Jesus the Healer: Possession, Trance, and the Origins of Christianity

Front Cover
Continuum, 1995 - Religion - 216 pages
Arguing that the Gospels reveal Jesus to have been a spirit-possessed healer and an exorcist of demon-possessed people, Stevan L. Davies shows how contemporary anthropological studies brilliantly illuminate precisely those facts. Jesus had a gift for the induction of religious trance states that he considered to be the present experience of the kingdom of God. His ability to bring about such states can be understood by analogy to the increasingly acclaimed psychotherapeutic techniques of Milton Erickson. After Jesus' death, the experience of spirit-possession became definitive for his followers. The writings of Paul, John, and Mark are different forms of reflection on the nature of the experience of spirit-possession, and are not so different as they are usually taken to be. Jesus the Healer argues that at least some of the sayings of Jesus in John's gospel - for example, "I and the Father are one" and "I come from the Father" - are quotations from Jesus himself when possessed by and speaking as the spirit of God. This book is a radical new look at Jesus as exorcist and healer.

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Contents

77te Quest for the Historical Jesus
7
Spirit Possession
22
Prophets and Prophecy
43
Baptism
52
Je5s Healings
66
Demon Possession
78
Jesus Exorcisms
90
Jesws and His Associates
105
The Function of Jesus Parables
120
Jesus Therapeutic Speech
137
The Sayings of the Spirit
151
The Christian Cult
170
Missionary Inductive Discourse
188
Conclusion
204
Bibliography
210
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Stevan L. Davies is in the Department of Religious Studies at College Misericordia, Dallas, Pennsylvania.

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