According to the angel Raphael, the secret to exorcising the demon Asmodeus is to burn a particular fish’s heart and liver in the presence of the malevolent Asmodeus. The foul smell apparently repels this finicky demon. At least, that’s what the author of the Book of Tobit believed. Demons are weird. Demonic exorcisms are weirder still. And yet to dismiss them as simply weird is to miss out on the important social and theological work that demons do in both ancient and modern societies. Thus, I decided to devote a day to demonic possession and exorcism in a new course I was teaching on Second Temple Judaism. But how to teach this subject?Cross-file under Pedagogy.
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