Abusa Chimwala’s exorcism

Demons, Barth, and the Church of Central Africa (Presbyterian)

  • Blair Bertrand Zomba Theological College, Zomba, Malawi


This paper relates Karl Barth’s demonology to an exorcism performed by a minister of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian. Despite receiving a theological education in the Reformed tradition, the minister had not formally studied demonology from a Reformed perspective. Karl Barth, a Swiss Reformed theologian, illuminates what it was that the minister encountered and how this exorcism can be understood within a broader Christian cosmology. In addition, Barth’s nuanced theological approach helps the minister to chart a path forward so the possessed young woman can experience freedom and life in all of its fullness.