A History of Exorcism in Catholic Christianity

  • Francis Young

Part of the Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic book series (PHSWM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Francis Young
    Pages 1-26
  3. Francis Young
    Pages 99-130
  4. Francis Young
    Pages 131-154
  5. Francis Young
    Pages 155-179
  6. Francis Young
    Pages 209-241
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 243-275

About this book


This book traces the development of exorcism in Catholic Christianity from the fourth century to the present day, and seeks to explain why exorcism is still so much in demand.  This is the first work in English to trace the development of the liturgy, practice and authorisation of exorcisms in Latin Christianity. The rite of exorcism, and the claim by Roman Catholic priests to be able to drive demons from the possessed, remains an enduring source of popular fascination, but the origins and history of this controversial rite have been little explored. Arguing that belief in the need for exorcism typically re-emerges at periods of crisis for the church, Francis Young explores the shifting boundaries between authorised exorcisms and unauthorised magic throughout Christian history, from Augustine of Hippo to Pope Francis. This book offers the historical background to – and suggests reasons for – the current resurgence of exorcism in the global Catholic Church.


Religion Cultural History Catholicism Social History Exorcism

Authors and affiliations

  • Francis Young
    • 1
  1. 1.The King's SchoolElyUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-29111-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-29112-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site