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Demon Possession in Anglo-Saxon England

By Peter Dendle

Demon Possession in Anglo-Saxon England
Hardback, 322 pages £70.00
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9781580441698
Format: 233mm x 155mm
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Subjects: History, Medieval Institute Publications, Medieval Studies
Series: Research in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, Research in Medieval Culture

Anglo-Saxon England was a society governed by the competing discourses of illness, spirituality, power, and community. The concepts of demon possession and exorcism, introduced by Christian missionaries, provided a potential outlet for expressing the psychological, biological, and sociopolitical dysfunctions of a society that was at the center of multiple conflicting cultural dimensions.Demon Possession in Anglo-Saxon England is a reexamination of the available sources describing the possessed and a study of the currently recognized medical and psychiatric conditions that may be relevant to and resemble medieval possession.

Acknowledgments Abbreviations Preface Introduction 1. Backgrounds to Anglo-Saxon Exorcism 2. Medical and Liturgical Responses 3. Demon Possession in Narrative Portrayals 4. Neurological and Behavioral Pathologies in the Early Middle Ages Conclusions and Further Questions Works Cited Index

"This is a richly learned and highly readable book. It is seeded throughout with a wealth of comparative material from Carolingian, Merovingian, Late Antique, and contemporary sources. [...] Peter Dendle is to be congratulated on an admirably detailed study that complements the more literary and conceptual bent of his earlier book, Satan Unbound: The Devil in Old English Narrative Literature (2001)." Alice Jorgensen, Trinity College, Dublin; review in the Journal of English and Germanic Philology

Peter Dendle is Associate Professor of English at Penn State Mont Alto

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 322 pages
 233mm x 155mm

BIC Code:
  HIS037010, REL062000
 Medieval Institute Publications


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Peter Dendle

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Research in Medieval Culture
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Research in Medieval and Early Modern Culture
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