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Colloquium On Violence & Religion



COV&R-Bulletin No. 3 (Sept. 1992)


André Lascaris and Hans Weigand, eds. Nabootsing: In discussie over René Girard. Kampen: Kok Agora, 1992. ISBN 90-391-0042-X. 186 pp.

When René Girard received a honorary degree at the Free University in Amsterdam in 1985, a group had already benn meeting regularly in this university to discuss the philosophical, anthropological and theological presuppositions of Girard's hypothesis. Its members, coming from all over the country and working in many different disciplines, discussed with one another their use of the Girardian hypothesis in their field of work. The fruits of their discussions are collected in this book. The essays examine whether Girard's views need corrections and/or additions and attempt to stimulate further research efforts. These authors all agree that Girard's hypothesis relates to real life. But can it also impact social, economic, and political reality? They answer this question in the affirmative, at least partly.

The book contains the following essays: an introduction to the concept of mimesis (H. Weigand), Girard and modern sciences (G. Heidendal), the metaphor of the scapegoat (M. Elias), Girard and Levinas (P. Altena), Girard compared with D. Bonhoeffer and K. Barth (A. van Egmond), from the God of violence to the God of love (A. Lascaris), how to organize 'love'? (A. Douwes), criticism on the use of Freudian texts by Girard (M. Leopold), narcissism in Girard and Kristeva (H. Weigand), the teacher-disciple paradigm (W. de Haas), the 'sick role' and the scapegoat mechanism (M. Schoffeleers), a critique of Girard's view on the 'immaterialism of our time' (R. Luijf and P. Tijmes), the conflict in Northern Ireland (A. Lascaris), social work in Northern Ireland (R. Kaptein), protection against violence without religion (E. Stern). The two editors conclude the book by encouraging more reflection on Girard's methodological and philosophical presuppositions. Often, one needs finer distinctions than Girard himself makes. Finally, they challenge us to integrate existing theories and terminology into Girard's hypothesis.