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Rowan, Kirsty and Dwyer, Karen (2015) 'Demonic possession and deliverance in the diaspora: Phenomenological descriptions from Pentecostal deliverees.' Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 18 (6). pp. 440-455.

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Experiences of demonic possession are on the increase in the UK. The presentation of possession appears strikingly similar to psychopathologies. Yet while the DSM-V includes the importance of interpreting psychotic phenomena in relation to the cultural practices of the individual presenting, there remains a lack of experiential accounts of possession. This study provides a phenomenological account of 17 individuals participating in a Pentecostal deliverance ceremony and their descriptions of discerning demon possession, undergoing exorcism/deliverance, and their condition immediately following. There was strong convergence on the discernment of demon possession through nightmares, in the thematic context of the dreams and the mapping of the content to adversity in their lives, which in turn reinforces the discernment. These experiential accounts were also characterised by a loss of control during possession and accompanied by a lack of amnesia post-deliverance. These accounts are discussed in relation to the disentangling of spiritual experience and psychopathologies.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Published Online 16 September 2015
Keywords: exorcism, Nigerian, experiences, discernment, nightmares
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 13674676
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2015 08:41

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