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One person is singled out as the cause of this great disorder in being and is expelled or killed by the group. This person is the scapegoat. Peace is restored because people believe that with the sacrifice of the scapegoat, a fullness of being and its attendant feelings of peace and harmony has been achieved. Unfortunately, because humans continue to lack being and because mimetic desire is endemic to the human condition, the cycle of desire regularly begins again.

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Girard consolidated his scholarly reputation with an anthropology of religion set forth in Violence and the Sacred and Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World. Girard argues that mimetic processes he previously explored in literature are at the root of all violence. Cultures respond to violence and put an end to it through the sacrifice of a scapegoat e.

Establishing that society and religion are built on a mechanism of scapegoating and that collective rituals of sacrificial violence are recorded in cultural myths, Girard offers scholars a theory about the most basic roots of human behavior. The growing secondary literature on Girard spans the disciplines and includes theorists and empirical researchers.

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In addition, the Raven Foundation is an important resource for educating young people about mimetic theory. Please click on the title in the right column to access the website of each organization. The Colloquium on Violence and Religion is an international association of scholars founded in In addition to gathering at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, the Colloquium meets each summer, alternating between North American and European venues. It is a French-language resource:. The Association website is primarily in the French language.

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Imitatio Inc. The board met for the first time in October in Paris at the Georges V hotel to plan an ambitious program of research and publication, as well as the sponsoring of conferences and fellowships. In April, forty Girardian scholars met at Stanford University to formalize the work of Imitatio through publication, research, and education committees. Professor Martha Reineke is a member of the Publication Committee. Nietzsche, Dionysos, and the Crucified.


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An Epistemology of Revelation. Original Sin, Positive Mimesis. Embodiment and Incarnation. Girard and Augustine. Raymund Schwager: Dramatic Theology. American Protestant Reception of Mimetic Theory: — Levinas and the Prophetic Current.

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Mysticism, Girard, and Simone Weil. The Barren Sacrifice.

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Mimesis and Science: Empirical Research on Imitation and the Mimetic Theory of Culture and Religion

Modern Pathologies and the Displacement of the Sacred. About this book Introduction The Palgrave Handbook of Mimetic Theory and Religion draws on the expertise of leading scholars and thinkers to explore the violent origins of culture, the meaning of ritual, and the conjunction of theology and anthropology, as well as secularization, science, and terrorism. Mimetic Theory Rene Girard mimetic desire Christianity catholic theology violence scapegoat secularization anthropology theology sacrifice.

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