The light and the night : an ethnographic examination of spiritual warfare

Monteith, Andrew (2010) The light and the night : an ethnographic examination of spiritual warfare. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis explores spiritual warfare, a term that in Evangelical culture refers to the perceived conflict with evil, and, among most practitioners, specifically to a conflict with demons. Spiritual warfare beliefs are based primarily on pneumatological assumptions as well as on eschatological views. Based on a field study using anthropological methodology, this study examined spiritual warfare beliefs and practices at the Anchor Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, and placed the findings in a broader Evangelical intellectual context. The observation portion of this study occurred between May 2009 and February 2010. -- Interviews with individuals claiming to have experienced conflict with demonic forces, observation of exorcism practices, and an analysis of the beliefs and activities relevant to demonological conceptions demonstrate how pneumatology and eschatology merge to effect spiritual warfare beliefs and practices. This research also addresses how people conceive of spiritual warfare, why they practice it, and its function within the culture. -- Individuals subscribing to a doctrine of the Holy Spirit that emphasizes the active, miraculous power of God in the present time and who also accept an eschatological position that includes the ultimate defeat of Satan and demons, adhere to an aggressive understanding of spiritual warfare, which advocates that Christians confront and defeat demons. The alternative position is a defensive posture, which advocates that Christians simply try to avoid or resist demonic influences.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 8999
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 167-175).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Christianity and art; Demonology; Holy Spirit; Kingdom of God; Spiritual warfare

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