‘But he had torn the chains apart and broken the shackles in pieces. Each night and every day among the tombs and in the mountains, he would cry out and cut himself with stones.’

The story of the Gerasene demoniac is packed with politico-military imagery. Although the ancient biblical writers certainly wrote from and into a world that believed literally in demonic possession, the demonic was also a literary and symbolic device in political theology.

Liberation theology today, and notably ‘Black Theology’ rooted in the experience of racial oppression and of the structures of injustice, has rediscovered this sense of the demonic. Kenneth Leech, for example, writes, “Already the demons are being named. The enemy is being identified. Its names are legion. Racism is a demon. Poverty is a demon. Powerlessness is a demon. Self-depreciation is a demon. And those who prop them up are demonic in effect. A strategy of liberation includes a ministry of exorcism, the naming and casting out of demons.”

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on June 24, 2013.

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