COV&R-Bulletin No. 15 (Oct. 1998)
The annual meeting of COV&R took place in St. Denis, France, from May 27-May 30, a week before the World Cup competition, which would occur a few blocks away from the site of our conference. Held in conjunction with the Centre National de Suresne (CNEFEI), the theme of the conference was "Éducation, mimésis, violence et réduction de la violence." Organized by Marie-Louise Martinez of CNEFEI, the conference focused on the problem of violence in the educational environment with introductory addresses by Bernard Charlot of the University of Paris 8, Paul Ricoeur (Le réligieux et la violence symbolique) and René Girard (Présentation de la theorie mimétique dans son ensemble). To obtain information about (or copies of) the proceedings, write to
- Bureau des Relations extérieures
- 58-60, avenue des Landes
- F-92150 Suresne
- FAX [33( (0)1 41 44 31 23
- E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of the papers presented in English will be accessible in future issues of Contagion.
At the business meeting of COV&R the terms of Advisory Board members Cheryl Kirk-Duggan and Sandor Goodhart were renewed for three years. Wolfgang Palaver, Robert Daly, and James Williams were elected to three-year terms. Julie Shinnick was elected (American) treasurer to succeed Gil Bailie. Dietmar Regensburger will serve as treasurer for our European colleagues. Diana Culbertson was elected Executive Secretary. Cesareo Bandero of the Univesity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continues as President. Johan Elsen is the new editor of the Bulletin. All North (and South) American payments should be sent to Julie Shinnick at the address indicated elsewhere in the Bulletin.
As the new Executive Secretary of the COV&R Advisory Board, and in the name of the entire membership of COV&R, I would like to express our profound gratitude to James Williams of Syracuse University for his years of service to the Colloquium. As a charter member and one of the first organizers of the Colloquium, Jim has provided invaluable administrative service and steady encouragement and support to members. We have all benefited from his amiable assistance in our multiple inquiries, suggestions, and occasional querulous queries. Fortunately, we will continue to benefit from his membership on the Board.
COV&R will meet in conjunction with the AAR/SBL convention to be held in Orlando, Florida, November 21-24. The session will convene the morning of November 21. The 1999 international meeting will take place in June at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. See details about these meetings elsewhere in the Bulletin.
I look forward to seeing many of you again at these gatherings. In the meantime, if I can be of any help to you, my E-Mail address is email@example.com (all lower case). Mail will reach me best at my home address: 7921 Twin Hills Road Streetsboro OH 44241 USA. FAX 330 672 3152 Tel. 330 673 4945
Soon after COV&R was formed at Stanford University I heard about colleagues at the University of Innsbruck who wished to participate and help guide the new society. I have already spoken of Raymund Schwager in these pages. His young colleague, Wolfgang Palaver, shouldered a heavy load early on for the cause of the Colloquium and Girardian studies. Not the least of his activities was editing the Bulletin. Without the Bulletin, begun in 1991, and the journal, Contagion, started in 1994, COV&R would not have become what it is today.
One of the most admirable things about Wolfgang's work and achievement as Bulletin editor is that he assumed this task while still a young scholar who had yet to establish himself fully in an academic career. At least twice a year the editor must devote numerous hours to making sure that all the material is submitted, getting it properly formatted, seeing that it is proofread, etc. Wolfgang accomplished this in fine fashion while teaching, doing research, and generally securing his place as a first-rate scholar in theological ethics and political theory.
So a warm fraternal "thank you" to Wolfgang for all he has done toward the success of the Bulletin and of COV&R. Since he is still on the Advisory Board and will be active in COV&R, we will continue to benefit from his insight, industry, and good humor, while at the same time we are fortunate to have an excellent successor in Johan Elsen.
James G. Williams
A new Executive Secretary, a new Treasurer, a new Editor, a new Bulletin... As all of you know, editing a Bulletin is the result of a collective effort. Therefore I want to thank all those who supported me in realising this issue and I hope I can count on many of you to write articles and book reviews for future issues. Finally I want to thank Dietmar Regensburger, who not only supplied the Bibliography, but also helped me with the administration.
