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Occultism, Witchcraft, Magic
Record Type: Review   ID: 1211

Unclean Spirits: Possession and Exorcism in France and England in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries

Walker, D.P.

 Case histories of possession in France and England in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century are presented. Sources drawn on are of contemporary published accounts, mostly eyewitnessed or compiled from the evidence of eyewitnesses. The printed accounts of cases were sometimes supplemented by manuscript sources and, when the possession involved accusations of witchcraft, legal records of the witch's trial. For the (then) theory of possession and exorcism he relied on the debates arising out of the cases and on authorities cited in these, ranging from the Bible, its commentators, and the Church Fathers, to fifteenth-and sixteenth-century treatises on magic and witchcraft. This book is of interest to parapsychologists because claims of psi phenomena were associated with possession: the ability to speak and understand languages not known to the patient; clairvoyance; and bodily strength exceeding the person's normal capacity.
Publisher Information:Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981. 116p. Bibliographic notes, by chapter: 89-110; Name Index: 111-116
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