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expulsion

ex·pul·sion / ikˈspəlshən/ • n. the action of depriving someone of membership in an organization: expulsion from school. ∎  the process of forcing someone to leave a place, esp. a country: mass expulsions of Croats during the savage fighting. ∎  the process of forcing something out of the body. DERIVATIVES: ex·pul·sive / ikˈspəlsiv/ adj.

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expulsion

expulsion see EXPEL.

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"expulsion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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expulsion

expulsionashen, fashion, passion, ration •abstraction, action, attraction, benefaction, compaction, contraction, counteraction, diffraction, enaction, exaction, extraction, faction, fraction, interaction, liquefaction, malefaction, petrifaction, proaction, protraction, putrefaction, redaction, retroaction, satisfaction, stupefaction, subtraction, traction, transaction, tumefaction, vitrifaction •expansion, mansion, scansion, stanchion •sanction •caption, contraption •harshen, Martian •cession, discretion, freshen, session •abjection, affection, circumspection, collection, complexion, confection, connection, convection, correction, defection, deflection, dejection, detection, direction, ejection, election, erection, genuflection, imperfection, infection, inflection, injection, inspection, insurrection, interconnection, interjection, intersection, introspection, lection, misdirection, objection, perfection, predilection, projection, protection, refection, reflection, rejection, resurrection, retrospection, section, selection, subjection, transection, vivisection •exemption, pre-emption, redemption •abstention, apprehension, ascension, attention, circumvention, comprehension, condescension, contention, contravention, convention, declension, detention, dimension, dissension, extension, gentian, hypertension, hypotension, intention, intervention, invention, mention, misapprehension, obtention, pension, prehension, prevention, recension, retention, subvention, supervention, suspension, tension •conception, contraception, deception, exception, inception, interception, misconception, perception, reception •Übermenschen • subsection •ablation, aeration, agnation, Alsatian, Amerasian, Asian, aviation, cetacean, citation, conation, creation, Croatian, crustacean, curation, Dalmatian, delation, dilation, donation, duration, elation, fixation, Galatian, gyration, Haitian, halation, Horatian, ideation, illation, lavation, legation, libation, location, lunation, mutation, natation, nation, negation, notation, nutation, oblation, oration, ovation, potation, relation, rogation, rotation, Sarmatian, sedation, Serbo-Croatian, station, taxation, Thracian, vacation, vexation, vocation, zonation •accretion, Capetian, completion, concretion, deletion, depletion, Diocletian, excretion, Grecian, Helvetian, repletion, Rhodesian, secretion, suppletion, Tahitian, venetian •academician, addition, aesthetician (US esthetician), ambition, audition, beautician, clinician, coition, cosmetician, diagnostician, dialectician, dietitian, Domitian, edition, electrician, emission, fission, fruition, Hermitian, ignition, linguistician, logician, magician, mathematician, Mauritian, mechanician, metaphysician, mission, monition, mortician, munition, musician, obstetrician, omission, optician, paediatrician (US pediatrician), patrician, petition, Phoenician, physician, politician, position, rhetorician, sedition, statistician, suspicion, tactician, technician, theoretician, Titian, tuition, volition •addiction, affliction, benediction, constriction, conviction, crucifixion, depiction, dereliction, diction, eviction, fiction, friction, infliction, interdiction, jurisdiction, malediction, restriction, transfixion, valediction •distinction, extinction, intinction •ascription, circumscription, conscription, decryption, description, Egyptian, encryption, inscription, misdescription, prescription, subscription, superscription, transcription •proscription •concoction, decoction •adoption, option •abortion, apportion, caution, contortion, distortion, extortion, portion, proportion, retortion, torsion •auction •absorption, sorption •commotion, devotion, emotion, groschen, Laotian, locomotion, lotion, motion, notion, Nova Scotian, ocean, potion, promotion •ablution, absolution, allocution, attribution, circumlocution, circumvolution, Confucian, constitution, contribution, convolution, counter-revolution, destitution, dilution, diminution, distribution, electrocution, elocution, evolution, execution, institution, interlocution, irresolution, Lilliputian, locution, perlocution, persecution, pollution, prosecution, prostitution, restitution, retribution, Rosicrucian, solution, substitution, volution •cushion • resumption • München •pincushion •Belorussian, Prussian, Russian •abduction, conduction, construction, deduction, destruction, eduction, effluxion, induction, instruction, introduction, misconstruction, obstruction, production, reduction, ruction, seduction, suction, underproduction •avulsion, compulsion, convulsion, emulsion, expulsion, impulsion, propulsion, repulsion, revulsion •assumption, consumption, gumption, presumption •luncheon, scuncheon, truncheon •compunction, conjunction, dysfunction, expunction, function, junction, malfunction, multifunction, unction •abruption, corruption, disruption, eruption, interruption •T-junction • liposuction •animadversion, aspersion, assertion, aversion, Cistercian, coercion, conversion, desertion, disconcertion, dispersion, diversion, emersion, excursion, exertion, extroversion, immersion, incursion, insertion, interspersion, introversion, Persian, perversion, submersion, subversion, tertian, version •excerption

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Expulsion

EXPULSION

EXPULSION . Expulsion can be harmful but also beneficial, depending on the purposes toward which it is directed. Associated concepts are alienation, banishment, excommunication, exile, exorcism, expurgation, purification, repentance, scapegoating, defilement, and cleansing. Greeks, Romans, and Indians practiced expulsion as a means of exerting social control over individuals or groups over millennia. Against that cultural background, religious communities adopted and adapted expulsion to their own purposes and provided some of the most dramatic instances of one or another form of expulsion.

