Exorcism and Deliverance Ministry in the Twentieth Century
An Analysis of the Practice and Theology of Exorcism in Modern Western Christianity
Studies in Evangelical History and Thought
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
254 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.51 in
- Published: November 2009
- Published: November 2009
This study seeks to demonstrate that exorcism/deliverance ministry is an innately enthusiastic practice utilizing John Knox's classic study of Christian enthusiasm. The twentieth century provides an ideal arena for such a study since it frames a complete lifecycle for this rite from its infancy during the early decades, through its heyday in the 1970s and 80s, on to creeping routinisation by the end of the century. Two enthusiastic settings, Charismatic and Evangelical Fundamentalist, are identified and examined as the environment in which two related streams of exorcism/deliverance ministry was practiced. Finally, enthusiastic Sacramentalist exorcism is considered in order to establish the thesis that enthusiastic settings provide a conducive atmosphere for the emergence and practice of exorcism/deliverance ministry. Attention is paid to historical factors within the Charismatic and Evangelical Fundamentalist streams that underlie the development of this rite. As a result important secondary insights are gained into the tidal nature of enthusiastic movements, the role of itinerant preachers in the propagation of enthusiasm, the routinisation of enthusiastic practices and the manner in which enthusiasm overcomes institutional denominational boundaries. The study provides the foundation for future investigation of the manner in which enthusiastic experience is presented for apologetic purposes, the relationship between exorcism/deliverance ministry and millenarianism and the practice of this rite within non-Western churches.
'Dr. Collins takes us on a comprehensive tour of the theological literature and established practice of Christian deliverance ministry. For any serious student and informed practitioner, this book is required reading.'
-William K. Kay, Director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies, Bangor University
'This is a fascinating study in the undergrowth of the Charismatic and Evangelical movements. James Collins leads us through the uncharted territory of deliverance ministry, untangles the roots, is discerning about the weeds and brings the occasional flower to light. It is surprising that the spiritual gift of exorcism, though significant in popular Christianity, has been ignored by scholars and I welcome the publication of this carefully-researched and pioneering study that sheds so much light on it.'
-Derek Tidball, former Principal of the London School of Theology
'Dr. James Collins has served us well in giving sustained, scholarly attention to an area of considerable concern and interest which has otherwise been neglected and, possibly, avoided. Despite the problematic nature of the subject matter, there is much here to inform us not only about recent church history but about the human condition and its varied interpretations. Others need to build on what he has done.'
-Nigel G. Wright, Principal of Spurgeon's College, London, and author of A Technology of the Dark Side