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Revealing the Scapegoat Mechanism: Christianity after Girard

  • Fergus Kerr

Extract

The philosophy of religion, as commonly understood by Christians in both the Catholic and Reformed traditions, whether they think it a worthwhile enterprise or not, begins with arguments for the existence of a deity, proceeds to show that this deity is necessarily unique, eternal, and suchlike, and leaves it to reflection on divine revelation to consider whether this deity might be properly designated as ‘three persons in one nature’. Much later, after discussing the metaphysical implications of the incarnation of the second person of the triune godhead, one would arrive at theories about the death of Jesus Christ as putatively redemptive, and describable as sacrificial, atoning and the like.

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References

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Ashby, Godfrey. 1988. Sacrifice: Its Nature and Purpose (London: S.C.M. Press.)
Buckley, Michael J. 1987. At the Origins of Modern Atheism (New Haven: Yale University Press).
Byrne, Peter 1989. Natural Religion and the Nature of Religion: The Legacy of Deism (London: Routledge).
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Gerson, L. P. 1990. God and Greek Philosophy: Studies in the Early History of Natural Theology (London: Routledge)
Girard, R. 1965. Deceit, Desire, and the Novel: Self and Other in Literary Structure (London: Johns Hopkins).
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Girard, R. 1991. A Theater of Envy: William Shakespeare (New York: Oxford University Press).
Girard, R. 1987. Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World (London: The Athlone Press).
Girard, R. 1977. Violence and the Sacred (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins).
North, Robert 1985. ‘Violence and the Bible: The Girard Connection’, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 47, pp. 1–27.
Preus, J. Samuel 1987. Explaining Religion: Criticism and Theory from Bodin to Freud (New Haven and London: Yale University Press).
Sykes, S. W. (ed.) 1991. Sacrifice and Redemption: Durham Essays in Theology (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press).
Wallace, Mark I. 1989. ‘Postmodern Biblicism: The Challenge of Rene Girard for Contemporary Theology’, Modern Theology 5, pp. 309–25.
Young, Frances 1975. Sacrifice and the Death of Christ (London: S.P.C.K.).
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Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements
  • ISSN: 1358-2461
  • EISSN: 1755-3555
  • URL: /core/journals/royal-institute-of-philosophy-supplements
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