The story in the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible of Yahweh sending Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden as punishment for their disobedience of his commands is an archetypal story of expulsion that is widely known, particularly in the West. One widespread and persistent interpretation of the story asserts that ever since that momentous expulsion humans have been estranged and alienated from their proper relationship with the divine. Religious communities often seek to provide means to restore the relationship, sometimes through rituals, sometimes through recommended ethical behaviors, sometimes through doctrines said to articulate the proper understanding of the divine-human relationship to which intellectual assent by believers is required.

Further narratives abound in the literature of many other religions indicating that similar experiences occur within their residual memories of the realm of human relations as individuals are estranged from and by other individuals. Humans also experience alienation from themselves and from their feelings and thoughts, sometimes referred to as "self-alienation." This underscores the necessity to attend to spiritual and psychological dimensions to provide a rounded account of expulsion.

Being alienated from family, friends, communities, organizations, and nations happens as a result of beliefs, actions, and even attitudes that run counter to prevailing norms. Although sometimes voluntary, when for principled reasons a person goes into exile, more often it is a punishment imposed by others. Think of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, banished by Soviet Union in the 1970s for his books criticizing communism. In Solzhenitsyn's case the demise of the communist regime in the early 1990s enabled him to return to his beloved country freed from the dictatorial power that had expelled him.

Exile

A person can be excommunicated from a community for denying beliefs held to be central to that community or for actions judged unacceptable by the community. In such instances a prescribed path is sometimes offered to enable the excommunicant to return to the community. Instances of such banishment and subsequent restoration are in the histories of such groups as the Amish, the Mennonites, and the Hutterites. Expulsion from such groups is often the penalty for some member becoming too "modernistic" in belief or action. A return is sometimes achieved by the person's renouncing or recanting her or his offending beliefs or practices. In such instances the power and authority of the community and its traditions is affirmed first by the expulsion and then by its allowing the offender to return on terms the community establishes. Temporary expulsion is a form of ostracizing a person or group for a time of chastisement.

Thus a person can either voluntarily enter into exile to protest a turn of events within a community, often a nation in which a person has held a position of leadership, or one can be banished and thereby become an exile. In the instance of voluntary exile a person makes a principled move aimed at calling attention to, and seeking allies to oppose, whatever is objectionable. In either case, if the situation changes in the community or nation, the person in exile sometimes returns, even triumphantly. A prominent historical instance of this is the case of Martin Luther (14831546), who was declared a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church after the Diet of Worms in 1521 and simultaneously was declared an outlaw by the Holy Roman Empire. However, Luther was protected by Prince Frederick the Wise against any move Emperor Charles might have made to enforce the death penalty pronounced against him.

After two years in hiding, Luther returned to Wittenberg, the university city in which he had written his critique of many of the central beliefs and practices of papal Roman Catholicism. That Luther made this return and lived there until his death in 1546 demonstrates that the power and control of both the pope and the Holy Roman emperor were insufficient to make Luther's expulsion effective. He freely moved about in those Germanic territories in which he lived. His banishment by and from Catholicism had no practical consequences for him in that Luther defied both church and Empire and lived to tell the story. In addition, his actions and thoughts led to the emergence of a new interpretation of Christianity called Protestantism.

Banishment

Expulsion is neither voluntary, as exile sometimes is, nor is there usually any possibility of return, as excommunication sometimes offers. Expulsion is a decision made by people holding power to enforce the judgment against a person or group based on a claim that the larger community will be improved or enhanced by ridding itself of those objectionable or corrupting people. Such a draconian judgment leaves those expelled without the support of a society or institution. Thus expulsion is synonymous with irreversible banishment. It is one of the cruelest acts that can be perpetrated against humans, for it is a deliberate cutting off of individuals or groups from the social, economic, spiritual, and other resources of the expelling community. It is a sentence of "social death."

The ideology of expulsion rests upon two bases. First, those who hold sufficient power to impose expulsion typically regard themselves as the sole authentic power center of the institutions over which they rule or within which they hold authority. Any opponents who are perceived to hold views antithetical to those held by the rulers are regarded as threats to the established status quo, and thus as dangerous. This justifies the decisions to rid the institution, the community, or the nation of the purported threat. "Away with them," is the response. Second, those who impose the expulsion reduce those who are victims in some way or another to either a real or virtual subhuman characterization. This attitude dehumanizes those who thereby become "others" and both allows and legitimizes cruelty and banishment of those "heretics" or infidels. Sometimes such practices are forms of creating a scapegoat, which is the practice of identifying an innocent person, group, or even animal to bear the guilt and blame that rightly belongs to others (cf. Lv. 16 in the Hebrew Bible). Scapegoating is the false accusation of an offense that results in the persecution or even murder of those so accused.

