‘Catholic Demon-Making’

Huffington Post

May 13th, 2014 by 
Mat Schmalz

With exorcism making headlines—the Vatican just concluded its annual conference on exorcism and the satanic ‘black Mass’ at Harvard University was canceled due to protest—Mathew Schmalz, associate professor of religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross, wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post about his experiences evicting demons.

He writes: “Professionally and personally, I do know something about exorcism.   I even performed an exorcism myself—albeit under duress.  Twenty-years ago, I was doing my Ph.D. research among Catholic faith healers in India.  I was recording an exchange between a Catholic exorcist and a possessed woman, when the exorcist left the room and pointed to me saying, ‘he’ll finish the job.’  Not knowing what else to do, I laid hands on the woman, who subsequently barked like a dog and then gave me a smile before she left the room.”

“I wrote about this incident for an academic journal — not to hang out my shingle as the professor who deals with devils, but to explore a dilemma common to anthropologists who become entangled with their research in unexpected and sometimes disturbing ways,” he continues. “But as much as I took an academic perspective on the incident, I did feel at once empowered and embarrassed; empowered because I felt connected — embarrassed because it all seemed so crazy.”

This “Holy Cross in the News” item by Cristal Steuer.

| More

Comments are closed.

Sort By:
or
09/29/14 Working For Worcester, WSGA, and Holy Cross Running Club Announces Fall 5K
09/26/14 Blog: Carroll ’16 Shows It’s Possible to Major in Science and Study Abroad
09/25/14 Former NBA Player and Fall River Native to Speak at Holy Cross
09/24/14 Holy Cross Football Team Will Reemerge For Homecoming Weekend
See All
See All

Featured Videos

See video
Artist-in-Residence Cristina Pato and Renowned Composer Osvaldo Golijov to Lead Concert and Panel Discussion

Watch Video >
See video
Environmental Champion Slottje ’89 on Crusade to Protect America Against Fracking

Watch Video >
See video
Strong Alumni Support Makes for Record-Breaking Year in Giving to Holy Cross

Watch Video >
More

What’s Happening on Campus

10/02/2014

Working Writers Series Presents Author Nick Krieger

See More >
10/05/2014

Internationally Renowned Organist and Cornettist to Perform as Part of Chapel Artists Series

See More >
10/07/2014

Former NBA Player and Fall River Native to Speak at Holy Cross

See More >
10/25/2014

Craft Demonstrations by Refugee Artisans of Worcester

See More >
More

Holy Cross in the News

09/22/14

‘Tesla’s removal of patent restrictions a boost for electric cars’

Worcester Business Journal

In an op-ed for the Worcester Business Journal, Christine Fimognari ’15 discusses a decision by Tesla, a manufacturer of electric cars, to remove patent restrictions in the...

09/12/14

PayScale Ranks Holy Cross Among Liberal Arts Colleges by Salary Potential

The College of the Holy Cross ranked No. 18 among liberal arts colleges and No. 52 in overall private schools according to PayScale, which released its 2014-2015 College...

09/04/14

‘Redesigned Holy Cross dining hall offers new options’

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette recently visited the College of the Holy Cross for the soft opening of the newly renovated Kimball Main Dining Hall, which will have its...