Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World

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9781474268431: Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World

Develops a global theory of culture through the paradox of violence and exclusion serving a social function.

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From the Inside Flap:

An astonishing work of cultural criticism, this book is widely recognized as a brilliant and devastating challenge to conventional views of literature, anthropology, religion, and psychoanalysis. In its scope and itnerest it can be compared with Freud’s Totem and Taboo

, the subtext Girard refutes with polemic daring, vast erudition, and a persuasiveness that leaves the reader compelled to respond, one way or another.
This is the single fullest summation of Girard’s ideas to date, the book by which they will stand or fall. In a dialogue with two psychiatrists (Jean-Michel Oughourlian and Guy Lefort), Girard probes an encyclopedic array of topics, ranging across the entire spectrum of anthropology, psychoanalysis, and cultural production.
Girard’s point o departure is what he calles “mimesis,” the conflict that arises when human rivals compete to differentiate themselves from each other, yet succeed only in becoming more and more alike. At certain points in the life of a society, according to Girard, this mimetic conflict erupts into a crisis in which all difference dissolves in indiscriminate violence. In primitive societies, such crises were resolved by the “scapegoating mechanism,” in which the community, en masse, turned on an unpremeditated victim. The repression of this collective murder and its repetition in ritual sacrifice then formed the foundations of both religion and the restored social order.
How does Christianity, at once the most “sacrificial” of religions and a faith with a non-violent ideology, fit into this scheme? Girard grants Freud’s point, in Totem and Taboo

, that Christianity is similar to primitive religion, but only to refute Freud—if Christ is sacrificed, Girard argues, it is not becuase God willed it, but becaus ehuman beings wanted

it.
The book is not merely, or perhaps not mainly, biblical exegesis, for within its scope fall some of the most vexing problems of social history—the paradox that violance has social efficacy, the function of the scapegoat, the mechanism of anti-semitism.

From the Back Cover:

“A necessary companion piece to Violence and the Sacred for those interested in Girard’s grand theory of society and human nature. . . . Girard expounds his vision of the foundational place of mimesis, violence, and scapegoating for all human cultures. . . . More forcefully stated here than elsewhere is Girard’s conviction that his thesis is merely an uncovering of the message heretofore buried in the Christian scriptures.”—Virginia Quarterly Review

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René Girard
Verlag: Bloomsbury Academic Feb 2016 (2016)
ISBN 10: 1474268439 ISBN 13: 9781474268431
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Buchbeschreibung Bloomsbury Academic Feb 2016, 2016. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World presents a highly original global theory of culture. Here, in his greatest work, René Girard explores the function of violence, mimetic desire and the mechanism of the scapegoat, in the history of society and religion. Girard's vision is a brilliant and devastating challenge to conventional views of literature, anthropology, philosophy and psychoanalysis. 447 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9781474268431

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