Opętanie i egzorcyzm w świetle badań antropologicznych i neurologicznych

Stanisław Radoń

Abstrakt

Possession and exorcism in the light of anthropological and neurological research

The aim of this study is to present the phenomena of possession and related exorcism rituals in the light of anthropological (analysis of the possessed people) and neurological research (systematic investigation of people with disorders that are similar to possession states such as epilepsy, dissociative identity disorder, meditation and mystical experiences). The research studies show that we have two different forms of possession: positive (controlled, enriching the life of the individual, i.e. shaman, exorcist) and negative (uncontrolled, diminishing the life of the individual). Women, male homosexuals, epilepsy patients, and people with dissociative identity disorder, heightened religiosity, experienced in meditation and with mystical experiences, are more likely to become possessed. The neurological mechanism which appears to be primarily responsible for spirit-possession phenomena is reduced asymmetry of brain activity (hemispheric synchronisation increases risk for possession). The implications for diagnosis and treatment of “possessed” people are presented (exorcists and deliverance ministers often succeed where psychiatry fails, but faith healers should be discouraged from exercising violent attempts at exorcism, because misconceptions such as possession by demons are still believed to be a cause of mental illness).

Słowa kluczowe: opętanie, egzorcyzm, badania neurologiczne , Possession, Exorcism, Neurological Research
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