The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Today in class, while explaining the origins of the doctrine of the Trinity, my systematics professor got to talking about the Early Church's experience, a Charismatic/Pentecostal sort of experience, of the Holy Spirit. Then he 'tangented' to observing how some people in the class had had such experiences, but did not feel comfortable talking about them in the "academic" environment afforded by the seminary setting, and how this environment can actually suppress theological discourse. Then after tangenting a bit more about 'spiritual' or 'spook factor' (as he put it) experiences, he encouraged all of us to go see "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." So I have a real live Methodist Theologian in my corner here: YOU should go see this movie.

What REALLY happened to Emily Rose? This is the question that the movie raises; or this is the question that gets at a much bigger question: What do you believe about all that "spiritual/supernatural" stuff?

The movie is loosely based on actual events that occured in the 70s in Germany. A failed exorcism was performed and a young girl died. Then the charges were filed: negligent homocide. In the movie, most of which is a courtroom drama, the priest who presided over the exorcism liturgy, Father Moore, is on trial, and this trial raises lots of questions.

The movie is very creepy (I, who do not frequent scary movies, lost sleep because of it), and very smart. The very rational-sounding Methodist Prosecution attorney says she had epilepsy, and the priests actions led to her death. Is he right? Or was Father Moore right? Was Emily possessed by demons? Is that even possible? What does it mean if it is? Or if it isn't?

At one point the defense attorney, a woman of doubt, says: "God, angels, Satan, demons. These either exist or they do not." So the question for the jury, the question for the audience is, or course, "Do they?" And how you answer that questions, will determine what sort of answer you give to ALL the other questions, won't it?

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Blogger Daniel Dumas said...

Hey Daniel. Nance said that you really enjoyed the movie and that it made your think alot, and I saw that Josh had even posted about your comments on the movie, so I think that I am going to see the movie in the next week or so. And I also have a blog that you can visit and I put your blog as a link on mine. Mine is www.danieldumas.blogspot.com. Thanks man.

2:06 PM, October 03, 2005  
Blogger Nate said...


Hey man- first time on your blog- good stuff.

Got a question for you: From this post and the blogs you cite on the side of your blog, it seems that you have some "charismatic" experiences. Is this correct?

I am "out of the closet" on this for anyone who asks: I definitely have had some experiences. I am kind of a "skeptical charismatic" you might say... Open to the gifts of the Spirit while knowing that things can go waaaaay wacky if there is no discernment.

You also make passing reference to feeling "stifled" in speaking of such things. I have felt the same.

If so, it has me thinking: Would you be interested in a discussion and prayer group? It would be interesting to discuss and pray about (gotta sound academic here) "Post-Pentecostal Pneumatology" in a graduate setting. Who knows- God might even use that for something cool.

Email me...

12:03 AM, March 23, 2006  

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