Rene Girard, RIP


“Christ is the only man to overcome the barrier erected by Satan. He dies in order to avoid participating in the system of scapegoats, which is to say the satanic principle. After his resurrection, a bridge that did not exist before is established between God and the world; Christ gets a foothold in the world through his own death, and destroys Satan’s ramparts. His death therefore converts satanic disorder into order and opens up a new path on which human beings may now travel. In other words, God resumes his place in the world, not because he has violated the autonomy of man and of Satan, but because Christ has resisted, triumphed over Satan’s obstacle.”

Rene Girard, 1923-2015

Update: a nice summary of his essential thought can be found here.

I’m not a fan of deconstructionism, which I consider a form of systematized paranoia, but it is capable of shedding light on some aspects of human existence. Marx, Durkhiem and the restĀ are not always wrong, but always incomplete. Girard attempts to use the tools of modern thought not just to critique, but also build. I doubt such a project can be a total success, but it might expose some worthwhile ideas.


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