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Peter1469
12-31-2015, 09:04 AM
Why Are Exorcisms as Popular as Ever (https://newrepublic.com/article/126607/exorcisms-popular-ever)

I heard an interview with the author of the book, The Exorcist, and he claimed that his publisher wasn't sure the title was good- few people knew what the word meant back then.

At Texas State University, I teach an honors course called “Demonology, Possession, and Exorcism.” It’s not a gut course. My students produce research papers on topics that range from the role of sleep paralysis in reports of demonic attacks to contemporary murder cases in which defendants have claimed supernatural forces compelled them to commit crimes.

In fact, talk of demons isn’t unusual in Texas. The first day of class, when we watched a clip of an alleged exorcism (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/13/starbucks-exorcism_n_6156076.html) at an Austin Starbucks, many of my students said that they’d seen similar scenes in the towns where they’d grown up.

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Either way, these parents aren’t a superstitious minority: a poll (http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/HalloweenRelease%2BResults.pdf) conducted in 2012 found that 57 percent of Americans believe in demonic possession. Nonetheless, demons (invisible, malevolent spirits) and exorcism (the techniques used to cast these spirits out of people, objects or places) are often thought of as relics of the past, beliefs and practices that are incompatible with modernity. It’s an assumption based in a sociological theory that dates back to the 19th century called the secularization narrative (http://bulletin.equinoxpub.com/2014/04/defining-postsecularism-a-response/). Scholars such as Max Weber predicted that over time, science would inevitably supersede belief in “mysterious forces.”

Read more at the link.