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see GadaraGadara
, ancient city of the Decapolis, the modern Umm Qays (Jordan), SE of the Sea of Galilee. Extensive ruins mark the site. This Gadara must be distinguished from Gadara, the capital of Perea, which was destroyed by Vespasian in 68 B.C.
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Seized with fear and distressed at their loss, the Gerasenes beg Jesus to leave the place.
Girard's analysis of the Gerasenes exemplifies his critique of the sacrificial system as such.
In Girard's reading, the Gerasenes understand quite well the meaning of this miracle, and they make a calm and "thoughtful" decision to expel him: "They want nothing to do with Jesus and what he represents" (Scapegoat 174).
The Gerasenes are free to accept or reject the Christian revelation; but in any case, the truth of their hidden desires has been revealed as such.
14) The Gerasene demoniac appears to know that secret formula for achieving immortal inscrutability: he acted like a lunatic, and here we are, some twenty centuries later, still puzzling over his story.
But perhaps we should not be surprised to find numerous traces of the Gerasene demoniac, with his extravagant behavior and strange identification of himself, in texts such as ours.