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Believe Not Every Spirit – Possession, Mysticism, & Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Believe Not Every Spirit: Possession, Mysticism, & Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism

Moshe Sluhovsky


From 1400 through 1700, the number of reports of demonic possessions among European women was extraordinarily high. During the same period, a new type of mysticism—popular with women—emerged that greatly affected the risk of possession and, as a result, the practice of exorcism. Many feared that in moments of rapture, women, who had surrendered their souls to divine love, were not experiencing the work of angels, but rather the ravages of demons in disguise. This book asks how practitioners of exorcism were able to distinguish demonic from divine possessions. Drawing on unexplored accounts of ... More

Keywords: demonic possessions, mysticism, exorcism, rapture, souls, divine love, angels, demons, church, supernatural

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780226762821
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226762951.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Moshe Sluhovsky, author

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