- Paperback: 199 pages
- Publisher: Orbis Books; First Edition edition (February 7, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1570753199
- ISBN-13: 978-1570753190
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I See Satan Fall Like Lightning Paperback – February 7, 2001
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I have heard people say they "don't get it," and I'm not sure why, although I do know that the concepts weren't necessarily easy to confront. Girard is talking about mechanisms that occur every single day, in (quite frankly) every single relationship. It's not overly complicated or written in a particularly difficult way, but it's like any concept - hard to learn until you learn it, then you can't understand how you lived without it.
Furthermore, the concepts Girard introduces in this is book have equipped me to better respond to a large variety of difficult scenarios and situations. People are complicated. Understanding basics like scape-goating and the social dynamics of victimization can give you wisdom in scenarios where everyone else has lost (or is losing) their head. The church needs people like this!
If you are lucky enough to have a group of folks who want to dig deep, do this as a book study with other people so you can discuss it together.
By far, this is the best and most lucid book from Girard. In it, he not only includes the best explanation of mimetic theory I have read so far, but he then ties in the accompanying themes of the scapegoat mechanism, how Satan casts out Satan through violence, and how Jesus reveals all this to the world through His ministry, life, death, and resurrection.
If you are wanting to understand mimetic theory, this is THE book to start with. You may not even want to read Girard's earlier works, as this book both summarizes and clarifies everything that Girard has been writing up to this book.
I could go on and on with his eye-opening ideas, but I want you all to enjoy the book. I just gave a taste so you can get a feel for his insights. He does eventually get to the religious aspect of this scapegoating process which, to my mind, exists not only in religious circles but in the secular world, such as politics and corporations and offices everywhere, and even in dysfunctional families. (Is someone the black sheep in a family, the one who gets continual family disapproval but somehow never manages to be disowned or completely cut off from all contact with the family? Why? Because the dysfunctional family system needs the scapegoat to blame all family dysfunction on). As you can see, the adaptations for Girard's insights are not just evolutionary or religious.
One caution, however, the writing, while very fascinating, can be scholarly and thick, requiring some rereading and pauses to contemplate.