55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
reorienting the x-y-z of the occident,
This review is from: Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World (Paperback)This book takes the form of a dialogue between Girard and two psychiatrists, Jean-Michel Oughourlian and Guy Defort. If you are already familiar with Girard's work concerning the relationship between mimetic desire and violence, sacrificial rites and scapegoat, then you will find this book indispensible. If you have an opinion -- pro or con -- about Christianity, you will want to read this book. The title of the book is a quote from Mathew 13, 35, and not without purpose. Here, Girard discusses in depth the nature of Christianity, the most sacrificial religion, in terms of the theories he's been formulating over the years. The whole business of murder and deification permeates much of primitive Mediterranean religions -- Abel and Cain, Romulus and Remus, etc -- and the sacrifice of Christ and subsequent deification follows the same pattern of displacing mob guilt. Biblical exegesis, certainly, but much more than that. This book and Girard's work as a whole helps one to understand above and beyond the question of either sentiment or faith why Christianity as a religion still holds sway in this secular age, and from where it derives its staying power. A real milestone in intellectual detective work, it will cause you to hear a wake-up call. And in stereo, too, if you read also his good friend Michel Serres' book ROME: The Book of Foundations.
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Initial post: Sep 17, 2013 2:05:24 PM PDT
B. Burkholder says:
While much of the above is correct, the author misses an essential piece of Girard's argument, namely, that Christianity is supposed to be non-sacrificial. He writes that it is "the most sacrificial religion" when in reality Girard is arguing that Christianity brings the end of sacrifice by ending a notion of God as prescribing violence or causing it himself.
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