Religious Competition over Exorcism

  • Giuseppe Giordan
  • Adam Possamai


This chapter starts to question, sociologically, the increase in the visibility of this practice and the belief behind it. It argues that, due to intense competition between religious groups in our multi-faith societies, these groups are now branding their particular type of exorcism ritual in order to validate the strength of their own belief system. Comparing this case study with other cases from the Pentecostal and the Anglican Churches, this chapter develops the theory of the branding of exorcism. It argues that in a competitive religious market, religious groups are increasing their interest in the devil in order to justify their relevance and strength, but that each does this in a different way – for example, the Pentecostals have their ministry of deliverance and Catholics embrace the ritual of exorcism. Drawing on the data from fieldwork, this chapter also shows a move by the Catholic Church to a type of ministry of deliverance, which, in late modernity, is a more popular way of dealing with the devil.


Ministry of deliverance Branding of the devil Ritual of exorcism Standardisation of religion 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Giordan
    • 1
  • Adam Possamai
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Filosofia, Sociologia Pedagogia, Psicologia Applicata (FISPPA)Università degli Studi di PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.School of Social Sciences and PsychologyWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia

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