Thomas Csordas: Hammering the Devil with Prayer

The Department of Religious Studies at University of California at Santa Barbara presents Thomas Csordas for a discussion on the contemporary resurgence of exorcism in the Catholic Church.

When: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 4 p.m.

Where: UCSB, Santa Barbara

Cost: Free

Age limit: All ages

Categories: Lectures


McCune Conference Room
6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building, UCSB

Thomas Csordas’ lecture is based on his current and ongoing comparative study of the Roman Catholic Rite of Exorcism in the United States and Italy, funded by the Social Science Research Council as part of their initiative on New Directions in the Study of Prayer. A resurgence in the performance of the exorcism rite began in 2004 when Pope John Paul II ordered that every diocese should have an officially appointed exorcist, and has since gathered momentum. Csordas’ research is an effort to understand this development on the level of therapeutic process in terms of how it may genuinely relieve affliction, and on the level of culture as a conservative discourse on evil at large in the contemporary world.
Thomas Csordas, the J.E. and Lillian Byrne Tipton Distinguished Visiting Professor in Catholic Studies at UC Santa Barbara for spring 2013, is currently Professor of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego. His principal interests are in medical and psychological anthropology, comparative religion, anthropological theory, cultural phenomenology and embodiment, globalization and social change, language and culture. He has conducted ethnographic research with Charismatic Catholics, Navajo Indians, and adolescents in the American Southwest on topics including therapeutic process in religious healing, ritual language and creativity, sensory imagery, self transformation, techniques of the body, causal reasoning about illness, and the experience of psychiatric inpatients.

Event posted April 24, 2013
Last updated April 24, 2013


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