Can a legion" of demons convey a message? As Michael Willett Newheart asserts, a study of the Gerasene (Mark5:1-20) and the demons Jesus cast from him can indeed carry an important message of faith. Although the Gerasene may have suffered from mental illness, he (like other minor characters with major significance) exercised faith in a way the disciples did not.
Newheart interfaces narrative and psychological criticism with historical perspectives, cultural examination, and poetic reflection to create the first book-length treatment of the Gerasene demoniac. Chapter One, *The Gerasene's Story: Literary Criticism, - focuses on the narrative analysis, and discusses the story through the angle of Jesus as teacher, healer, and Gerasene the healed follower. Chapter Two, *The Gerasene's Soul: Psychological Criticism, - brings to light the psychoanalytic perspective of Mark 5:1-20. Ideal for students of the Bible, Gerasene's story demonstrates faith in a way that may help readers vicariously experience relief from their maladies.
Michael Willett Newheart, PhD, is associate professor of New Testament language and literature at the Howard University School of Divinity. He is the author of Word and Soul, published by Liturgical Press.