The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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(945 words)


1. ‘Exorcism’ (from Gk., exorkizein, ‘adjure to go out’) can be defined generally as the ritual expulsion of spirits from persons (→ Possession) or (other) animate or inanimate objects. As such, it is to be encountered in many historical ages and cultures. Exorcism is always practiced by → specialists (shamans, priests, etc.), and according to prescribed rules. Possession can express itself in illness …

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Schmidt, Joachim, “Exorcism”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 10 August 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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