(from Gk. for out and adjure). Expelling or banning of evil spirits. Exorcism in the broad sense by rite and ritual is widely practiced in many religious cults. In the narrow sense it is a Christian ceremony.
Jesus expelled demons with a simple command (Mk 1:2326; 9:1429; Lk 11:1426). The apostles continued the practice with the power and in the name of Jesus (Mt 10:1; Acts 19:1116).
Special formulas of exorcism were developed in the early ch. The practice was early assoc. with baptism and preceded it. The RC Ch. and the E Orthodox Ch. preserved the rite of exorcism. The Luth. Ch., following M. Luther's* Taufbüchlein, gen. kept exorcism until the 18th c. S. S. Schmucker* and others rejected exorcism. C. F. W. Walther* advised congs. that practiced exorcism not to abolish it in haste and those that did not have it not to reintroduce it.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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