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Exorcism and emotions in the gospels
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Several passages in the Gospels speak of Jesus, in the context of healing someone or delivering someone of an evil spirit, being angry. To some translators and commentators (and even some copyists) his anger is difficult to motivate and out of character, and they suggest that Jesus was sorrowed rather than angry. I suggest on the basis of modern-day parallels that in the context of exorcisms anger is intelligible. In some cultures today heightened emotion is considered necessary for an exorcism to be plausible and effective and I consider it likely that when the Gospels speak of Jesus' anger they reflect the circumstances around his exorcisms accurately. It is easy to overanalyze words spoken in anger, however, and I argue on the basis of both New Testament passages and modern-day parallels that one should be careful about assuming that when Jesus displays anger at something that he necessarily considered it a supernatural agent. The demonic was not clearly defined, and in both healings and exorcism it was not unusual for the healer to express anger at the personified ailment. Anger is a social emotion that will normally be directed at an agent felt to have moral responsibility. Because of the emotional intensity involved in an exorcism (as in other forms of faith healing), personification of the patient's condition is expected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
Exorcism, Historical Jesus, Emotions, Anger, New Testament
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Humanities, Study of Religions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-36058OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-36058DiVA: diva2:734162
Conference
Society of Biblical Literature, 2014 International Meeting, Vienna, Austria, July 6-10, 2014
Available from: 2014-07-15 Created: 2014-07-15 Last updated: 2014-11-20Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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