Violence Renounced: Rene Girard, Biblical Studies, and Peacemaking

Violence Renounced: Rene Girard, Biblical Studies, and Peacemaking
Violence Renounced: Rene Girard, Biblical Studies, and Peacemaking by Willard M. Swartley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a collection of papers from a 1994 conference on biblical studies and peacemaking; thus it is both more specifically theological, and more practically oriented, than other Girardian work I’ve read recently. I’ve read only a couple of the papers in it but was very impressed with what I did read.

Robin Collins critiques the most common Girardian interpretations of the atonement as being variants of the moral exemplar theory, and therefore inadequate to the traditional Christian claims for Christ’s saving work. He
proposes an incarnational theory of the atonement that
expands Girard’s understanding of mimetic desire to a more comprehensive mimetic subjectivity, which provides an anthropological understanding of the traditional theological language of participation in Christ’s death and resurrection. He describes what this participation looks like concretely in terms of the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.

Rebecca Adams offers a feminist critique of Girard’s work from the perspective of contemporary victims, and addresses the question of how mimetic desire functions either acquisitively (or, as she would have it more accurately, appropriatively) or creatively.

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