The Bulletin is also available on Internet. You can find this issue and three previous issues (No. 10 to No. 14) at the following World Wide Web address: http://info.uibk.ac.at/c/c2/c204/bulletin/ Let me raise also some administrative matters: (1) We ask you to send us your contributions to the Bulletin on a floppy disk or by e-mail. It greatly simplifies the publication of the Bulletin. (2) If you would like to write a book review for the Bulletin please contact the editorial office or James G. Williams, the executive secretary. The length of a review should be between 600 and 1000 words. Longer reviews (at most 2000 words) will only be published in special circumstances. (3) The length of an abstract should be between 100 and 300 words. (4) Please find out if you have paid your annual dues. You will find the date of your last payment at the top of your mailing label. The regular membership fee is $40.00. Matriculated students may enroll for $20. It is also possible to subscribe to the Bulletin without membership for $15. The Bulletin appears biannually. The terms of payment you will find on the front-page.
The business meeting of the Colloquium took place on Saturday, May 30, 1998 in the Bourse du travail, St. Denis. It began at 3 p.m. and was adjourned at 4:25 p.m. There were 39 members present.
Presiding: Cesareo Bandera .
1. The president expressed our thanks to Marie-Loise Martinez and all those who helped organize the conference. This word of thanks was followed by warm applause for Martinez, the CNEFEI team, and all others who organized and supported the symposium.
2. President Bandera asked James Williams, the outgoing Executive Secretary, to say a words upon the end of his term of office. He expressed his optimism about COV&R's future and his gratitude for the friendship and cooperation of his colleagues. This was met with a round of applause.
3. Treasurer's Report Gil Bailie, in absentia, for the North American account: a balance prior to the meeting of $5, 129. Dietmar Regesburger for the European account at Innsbruck: a balance of $7, 516.
Executive Secretary: Diana Culbertson
Treasurer: Julie Shinnick
Editor of Bulletin: Johan Elsen
Raymund Schwager (renomination), who in turn asked that Robert Daly replace him as a nominee. This was accepted by the group.
Sandor Goodhart (renomination)
Cheryl Kirk-Duggan (renomination)
James Williams (replacing Julie Shinnick, two more years)
Wolfgang Palaver (replacing Johan Elsen, two more years)
René Girard moved and William Mishler seconded that the slate of nominees presented by the Advisory Board be accepted. This was done by a unanimous vote.
5. Future Meetings
a. At Orlando, in conjunction with AAR/SBL, November 21, 1998: Williams reported that the theme would be "Field Work in Sacred Violence." Paul Bellan-Boyer is the organizer. He will give a paper on the mimetic theory and preaching the lectionary, and Fred Boehrer will present a paper on the mimetic theory and starting a Catholic Worker house. Respondents will be Rusty Palmer, Thee Smith, and Walter Wink.
b. In Atlanta at Emory University, early June of 1999: Fred Smith reporting for Thee Smith. The theme is "Primates to Nations: Violence Reduction in Theory and Practice."
c. At Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA, late May of 2000: Robert Daly reporting. The primary subject will be institutional religion and personal and social violence in Christianity and other religions. A secondary theme may be a discussion between COV&R people and those interested in the work of Lonergan. A question was raised as to whether the topic should be expanded to include all humanistic institutions. This was discussed and taken under advisement.
6. Amendment to Constitution of COV&R
The president explained that the Advisory Board was concerned about finding officers in a relatively small organization like COV&R who were not only willing and able to serve, but who enjoyed the kind of institutional or other support which would enable them to do their jobs properly. Therefore the Advisory Board proposed this amendment to the Constitution: "At the discretion of the Advisory Board, the three-year term of the following officers may be renewed beyond the two-term limit: executive secretary, editor of the Bulletin, editor of Contagion, and treasurer." This amendment was approved by all but one member present.
Respectfully submitted, James Williams
More than 350 people gathered for four days in Saint-Denis for a symposium that was the occasion of creative, innovative, and productive discussions on a topic important at the present time not only for education but for society as a whole. Fourteen countries were represented at the Conference. The meeting confirmed the immense interest that mimetic theory and its epistemological power is currently awakening. The symposium offered a glimpse of the role mimetic theory could play more and more in the analysis of institutions and culture.
This meeting from its conception to its final realization has been a collective adventure that has been supported generously by individuals and institutions. To these and especially to the members of the steering committee belongs the credit for its success. In 1996 the Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R) whose members were then meeting at Stanford Univesity enthusiastically welcomed the proposal of a meeting on the topic of education to be held in France.
The Centre Nationale pour l'Intégration Scolaire de Suresnes (le CNEFEI) designed the organizational plan. We received extremely valuable support from le CREA (Centre de Recherche pour l'Epistémologie et l'Autonomie), la Fondation de France, la Direction de la Protection Judiciaire de la Jeunesse, la Direction de l'Administration Pénitentiaire, the Council of Europe,and UNESCO.
