How about Demons? Possession and Exorcism in the Modern World

How about Demons? Possession and Exorcism in the Modern World

How about Demons? Possession and Exorcism in the Modern World

How about Demons? Possession and Exorcism in the Modern World


"Quite an interesting book... " -- Religious Studies Review "It is by far superior to anything else on demons we have seen in the past few years." -- The American Rationalist..". Goodman is to be commended for a stimulating and wide-reaching treatment of a compelling and much-debated subject." -- Journal of Folklore Research Rich in detail derived from the author's fieldwork and the anthropological literature, this work paints a picture of possession as one of the usually positive and most widespread of human religious experiences. It also details the ritual of exorcism, which is applied when things go wrong.


Every time we acquire knowledge we enlarge
the world, the world of man, by something
that is not yet incorporated in the object of
the knowledge we hold, and in this sense a
comprehensive knowledge of man must ap
pear impossible.

—Michael Polanyi, The Study of Man

Folklore Today, the title of this new series, is more meaningful than it would seem at first glance. It not only implies the reportage of current trends in the discipline of folklore, information on the latest findings and thoughts of scholars, but, more important, it addresses the presentation of new, or old but earlier unrecognized, folkloric phenomena and the research methods and theories that resulted from their discovery and investigation.

Folklore, as a constituent segment of culture, is a dynamic force in any permanent or temporary population group of modern complex societies. It appears as an endless continuum, relating the past with the present and aiming at the future. Thus, it emerges as a historical process in which tradition and innovation play equally important roles, although they do not always appear in equal measure. The folklore corpus of a given social group is an intricate complex of old, new, and restored personal and communal elements in diverse stages of integration and disintegration. Tradition accommodates, shapes, adjusts, and at the same time promotes new ideas following the dictum of actual needs. The interdependence of the two results in both the solidification of universal formulas and the creation of innumerable local-temporal variables. Hence, no new creation can be understood without familiarity with the previous stages, or indeed the total process. But if folklore is a process to be viewed diachronically, it is also a product of existing social conditions to be examined empirically in the context of the cultural, economic, technological, and . . .

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