Some 150 people had been queuing up at a church outside the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in order to meet a local healer whom they believe would be able to free them from ‘demons’.
Opinion: Scammers and hysteria aside, I do believe in evil, dark spiritual powers and demons. What I find interesting from a sociological perspective is the disconnect among religion, spirituality and psychiatry. Many G7 and other countries afford psychiatry legal power in the courts, yet most psychiatrists would probably smirk if they were told a demon or demons tried to influence people.
However, psychiatry does not define belief in religious truth claims as a disorder, provided a body of believers – like a Church – shares the belief.
This treatment of mysticism, especially as it relates to individual innovators who don’t fit the mold of a given church scene, seems pretty facile and motivated by sociopolitical factors. But most people don’t stop to think about it.
A massive disconnect. And it’s costing us big time. Economically and environmentally.