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Event hosted by Academic Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Sheffield

  The Neuropsychiatry of the Body in Space
Spiritual and Medical Discernment: should possession be treated by the priest or the doctor? -- Father J Davies, St Thomas of Canterbury

Part of the 2001 Sheffield Psychopathology Symposium

  1. Clarifications: Christ’s revelation, the source of the Church’s understanding; demonic influence – direct (varying degrees) and indirect; the aim and work of a priest/exorcist is different from that of a doctor/psychiatrist.
  2. Distinguishing the demonic from the medical: history and causes; symptoms and characteristics; remedies and their results.
  3. Indications for referral to a psychiatrist; indications


Father Jeremy Davies was born in London 1935. He read English Literature at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and Medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, qualifying in 1967. He then worked in Mission Hospitals in Guyana, Nigeria and Ghana. He was ordained as a Catholic Priest in 1974, and since then he has worked in parishes in Westminster Diocese, at present being Parish Priest of Old Hall Green.

Father Davies was appointed exorcist of the Diocese in 1986 and, after 4 months’ apprenticeship in Rome, has being doing this work ever since, being now 1 of 3 in the diocese.