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Healing in the History of Christianity$
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Amanda Porterfield

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195157185

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157185.001.0001

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Jesus: Exorcist and Healer

Jesus: Exorcist and Healer

(p.20) (p.21) 1 Jesus: Exorcist and Healer
Healing in the History of Christianity

Amanda Porterfield

Oxford University Press

Exorcism and healing are among the most prominent of all the miraculous acts ascribed to Jesus Christ in the New Testament gospels. There are seventy-two accounts of exorcisms and healings, ten of them refer to crowds of witnesses, an indication of the gospel writers' understanding that Jesus' ministry included highly visible, public acts of exorcism and healing. Only recently have scholars found ways of understanding Jesus' exorcisms and healings that do justice to the gospel writers' insistence on their centrality without violating modern scientific understandings of material reality. To appreciate the significance of these new insights, this chapter examines them in an historical context, as part of an ongoing intellectual struggle in Western Christianity to develop a rational understanding of miracles.

Keywords:   exorcism, healing, miraculous acts, Jesus Christ, New Testament, Western Christianity, miracles

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