- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (August 1, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801839173
- ISBN-13: 978-0801839177
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Scapegoat Paperback – August 1, 1989
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"[Girard's] methods of extrapolating to find cultural history behind myths, and of reading hidden verification through silence, are worthy enrichments of the critic's arsenal."(John Yoder Religion and Literature)
From the Back Cover
In 'The Scapegoat', the author audaciously turns to classical mythology, medieval narrative, and the New Testament to explore the scenes behind 'texts of persecution, ' documents that recount collective violence from the standpoint of the persecutor.
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Of the books by Girard I have read so far, this one is the best. However, there are still several books which follow this one, so if the trend continues, I suspect the books will only improve in readability. The way Girard writes about his mimetic theory seems to improve over time (or maybe his translators are getting better).
Anyway, this book (as seen by the title) explains in great detail the aspect of Girard's mimetic theory which causes mimetic violence to break out toward an innocent victim, referred to as the Scapegoat. After showing how this has happened in various "myths, " Girard turns to some biblical accounts to show how the skapegoating mechanism is revealed in Scripture as well, but in a way that turns the mechanism upside down and reveals what is truly going on behind the scenes.
I found his explanation of Satan being divided against himself to be revolutionary as well for how Satan has used violence (and especially violent religion) to cast himself out, and thus, solidify his own power in the world.