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I. The healing of the possessed

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Chapter Summary

The Gospels repeatedly state that the multitude marvelled and glorified God when Jesus had cast out devils. According to Van Der Leeuw, the origin of belief in demons is vested in an experience which "entails a thrill of fear". Van Der Leeuw makes a distinction between three origins: an experience from nature; an experience from the world of dreams; and disease, madness and ecstasy. A man who believes in the existence of demons will also be capable of stating what proof he has for that belief, or at any rate what intimation he has of it. The comparison between children (Israel) and dogs (pagans) is not interpreted by the woman as an insult; In any case the expression "dog" is quite explicit, but the interpretation of the woman, which bore witness to both her humility and her belief, moved Jesus deeply, so that her daughter was healed "for this saying".

Keywords: children; ecstasy; God; Gospels; pagans; Van Der Leeuw

10.1163/9789004265868_014
/content/books/b9789004265868s014
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