Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Book Review: An Exorcist Tells His Story

Title: An Exorcist Tells His Story; Seorang Eksorsis Menceritakan Kisahnya
Author: Gabriele Amorth
Publisher: Ignatius Press; Marian Centre Indonesia
Country: Italy
Pages: 205 pages (paperback); 259 pages (paperback)
Genre: Catholic, true story, angels and demons, exorcism

This book is NOT:

1) a collection of horror stories. If you want such stories, go see The Exorcist or The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Granted, this book presents an assortment of possession stories, but does not go into great gory details. And if present, the stories mainly serve as illustrations for the theological/pastoral descriptions. If you're expecting a freak show, you'll be disappointed;

2) a recollection of an exorcist's day-to-day life. It's not even a recollection of an exorcist's job!;

3) an anthology of exorcism ritual texts;

4) a detailed explanation on demonology or angelology;

5) a fairytale-natured book aiming to sow the seeds of false optimism and arrogance about human's power over the demons.

What the book IS:

1) Catholic and Christ-centered. Definitely!;

2) an honest (neither exaggerating nor underestimating) description about the nature of demons and demonic activities;

3) an "Exorcism 101".

What I mean by "Exorcism 101" is that Fr. Amorth's book does not place a special emphasis on just a single aspect of exorcism. Rather, it touches on many factors: the nature of Christ, the angels, and the demons; forms and characteristics of diabolic activities; and the basic theories of exorcism---what it is, who can do it, when should it be done, why it should it be done, and how it should be done.

Although not by any means extensive, readers will be pleasantly fulfilled, and believers especially, will likely to have their faith renewed. Fr. Amorth's book is powerful indeed; it serves as a reminder (or warning?) for us that the force of evil very much exists and is very active.

This review is also available on Goodreads.

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