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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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Girard's analysis of the Gerasenes exemplifies his critique of the sacrificial system as such.
When Jesus arrives at the country of the Gerasenes, the possessed man runs up and falls at Jesus' feet (Scapegoat 168).
Jesus does not speak to the Gerasenes from on high; he meets them where they are and uses the very sacrificial system to bring about its own end.
Seized with fear and distressed at their loss, the Gerasenes beg Jesus to leave the place.
It is the well-worked tale of the Gerasene demoniac.
Remember Belbo's dictum, "Act like a lunatic and you will be inscrutable forever."(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.