Spirit Possession around the World: Possession, Communion, and Demon Expulsion across Cultures

By Slack, Anita J. | Reference & User Services Quarterly, Winter 2015 | Go to article overview

Spirit Possession around the World: Possession, Communion, and Demon Expulsion across Cultures


Slack, Anita J., Reference & User Services Quarterly


Spirit Possession Around the World: Possession, Communion, and Demon Expulsion Across Cultures. Edited by Joseph P. Laycock. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2015. 414 pages. Acid free $89 (ISBN: 978-1-61069-589-3). E-book available (978-1-31069-590-9), call for pricing.

This book has proven a welcome addition to the reference collection at my private, Catholic, liberal arts institution. In an effort to draw a comparison between other works on the topic of spirit possession, I found myself surprised to discover that there are currently few comparable resources in our collection, the collections of libraries in our consortium, or available on Amazon. While I have encountered works addressing the spiritual, medical, psychological, religious, geographical, and cultural aspects of the phenomenon of demoniac possession at an individual level, it is rare to find all of these together.

The book consists of A-to-Z signed entries on various aspects of demoniac possession, all written by appropriately qualified scholars. Also included are suggestions for further reading, cross-referencing, and profiles on the editor and contributors. Particularly useful features include a guide to related topics that groups the entries by geography, religion and traditions, political movements, popular culture, psychological/medical and sociological interpretations and a chronology that spans from 1600 BCE to 2013 CE. …

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