In large measure the objectives of the Conferene were met. These included
(1) To make known the significance and validity of the theories of René Girard which have been ignored for too long by the French scientific and philosophical community. Together with the prize given him by the French Academy in 1966 for his philosophical achievement, our conference will certainly contribute to a better understanding and reception of Girard in France. We note in this regard the introduction of Girard by Renaud Fabre, Pesident of Paris 8, as well as the presence at the Conference of a number of eminent French intellectuals.
(2) To provide a forum for educators to examine how mimetic theory applies to their research and also to allow specialists in the mimetic theory to direct their analyses to education.
(3) To encourge dialogue not only in an international context but at interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary levels
(4) To advance our understanding of how to reduce violence in education.
The landscape of intellectual life currently suffers as much from narrow specialization as from eclecticism. Against the sterility of these trends, we need to create space for exchange and dialogue with a view to rigorous epistemological integration. Each discipline must maintain its own methodology and aims, yet we are persuaded that mimetic theory can illumine other fields of inquiry without imposing either an epistemological imperialism or a violent kind of reductive analysis. Education is a field that concerns every other discipline. For that reason, theologians, philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, literary critics, and other specialists have traditionally contributed to its reflections.
The organization of the Conference in Round Tables and subsections was designed to invite discussion and not merely to juxtapose ideas. We designed cross-disciplinary discussion of non-violence in the analysis of social institutions such as the family, religion, sports, film, communication, the medical profession, and art.
Too often there has been a tendency to separate the two aspects of violence in education, i.e., institutional or symbolic violence on the one hand and anarchic violence on the other, whether the latter manifested itself intrasubjectively, intersubjectively, or collectively. Now, however, thanks to the sequential logic revealed by mimetic theory, we are able to understand that these two aspects are complementary and tied to the same process. This is an unparalleled epistemological gain. Former explanations were unable to make sense of seemingly disparate phenomena, which led to solutions being adopted that were both fragmented and biased. The Conference disclosed:(1) how school provokes mimetic rivalry (2) how schools exacerbate the scapegoating mechanism; and (3) how schools become the target of resentment.
Generally speaking, education is based on the dual mimetic desire to acquire and to communicate knowledge,not only between teacher and pupil but among pupils. Girardian analysis allows us to describe this process, and to show its fragility and potential pitfalls. In a school system based on competition and mimetic desire for a reified form of knowledge, pupils can fall victim to an infernal cycle of reciprocal desire,hateful rivalry, and deadly resentment. This possibility is all the more difficult to analyze and criticize because a positive kind of emulation with its inevitable cognitive conflict is indispensable for the stimulation of both the desire and the capacity to learn.
Mimetic theory allows us to perceive and define alternative paths. Violence can never be sanctioned, because it implies a fatal proclivity to negate or to destroy oneself or the other.We cannot forget that in the twentieth century, the legitimization of violence, although inspired by antithetical ideologies (nazi or communist) has always ended in murderous totalitarian regimes. We must recognize, however, that desire contains a certain component of creativity,as does the conflict to which it gives rise. Conflict can be positive if it is regulated by the essential edicts of the Law and animated by the quest to integrate the Other and the excluded third in the administration of justice.
Prohibitions can never be sanctioned when they flow from the law of the violent or the more powerful or when they are produced by sacral societies that generate them in an obsessive attempt to set limits to violence by drawing scrupulous distinctions between people and groups. (R. Girard) But the May '68 slogan that "it is forbidden to forbid" in addition to the fact that it would radically compromise every attempt at education, has revealed itself to be erroneous and destructive. Its negative effects can be seen in the breakdown of distinctions that it produces in the family or in school.
It is helpful to distinguish those prohibitions that give structure and to understand their anthropological function. In addition to the major anthropological prohibitions concerning incest and sexual difference (whose renewed pertinence ought to be clear to us at this end of the 20th century, when we note the ravages caused by their relative enfeeblement), mimetic theory allows us to reread the corpus of the Law in its Judaeo-Christian text and to perceive its contemporary necessity.
The Ten Commandments, in their Hebrew and Christian versions, considered in their double aspect as negative rules (the prohibitions) or as positive commands (the commandments properly so-called) produce liberating effects by obviating the dead ends caused by mimetic rivalry. They reveal the passage and decisive threshold from a symbolic violence based on the exclusion of the third party to a symbolic accord in which the other is welcomed as oneself in an act which integrates the excluded third.
