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Colloquium On Violence & Religion



COV&R-Bulletin No. 11 (Oct. 1996)

A quoi bon (se) sacrifier? Sacrifice, don et intérèt. [What is the purpose of sacrificing (oneself)?

Sacrifice, Gift, and Personal Interest.] La revue du M.A.U.S.S. Nr. 5, 1er semestre 1995.

This journal edited by the "Mouvement anti-utilitariste dans les sciences sociales" ["Anti-Utilitarian Movement in Social Sciences"] fully focuses on the topic of sacrifice. This topic is central for a movement of anti-utilitarianism: do sacrifices basically mean renunciation or are they just a subtle form of utilitarianism (gift and expected gift in return). This journal, however, is also very interesting for COV&R. In his article "Sacrifice, don et utilitarisme" [Sacrifice, Gift, and Utilitarianism], A. Caillé directly analyzes Girard and criticizes him from a perspective which - inspired by Mauss - puts the (mutual) gift before the sacrifice. To this criticism M. Anspachgives a very interesting answer connecting the Girardian view with Caillé's (Mauss') perspective by distinguishing between two levels (genesis and order) which are connected with each other by an entangled hierarchy. At the level of genesis, the principle of all against one is in force in order to make an end to violence. The level of the sacrificial order, however, as it is experienced by the sacrificers is determined by the gift and the expected gift in return (also with the object to make an end to violence). Anspach connects both levels by the title of his article "Le sacrifice qui engendre la don qui l'englobe" ["The Sacrifice Which Generates the Gift it Comprises"], on the one hand, and by the following definition of sacrifice, on the other hand: "Le culte sacrificiel conjugue la non-reciprocité dans la violence et la non-violencedans la réciprocité" ["The sacrificial cult unites non-reciprocity in violence and non-violence in reciprocity"].In the same review we can find "Vengeance et Sacrifice. De l'opposition à la réconciliation" ["Vengeance andSacrifice: From Opposition to Reconciliation"] by L. Scubla. This article corresponds with the lecture Scubla gave at the "Colloquium on Vengeance" at Stanford in October 1988 and which has already been published in the Stanford French Review. The following article of J. P. Dupuy has also been taken from this review: "John Rawls et la question du sacrifice" ["John Rawls and the Question of Sacrifice"]. A more detailed form of this text can be found in the book Le Sacrifice et L'Envie[Sacrifice and Envy] (1992) written by J.P. Dupuy.

Raymund Schwager