Seeking the Supernatural: The Exorcisms of John Darrell and the Formation of an Orthodox Identity in Early Modern England

by Mollmann, Bradley J.

Abstract (Summary)
In the 1590's a puritan minister named John Darrell performed a series of miraculous exorcisms in the English midlands. His actions were highly controversial, sparking a national debate over the nature of demonic possession and the appropriate methods of healing. Darrell believed that he had an orthodox approach to divine powers, but he was met with strong opposition. The Bishop of London, Richard Bancroft, thought that Darrell's exorcisms were an attempt to win converts to the puritan cause. Both sides worked feverishly to defend their ideas. They published multiple pamphlets, articulating their beliefs for or against the possibility of demonic possession. This thesis will examine these pamphlets in an attempt to ascertain the ways in which people understood the phenomena. It will focus on the question of identity, and John Darrell's attempt to legitimize his role as an exorcist within the Church of England.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Miami University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:puritan early modern england demons satan identity whitgift harsnett bankroft exorcism darrell orthodoxy


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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