"My name is Legion" : an exploration of the meaning of the story of the Gerasene demoniac in Mark 5:1-20

Scott, Linda M. (Linda Marie) (2010) "My name is Legion" : an exploration of the meaning of the story of the Gerasene demoniac in Mark 5:1-20. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The story of the Gerasene demoniac in Mark 5:1-20 is one of the great stories of the bible. Yet the full implications of this story remain largely unexplored. Scholars have focused mostly on it as a single pericope with interesting historical features. Its function within the whole of the Markan redaction has, surprisingly, been neglected. This thesis seeks to redress this neglect by showing how the story of the exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac acts as a hermeneutical key which helps us access the fuller dimensions of Mark's narrative. -- The form critical approach to Mark's Gospel treated it as a mere collection of traditions. Rudolf Bultmann, for example, claimed that Mark was someone who was not sufficiently in control of his material to be able to impose his own theological view upon it. In more recent scholarship, however, the Gospel of Mark is seen as a complex and sophisticated narrative with a very definite theological point of view. This thesis argues that this point of view is seen quite clearly when we examine how the story of the Gerasene demoniac functions within the whole narrative. -- Exorcisms are crucial in understanding the significance of Jesus' mission. By performing exorcisms Jesus is challenging the ruling authorities and summoning the marginalized and oppressed to embrace the Kingdom of God. The story of the exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac is central in illustrating this crucial aspect of Jesus' mission. Moreover, by closely analyzing the structure of Mark we can see how in the Markan redaction whole narrative complexes are woven together - especially those concerning exorcisms and feeding miracles - in order to throw into sharper relief the radical nature of what Jesus says and does.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9539
Item ID: 9539
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 109-116.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bible. Mark V, 1-20--Criticism, interpretation, etc; Healing of the Gerasene demoniac (Miracle); Demoniac possession

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