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Demonology, Demon Possession and Exorcism



Demonology is the study of demons or evil spirits.

Demon possession is a paranormal state in which a spiritual entity takes control over a person or place.

Exorcism is a religious procedure during which demons, evil spirits or other spiritual entities are 'driven' or 'cast' out of a person or place believed to be possessed.

As always, keep in mind that the research resources we point to represent a variety of perspectives. Also, we welcome your suggestions for additional resources.

Christians disagree on whether or not a Christian can be possessed by a demon -- and if so, to what extend. Some Christians believe demon possession did occur in the early church. For instance, Wayne Jackson -- in referring to Bible stories about Jesus casting out demons -- says the purpose of demon possession in the first century was to establish the comprehensive and supreme authority of the Son of God. He argues,

If it is the case that miraculous powers have been removed from the church’s possession, including the ability to cast out demons (Mark 16:17-20), does it stand to reason that God would allow demons to supernaturally assault people today, thus granting Satan an undue advantage over the human family?

C. Fred Dickason, in his book Demon Possession and the Christian, includes a chapter titled, "Biblical Evidence against the Demonization of Believers" as well as a chapter titled, "Biblical Evidence Supporting Demonization of Believers."

Chris Simpson points out that the New Testament uses terminology that indicates Christians can 'have' a demon, but not be 'possessed' by one.

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This post was last updated: Jul. 3, 2014