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Sacrifice (Breakthroughs in Mimetic Theory) Paperback – April 1, 2011
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Vedic sacrifice, most importantly human but animal too, served the same purpose in Indian society as in Western society. Mainly, a scapegoat was sought for sacrifice to keep social cohesion and confirm community conventions and mores. In the Western tradition, as recorded in the Bible, Jesus was the ultimate sacrificial victim. His sacrifice however, as ultimately with Vedic sacrifice, meant to strengthen social cohesion resulted eventually in breaking up such cohesion and serving as a passage to a successive social form. Girard's focus is this ambivalence--or what he in places calls the "enigma"--of sacrifice by which it is at its deepest level an agency for social transformation.
Sacrifice is ambivalent because the sacrificer such as the Brahmins in early Indian religion know that sacrifice is murder. Thus elaborate ceremonies often involving drugs--the hallucinogenic "soma" for the Brahmins--and rationalizations such as the victim as the "other" or the "outsider" surround sacrifice. Some ceremonies call for apologizing to the victim before the sacrifice.Read more ›
I do have to say, however, that a book dealing with sacrifice in the Gospels, which concludes that Christianity has forever abolished blood sacrifice wherever it goes, seems a little off base when it fails to recognize the centrality of the Eucharist as an anamnesis, a making present, of the sacrifice of Christ. The very heart of the earliest Christian ritual was this participation in the sacrificed and glorified blood and body of Christ. (He mentions Celsus briefly, and could have worked this angle in here, as one of his the Roman arguments against the new faith was its supposed cannibalism.) Fertile soil there for planting was ignored I am afraid.
Not sure I would read this again.Read more ›
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It is not accidental that sacrifice is found universally throughout time and place. There is a common thread that binds. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Dennis Drews