I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Vaunting

with 4 comments

The concern for victims has become a paradoxical competition of mimetic rivalries, of opponents continually trying to outbid one another.

The victims most interesting to us are always those who allow us to condemn our neighbors. And our neighbors do the same. They always think first about victims for whom they hold us responsible.

We do not all have the same experience as St. Peter and St. Paul, who discovered that they themselves were guilty of persecution and confessed their own guilt rather than that of their neighbors. It’s our neighbors who kindly remind us that we should be compassionate, and we render them the same service. . . .

From now on we have our antisacrificial rituals of victimization, and they unfold in an order as unchangeable as properly religious rituals. First of all we lament the victims we admit to making or allowing to be made. Then we lament the hypocrisy of our lamentation, and finally we lament Christianity, the indispensable scapegoat, for there is no ritual without a victim, and in our day Christianity is always it, the scapegoat of last resort. As part of this last stage of the ritual, we affirm, in a nobly suffering tone, that Christianity has done nothing to “resolve the problem of violence.” (René Girard, I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, 164)

Written by Scott Moonen

June 28, 2017 at 8:49 am

Posted in Quotations

4 Responses

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  1. […] for fleshly boasting. Rene Girard has insight into how this humility competition is its own form of fleshly vaunting, and how it undermines the […]

  2. […] Vaunting […]

  3. […] world seeks to obtain justification for its guilty conscience by scapegoating others, including and especially the church. Against this, the church faithfully witnesses that justification can only be found in the one true […]

  4. […] and scapegoating. This Girardian energy seems on a hair trigger to swivel toward the church, which Girard observes is how the powers and principalities always work. It’s interesting to me to consider whether […]


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