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Chapter 5

Klaits - Chapter 5 "Classic Accusers - The Possessed"

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Philosophy 2006
Sean Coughlin

KLAITSChapter 5 Classic AccusersThe PossessedDemonic possession became a leading theme in witchcraft trials of the ththlate 1617 c In the gospelsJesus cures individuals possessed by unclean spiritsMiddle Agesstories of people whose bodies had been taken over by demons Witch Crazepossession moved from theoreticians pages into the real lives of thousands of people Ex Elizabeth Ranfaing1620o Invaded by the Othercaused her to sink into convulsive seizures and outrageous blasphemieso Exorcism became ineffective as a cureo Devil inhabiting Elizabeths body was capable of remarkable featswith his help women could converse in numerous languages read letters through sealed envelopes etco Exhibited all the classic symptoms of possessiono Her behaviour continued for yearso Poirot doctor who cast the spell over her in the first placeElizabeth denounced him as the source of her bewitchmentHe was arrested interrogated shaved and searched for the Devils mark At first he refused to confess Several months later he was accused by another of witchcraftThen examiners found a mark of the Devil on his body Elite jury of 24 judges found him guilty He was strangled and bodies burnt at the stakeo In following years Elizabeth made a slow recoverygained a reputation for sanctity from her triumph Modern psychiatrist analyzed this caseneurotic tendencies a strict upbringing harsh treatment from her husband and her own unacknowledged spiritual inclinations brought about her notion of bewitchment and her persecution maniao Accusations of witchcraft and hysterical crises were reinforced by the exorcisms o When Poirot died the symptoms disappearedo This diagnosis fails to raise some pertinent questions EcstasyThe Demonic Many cultures of the world have manifested a belief in ecstatic religion one form of which is possession by demons An ecstatic condtion is an altered form of consciousness wherein an individual leaves his normal sensory situations and enters into a trancelike state
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