sean mccloud. American Possessions: Fighting Demons in the Contemporary United States. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. 192. Scholarly work on globalizing Christianity in the last few decades has extended the exploration of the myriad ways that faith, practice, and modernity are mutually constitutive. With regard to conservative American Christianity, new research approaches have included scholarly attention to education, political economy, and social activism. Sean McCloud's American Possessions contributes to this research through a comprehensive study of charismatic praxis around demon possession, and the "haunted imaginary" it engages. The ostensible focal subject of American Possessions is the practice of deliverance ministry, or spiritual warfare, within the charismatic Christian Third Wave movement. Within neo-Pentecostalism and other forms of conservative American Christianity, spiritual warfare is enacted as a performed confrontation between self-appointed experts and demons in material objects, landscapes, and individual persons. The study situates deliverance ministries alongside particular American cultural obsessions and insecurities, revealing them to be isomorphic. Rather than attempting to approach his subject historically or denominationally, McCloud's analysis engages with popular culture, and utilizes a combination of print and television media as source material. Specifically, McCloud relies on spiritual warfare handbooks, designed as testimonies
Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Dec 28, 2016
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