Mental Illness In C. Burdon's This Abled Body

987 Words4 Pages
Physical illness and ailments have been understood for as long as man has been alive; if something hurts, something is wrong and needs to be fixed. Mental illness, however, has been misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and mistreated for as long as man has been alive. Although studies about mental illness have been conducted, in today’s modern society, man still treats the manifestation of mental illness, as man treated demonic possession in Mark 5:1-20.

Biblically speaking, many Christians believed that someone possessed by demons had a weak mind, therefore opening themselves up for demonic possession. They were not strong enough to fight off the urges of the devil. In This Abled Body, Holly Joan Tensing mentions that, these people, like Legion
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Burdon discusses the unusual salvation from demons in Mark 5:1-20. He chooses to analyses the exorcism that Jesus performs on a man, simply known as Legion. As soon as Legion becomes pure again, Burdon implies that the new land is also cleansed of impurity. Jesus performs the exorcism, not only for the single man possessed but the thousands of demons, but also for the community. Burdon explains, “the local people who should be the beneficiaries of the exorcism fail to acclaim int but rather ask the exorcist to leave.” The community, now pure, asks Jesus to leave, he is treated as though he is also possessed by demons, not accepted into the community he has saved from impurity. The amazement the townsmen show is overcome by their distrust of the unknown and unusual. Burdon shares that the exorcism creates “panic at the authority of Jesus rather than admiring awe. If this is what this man can do, which of us is safe?” The community viewed Jesus and Legion in a very similar manner. The Gerasenses did not care that Jesus possesses and is the holy spirit, they saw that he was able to do something impossible and that made him as dangerous, if not more dangerous than Legion and his demonic
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