Exorcism and Other Spiritual Modes of 'Conversion Therapy': Balancing Religious Liberty and Individual Rights

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The authors explore exorcism and other spiritual modes of 'conversion therapy' in this piece. They start by setting out the parameters of this study, and explain the terminology and the rationale behind it. They then highlight the reasons why introducing secular legal oversight in this arena is complex and sometimes touted by opponents of reform as not merely unworkable, but as an intolerable threat to religious freedom. First, they consider issues which are applicable to all spiritual conversion practices, and are presented as obstacles to legal prohibition, and then address matters which exclusively affect conversion by exorcism. In the process of discussing all these concerns, they engage not only with the reasons why they are being raised, but also their basis for ultimately dismissing each one as an insurmountable obstacle to reform. Finally, they discuss why it is possible to include spiritual conversion practices in secular prohibitions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBanning 'Conversion Therapy'
Subtitle of host publicationLegal and Policy Perspectives
EditorsIlias Trispiotis, Craig Purshouse
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherHart Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781509961177, 9781509961177
ISBN (Print)9781509961153
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023


  • conversion therapy
  • exorcism
  • religious freedom
  • secular
  • religious


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