Seminar at Birkbeck: ‘Exorcism and the Development of Ritual Magic’


Yesterday I led one of Birkbeck University of London’s EMPHASIS Seminars in the Senate House on the subject of ‘Exorcism and the Development of Ritual Magic’. The paper covered the early development of liturgical exorcism as part of rites of baptism, its expansion into the exorcism of energumens (demoniacs), and the ways in which ritual magicians, from the fourteenth century onwards, made use of liturgical texts of exorcism as part of their operations to summon, interrogate and banish spirits in necromancy.

The text of my paper is available here.

I am very grateful to Birkbeck’s Dr Stephen Clucas and Dr Anthony Ossa-Richardson of the University of Southampton for inviting me to lead a seminar and for their welcome and hospitality.

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