Here’s how my Good Friday reflection begins:
The root of all disturbance, if one will go to its source, is that no one will blame himself.
–Dorotheus of Gaza, 6th c. monk
French anthropological philosopher René Girard (1923-2015) was a “philosophical anthropologist” best known for his study of the phenomenon of scapegoating.
His theories (courtesy of wikipedia), are basically:
“1. mimetic desire: imitation is an aspect of behavior that not only affects learning but also desire, and imitated desire is a cause of conflict,
- the scapegoat mechanism is the origin of sacrifice and the foundation of human culture, and religion was necessary in human evolution to control the violence that can come from mimetic rivalry,
- the Bible reveals the two previous ideas and denounces the scapegoat mechanism.”
Girard wrote close to 30 books. His “classic texts” include Deceit, Desire and the Novel; Violence and the Sacred; and Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World.
A sampling of his thought: “[H]uman culture is predisposed to the permanent concealment of its origins in collective violence.”
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.