I actually picked up this book after a fairly interesting discussion concerning exorcism in one of my classes. The range of opinions regard possession and exorcism in my class ranged from those who all suspected it was bunk to those who wanted to buy the whole Exorcist movie lock, stock, and barrel. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. I do believe in demon possession although I do not believe the assertion that believers indwelled by the Holy Spirit can be possessed. I also believe that possessions can fall into the category of “self-inflicted” in that the more a persons believes it can happen to them the more likely they are to experience the symptoms.
Reading this book was an attempt on my part to simply learn more about possession. Of course, most books on the subject are written from the perspective of the Catholic Church while Protestantism tends to ignore the subject all together.
I found this book to be engaging and interesting. Of particular value was the author’s treatment of Angels, Demons, and the existence of evil. Also of interest is Fr. Fortea’s explanation of the difference between religion and magic:
While religion is defined by adoration, magic is defined by dominion or control over supernatural forces or entities. It does not matter whether these forces are good or evil; a witch or sorcerer seeks to harness their power. In magic, one is not dealing with the transcendant, since God by His very nature is omnipotent and therefore unable to be dominated. As such, one is dealing with powers that, no matter how powerful that may be, can be dominated by a technique.
I believe Fortea’s words are highly relevant in an age that has seen a renewed interest in New Age and Pagan faiths. He also admirably explores subjects such as sin and temptation with great eloquence and insight.
I found this book to be a wonderful resource and consider it a valuable addition to my library.