism is applied more especially to the freeing of an individual from a possessing or disease-causing spirit; the means adopted are frequently the same as those mentioned above; in the East Indies the sufferer sometimes dances round a small
See also:
ship, into which the spirit passes and is then set adrift . The patient may be beaten or means may be employed whose efficiency depends largely on their suggestive nature . Among the Dakota Indians the
See also:
medicine-man chants hi-le-li-lahl at the bed of the sick man and accompanies his chant with the rattle; he then sucks at the affected
See also:
part till the possessing spirit is supposed to come out and take its
See also:
flight, when men fire guns at it from the door of the
See also:
tent . The Zulus believe that they can get rid of the souls of the dead, which cause diseases, by sacrifices of cattle, or by expostulating with the spirits; so too the shaman or magician in other parts of the
See also:
world offers the possessing spirit
See also:
objects or animals . The professional exorcist was known among the Jews; in
See also:
Greece the
See also:
art was practised by
See also:
women, and it is recorded that the mothers of Epicurus and Aeschines belonged to this class; both were bitterly reproached, the one by the
See also:
Stoics, the other by
See also:
Demosthenes, with having taken part in the practices in question . The prominence of exorcism in the early ages of the Christian church appears from its frequent mention in the writings of the fathers, and by the 3rd century there was an order of exorcists (see EXORCIST) . The ancient rite of exorcism in connexion with
See also:
baptism is still. retained in the
See also:
Roman ritual, as is also a form of service for the exorcising of possessed persons . The exorcist signs the possessed person with the figure of the
See also:
cross, desires him to kneel, and sprinkles him with
See also:
holy water; after which the exorcist asks the devil his name, and abjures him by the holy mysteries of the Christian religion not to afflict the person possessed any more .

Then, laying his right

hand on the demoniac's head, he repeats the form of exorcism as follows: " I exorcise thee, unclean spirit, in the name' of Jesus Christ; tremble, 0 Satan, thou enemy of the faith, thou foe of mankind, who hast brought
See also:
death into the world, who hast deprived men of
See also:
life, and hast rebelled against justice, thou seducer of mankind, thou root of evil, thou source of avarice, discord and envy." Houses and other places supposed to be haunted by uncleanspirits are likewise to beexorcised with similar rites, and in general exorcism has a place in all the ceremonies for consecrating and blessing persons or things (see BENEDICTION) . See Tylor, Primitive Culture; Skeat,
See also:
Malay Magic, p . 427 seq.; Frazer, .
See also:
Golden Bough, vol. iii . 189; Krafft, Ausfiihrliche Historic von Exorcismus; Koldeweg, Der Exorcismus im Herzogthum Braunschweigg ; Brecher, Das Transcendentale, Magic, etc. imTalmud, pp . 195-203 : Zeitschr. fur Assyriologie (Dec . 1893,
See also:
April 1894) ; Herzog, Realencykl., s.v . " Exorcismus "; Waldmeier, Autobiography, p . 64; L . W . King, Babylonian Magic; Maury, La Magie; R . C .

Thompson, Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia .

End of Article: EXORCISM (Gr. EEop,d av, to conjure out)
[back]
EXOGAMY (Gr. few, outside; and yaµor, marriage)
[next]
EXORCIST (Lat. exorcista, Gr. i oprcio•T17s)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.