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Sense and Stigma in the GospelsDepictions of Sensory-Disabled Characters$
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Louise J. Lawrence

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590087

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199590087.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2022

Sense, Seizures, and Illness Narratives

Sense, Seizures, and Illness Narratives

The Case of an ‘Epileptic’/ ‘Demon–Possessed’ Boy

(p.98) 5 Sense, Seizures, and Illness Narratives
Sense and Stigma in the Gospels

Louise J. Lawrence

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the biblical story of the boy with seizures (Mark 9: 17–29; Matt. 17: 14–20; Luke 9: 37–43) and Jesus's dramatic acts of healing. Drawing on ethnographic evidence of the narrative dynamics of seizure events, it reconceptualises the incident as a strategic, multidimensional illness narrative in which not only the boy and his father, but also the crowd, disciples, and Jesus, have key roles to play. It analyses the intersubjective performances of the seizure by the surrounding crowds, disciples, and Jesus in the accounts to highlight the contextual dynamics of seizures within distinct situations and how a voiceless character, as in the case of the boy with seizures, can in some respects be encouraged to speak. It also considers the storytelling aspect of the boy's experience within the realm of medical anthropology and concludes by refiguring the story in the context of chaos, quest, sense, and illness narratives.

Keywords:   boy with seizures, Jesus, healing, illness, seizures, storytelling, medical anthropology, chaos, quest, sense

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