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Exorcism and Enlightenment: Johann Joseph Gassner and the Demons of Eighteenth-Century Germany

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Juli 2005

Beschreibung

Beschreibung

In the late eighteenth century, Catholic priest Johann Joseph Gassner {1727-1779} discovered that he had extraordinary powers of exorcism. Deciding that demons were responsible for most human ailments, he healed thousands, rich and poor, protestant and Catholic. In this book H.C. Erik Midelfort delves deeply into records of the time to explore Gassner's remarkable exorcising campaign, chronicle the official efforts to curb him, and reconstruct the sufferings of the afflicted. Gassner's activities triggered a Catholic religious revival as well as a noisy skeptical reaction. In response to those who doubted that he was really casting out demons, Gassner marshaled hundreds of eyewitness reports that seemed to prove his exorcisms really worked. Midelfort describes the Gassner episode yields important insight into the German Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, the limitations of eighteenth debate, and the ongoing role of magic and belief in an age of scientific enlightenment.

Portrait

H. C. Erik Midelfort is C. Julian Bishko Professor of History and Religious Studies, University of Virginia. He is the author of numerous award-winning books, including A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany and Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany.

Pressestimmen

"This study of demonic possessions and exorcisms in the era of Enlightenment redefines our understanding of the way in which natural philosophy, medicine, and religion began to diverge after centuries of being intertwined. Midelfort raises his sights beyond the details, showing us that the Gassner controversy was a critical moment in the Western quest for an understanding of the self, and for mastery over the evils that bedevil every individual and society." Carlos Eire, Yale University"
EAN: 9780300106695
ISBN: 0300106696
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: YALE UNIV PR
Erscheinungsdatum: Juli 2005
Seitenanzahl: 219 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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