One of the most widely known instances of a collective expulsion is that of Jews being driven from Spain in 1492, ironically the date that also marks the voyage of exploration of Christopher Columbus. The notorious Tomás de Torquemada (14201498) persuaded King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to expel the Jews. He argued that the Catholic faith was in peril due to the corrupting presence and influence of the false converts from Judaism (and from Islam as well) who were called conversos or, even more insultingly, marranos, the Hebrew word for pig. This dogmatic and literalistic perspective insisted on one and only one interpretation of Christianity. It overruled any vestige of Christian charity and forced a major eastward movement of Jews. In the twentieth century the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany focused its horrendous persecution and extermination upon the Jews in many European countries. The goal was the annihilation of all Jews everywhere. This is quantitatively one of the most radical instances of expulsion and destruction in history.

The powerful residual memory of this expulsion contributed significantly to the idea of Jewish immigration to the "promised land" of Zion. In the nineteenth century some Jewish thinkers, such as Theodor Herzl (18601904), developed the ideology of Zionism. The combination of the Holocaust and Zionism propelled the migration of Jews from many nations to Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel in the twentieth century.

Purification

There are, however, other considerations pertaining to expulsion. The eminent twentieth-century historian of religions Mircea Eliade notes that expulsion is not always a negative or reactive matter, at least in connotation. Rather, he convincingly demonstrates that in many cultures and religious traditions expulsion is a rite of purification incorporated into rituals of regeneration. He observes that "demons, diseases, and sins" are all subject to expulsion by ritual actions and that they are regarded as evils that must be expelled in order for the cleansing to be complete (Eliade, 1959). If one recognizes these "expulsions" as having contemporary analogues, this positive connotation takes on a deeper resonance. For example, in the practice of scientific medicine, prescriptions of certain medicines are precisely meant to expel symptoms and the disease they manifest. Further, certain surgical interventions are designed to remove diseased organs or intrusive growths that are compromising the health of a person's body.

Confession of sins is a prominent dimension of certain modern religious practices. Confession leads to repentance and, in some traditions, to the requirement that the penitent person engage in certain actions designed to purge the sins that have been confessed. This is a kind of expulsion that is accomplished in the combination of confession and penance.

The idea of demons still awakens deep anxiety and even fear in large numbers of people. "Demon possession" is a diagnosis not confined to persons but also applied to physical places, such as buildings and homes. The depth of this sensitivity gives rise in some traditions to the practice of exorcism. Two definitions of exorcise are to expel (an evil spirit) by, or as if by, incantation, command, or prayer; and to free from evil spirits or malign influences. Popular culture bears witness to the power of the ideas of demon possession and exorcism through both the novel and the movie from the 1970s entitled The Exorcist. The extraordinary longevity of both book and movie and the remarkable breadth of their popularity demonstrate that demons still occupy a lively place in the contemporary human imagination.

Thus, if diseases, sins, and demons are regarded as realities in the lives of humans from antiquity until the twenty-first century, then means for expelling themand thereby purifying and regenerating their hostswill also predictably be of widespread interest and concern. Such instances of expulsion are valued and sought after.

Finally, another form of expulsion is manifest in the act of expurgation that aims to remove or expel objectionable material from a book or magazine or some other word-based medium before it can be published. This, like exorcism, aims to cleanse or purify a text of some kind or other as targeted material. In text-based religious traditions great care is expended by designated guardians who comb earlier editions to identify any items that need expurgation to ensure that new editions of the sacred writings are as accurate and error-free as possible. This practice demonstrates another instance of expelling what is objectionable and unwanted by participants in a community who are committed to living in conformity with the pure words of their texts.

In the contemporary world, formal religious expulsion, or even expurgation, is comparatively rare, in large measure owing to the heterogeneity of modern societies. People are less confined to participation in only one social, or even religious, grouping. Thus the power of expulsion is reduced to a degree. But informal and powerful instances of ostracizing or banning people still persist in some communities. To the extent that such practices are employed under any circumstances, they serve to demonstrate that expulsion resonates, even in the contemporary world, as a tool of imposing conformity of beliefs, attitudes, and actions.

See Also

Excommunication; Fall, The; Scapegoat.

Bibliography

Dumont, Louis. Homo Hierarchicus: An Essay on the Caste System. Rev. ed. Translated by Mark Sainsbury. Chicago, 1980.

Eliade, Mircea. Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return. Translated from French by Willard R. Trask. New York, 1959. Rev. ed. published as The Myth of the Eternal Return; or, Cosmos and History. Princeton, N.J., 1971.

Frazer, James George. The Scapegoat. Part 6 of The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, 3d ed., rev. and enl. London, 1913.

Girard, René. Violence and the Sacred. Translated by Patrick Gregory. Baltimore, 1977.

James B. Wiggins (2005)

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