Too often we dismiss the gospel stories about demoniacs
because frankly, we don't know what to do with them.
The story of the Gerasene demoniac
contains an overabundance of metaphors: demons, death, unclean/wild animals, wilderness, the sea, and the abyss (Matt.
So, too, do the demoniacs
(4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22).
It dates back to around 700BC and, according to the Bible's Gospel of Mathew, is where Jesus cast out the Devil from two demoniacs
, or madmen, into a herd of pigs.
After investigating this witch-hunt, Pope Clement VIII released the accused witches, who had been named by two demoniacs
, and prosecuted the local bishop for torturing subjects without sufficient evidence and for failing to appeal the case to Rome.
When Edgar, as Poor Tom, is alone with his father, he almost admits as much by alluding to Samuel Harsnett's recent and well-known expose of fraudulent demoniacs
and their Catholic exorcists, A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (1603).
Robin Briggs's superb chapter, "Dubious Messengers: Bodin's Daemon, the Spirit World and the Sadducees," details several cases of authors who used, not claims of angelic visitations, but rather the evidence of witches and demoniacs
to prove the real existence of the spirit world against materialist challenges.
From this perspective, the president's rhetoric for the war on terror can be considered typical of self-made demoniacs
Perhaps more significantly, what appear to be summary statements of repeated actions in the written text, such as Matthew 4:23-25, either must be depicted as specific events in the film, as when Jesus cures a tower filled with demoniacs
, or else they cannot be depicted at all.
The others were located in Sepphoris (Galilee), Jericho, Gadara (where the Gadarene demoniacs
of Matthew 8 lived), and Amathus on the island of Cyprus.
They see the procedure not as a throwback to medieval times when demoniacs
were put to death, but as an advance.