Award-winning foreign correspondent Tracy Wilkinson reveals that "devil detox", as some call it, is a booming industry, complete with motivational speakers, international conventions, and plenty of controversy. At the center of this surprising movement is Father Gabriele Amorth, an energetic octogenarian who has spent decades leading a campaign to reestablish exorcism as a regularly performed rite of the Church. Through extensive interviews with him, as well as with highly placed Church officials, scientists, and ordinary Catholics, Wilkinson reveals the profound impact of this growing trend within both the Church hierarchy and the lay community.
©2007 Tracy Wilkinson; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
"This book is certainly not an apologia for exorcisms, but it will appeal to those looking for a fascinating history and some thoughtful commentary from proponents and skeptics alike." (Publishers Weekly)
It certainly begins well but moves into mockery and make belief on the part of the noble efforts of priests who undertake this effort. A sham. Save your time and money and get a Gabrielle Amoreth book instead (not on audible but it would be great to have).
The author gave you a variety of perspectives profiling different types of exorcists from the reluctant, to the conservative, to the charismatic. She also covers the criminal, psychological, and eccelesiastical dimensions of Catholic Exorcism. She is obviously a skeptic herself and possibly non-Catholic, but she is careful to let the Exorcists and possesed people speak for themselves. (like a true Journalist should.) I STRONGLY DISAGREE with the other reviewer who says this book disparages priests, and I would point out that the other reviewer recommends a book by Father Amoreth who is a top exorcist and extremely biased!
This book was a very fun and interesting read. It included several case studies, interesting scenes, and chilling descriptions. At the same time it gave a segnificant amount of detailed information so that I walked away feeling entertained and informed; a rare combination! I only wish that this book was longer!
I loved the case studies, profiles, and biographies of different priests, patients, and officials. And of course the vivid exorcism scenes, which the narrator read in just the right tenner of drama without over doing it.
Whether you believe exorcism has no place in society today, or whether you believe that all things are possible, this book has interesting insights into a culture that few of us really understand. I loved it!
"The Vatican's exorcists"
For everything you've wanted to know about exorcism, this is a handy book to get. Unfortunately it is also quite disappointing. This book tries to work out the puzzle of whether demonic posession is just a psychological disturbance, hysteria, or whether there are really evil forces. The problem with this book is that it speaks about phenomena, but does not investigate them more deeply. For example, the priests show the authors articles they claim were vomitted up during exorcisms, but the author never actually witnesses this. The author does interview victims of posession, trying to understand their backgrounds and circumstances. The book ends inconclusively, not coming down on one side or the other. It is still quite an interesting listen though, but don't expect any groundbraking discoveries or findings.
Gabriele Amorth died last year, in his 90s. He was somehow reluctantly accepted by the hierarchy as an "exorcist", Lord have mercy, but I am glad that the author, even though she seems to be from USA, presents a varied picture of Catholic exorcism in Italy.
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