Exorcism and Institutional Distinctiveness

An article in the New York Times reports on a conference in Baltimore focusing on exorcism in the Catholic Church. The article has a significant social science element. For instance, it quotes Scott Appleby as saying,
“What they’re trying to do in restoring exorcisms,” said Dr. Appleby, a longtime observer of the bishops, “is to strengthen and enhance what seems to be lost in the church, which is the sense that the church is not like any other institution. It is supernatural, and the key players in that are the hierarchy and the priests who can be given the faculties of exorcism.

“It’s a strategy for saying: ‘We are not the Federal Reserve, and we are not the World Council of Churches. We deal with angels and demons.’ ”

It may be useful reading for students.

No comments: