Chapter

Intimations of Evil?

Phillip Wiebe

in God and Other Spirits

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780195140125
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835492 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195140125.003.0002
 Intimations of Evil?

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In this chapter the evidence is examined from biblical history, the Ante-Nicene Church, the medieval world, and from contemporary experience in apparent support of the phenomena of demonic possession and exorcism. Attention is given to the peculiar but meaningful utterances associated with alleged demonization, including instances of “voices” from biblical literature and contemporary experience that suggest dissociative identity disorder. The significance of the incident in the synoptic gospels in which evil spirits are described as having been expelled from men into swine—demonic contagion—is examined in detail, with a view to demonstrating how the causal role given to the evil spirits allows them to be contextually defined without speculating further on their ultimate ontological character.

Keywords: Demonic possession; Evidence; Voices; Exorcism; Biblical; Dissociative Identity Disorder; Evil Spirits

Chapter.  25763 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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