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Cover image of Demon Possession in Anglo-Saxon England, by Peter Dendle: an early medieval manuscript image of a person with a small brown demon floating near their head, with the title in white on a deep purple background.

Demon Possession in Anglo-Saxon England

By Peter Dendle

Early medieval England was a society governed by the competing discourses of illness, spirituality, power, and community. The concepts of demon possession and exorcism, introduced by Christian missionaries, provided a potential outlet for expressing the psychological, biological, and sociopolitical dysfunctions of a society that was at the center of multiple conflicting cultural dimensions. This book is a reexamination of the available sources describing the possessed and a study of the currently recognized medical and psychiatric conditions that may be relevant to and resemble medieval possession.

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