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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422

Abstract

VAN AARDE, Andries G.. Christus medicus - Christus patiens: Healing as exorcism in context. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2019, vol.75, n.4, pp.1-10. ISSN 2072-8050.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5798.

The aim of this article is to argue that healing stories in the Jesus tradition should be understood as exorcisms, even if the concept of demonisation does not occur in the narrative. In the theistic and mythological context of the 1st-century Graeco-Roman religious and political world, external forces responsible for social imbalances pertain to the demonisation of body and spirit. Medical cure was also embedded in the same biopolitical setting. The article describes aspects of this biopolitics and the role of ancient physicians. However, Jesus' revolutionary acts were not deeds of a medical doctor, but ought to be understood as the healing activity of a faith healer who empowered traumatised people by creating safe space for them within a quasi-fictive kinship network. The article concludes with an application of the dialectic notion 'Christus medicus - Christus patiens' in the life of the present-day network of Jesus-followers.

Keywords : Jesus tradition; healing; exorcism; physicians in antiquity; imperialism; marginalisation; fictive family.

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