Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Pre-modern forms of healing are based on two different cognitive symbolic interpretations: (1) the disease is caused either by a lack of power; or (2) by possession by an evil power. Healings are therefore due to ‘adorcism’ (the good spirits who had previously left the sick person re-enter him) and ‘exorcism’ (the bad spirits who had entered the person are driven out). Early Christianity institutionalized both forms of healing by increasing ritualization. Four theories of pre-modern healings are combined in a theory of effective correspondence: charismatic healing is based on the efficacy of faith (or the placebo effect), social healing on the reduction of social stress, symbolic healing, and ritual healing on the correspondence between internal symbolic and external processes. Embodied rituals are only effective if they are embedded in a social context, with charismatics, cognitive interpretations, and social support.

Keywords: adorcism and exorcism, charismatic healing, demons, dissociative self, effective correspondence, faith, placebo effect, pre-modern healings, social healing, symbolic

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.