Various conference speakers, from different points of view, insisted on the relevance of the command "to love one's neighbor as oneself" and "neither more nor less," added Rene Girard. One is either always turned either too much (or wrongly) toward the Other by the alienating obsession caused by mimetic desire. Rather, one must turn one's attention to oneself to discover true altruism. For Paul Ricoeur, the strictest form of toleration requires that one have "concern for oneself as for an other." Molho and Ott, drawing on the theories of Marshall Rosenberg concerning non-violent communication, showed that it was necessary to attribute importance to one's emotions and needs in order to escape from symmetrical violence and the emotional contagion of the other (perceived simultaneously as an object of fascination and as enemy.) The needs of each person in the pedagogical relationship include the feeling of internal security, confidence, respect, and dignity, the recognition by oneself and the other of a singular identity in the process of becoming, and a curiosity directed toward understanding, learning, knowing, cooperation, etc.
Many speakers at the conference recalled the importance of returning to the triangle, that geometrical figure basic to anthropology in order to describe human relations[ when they malfunction and when they function harmoniously] Mimetic theory describes the triangularity of malfunctioning desire in the figure of the skandalon. It also shows how the exclusion of the third party (pharmakon) works as the collusive glue in violent social accord. Once one is alerted to the risks and dangers of the mimetic triangle, one is able to imagine a pedagogical relationship which would free itself from violence by promoting good alternative triangular or ternary configurations.
If evaluation based on excellence is a prerequisite of the educational system , it must be administered correctly. When it makes use of a mimetic and meritocratic norm to crush all singularity, it privileges mediocre students. Then it inflicts psychological damage more than it recognizes excellence. Complexity and diversity are more interesting in evolutionary terms than conformist uniformity. They make it increasingly possible to recognize handicaps and individual vulnerabilities as life-enhancing values, not only ethically but pragmatically and biologically. To put this realization into practice, it is necessary to counter the specious evidence of evolutionary Darwinism. Irrespective of political correctness, institutions and opinions need to be altered to bring about the realization that the most fragile members of society must be placed at it protective center, for "it is in the wound that the secret of life is to be found" (M. Serres) Thus one might imagine in education, in therapy and elsewhere, tht emulation might be used to achieve integration in such a way that collusion would not function negatively but positively.
René Girard has already amply demonstrated in numerous works how the literary text, even more than those of the social sciences, can be a vehicle of teaching and instruction concerning human relations. It can, on the one hand, reflect violence and allow it to proliferate to the degree that it conveys mimetic fascination and collusive cohesion based on scapegoating. On the other hand, it can reveal with lucidity and depth the anthropological dimension of human relations and, by so doing contribute to the emergence of the human person. Thus every great work of literature contains educational potential. By making maximum use of the virtual relations present in art, theater and film, pupils are involved in an intersubjective process which allows them to define themselves as persons less subject to daily violence.
Religious texts have a privileged place in the work of René Girard. They are examined not so much in terms of their contribution to education or edification, but for their disclosure of anthropological processes and epistemology itself. Girard has shown how consensual unanimity at the foundation of culture was produced by the sacrificial death of a victim. . . .It is religion itself, however, through the Judaeo-Christian revelation--especially through the Passion narrative-- which gives us the means to understand and critique mimetic desire and the sacrificial violence that it engenders. The difficulty then in a pluricultural, plurireligious society is to permit education in this matter without indoctrination or contravening the rules of tolerance and respectful dialogue.
But if the religious text, along with the literary text, can reveal the victimage mechanism, that disclosure is not limited to those narratives. The human sciences, such as history and philosophy, as well as the world of sports, can supply comparable evidence.
Mimetic theory by its heuristic power permits us to re-examine older theories, and its critical capacity helps us to read in a new way the best of 20th century deconstruction. Finally it offers the means to conceive a true critique of culture and to contribute to a humanism founded on the concept of person.
The perfect model of person is that of the Trinity in Christian theology (one God in loving intersubjectivity), the exact opposite of the old anthropogenetic structure of a collusion based on the exclusion of the Third. Person is then understood as a model of intersubjective triadic relation where each contributes to the definition of oneself as another. . . . This notion of person is the key concept not only of all philosophy of education but of a critical anthropology of culture. . . .Mimetic theory and its implications for humanism in an open dialogue with other critical traditions is a precious resource for the future.
The extended summary of this conference was written by Marie-Louise Martinez. It was translated and summarized by William Mishler and Diana Culbertson.
(Paris, Odile Jacob, 1998). Pp. 337.
What is the relationship between Lévi-Strauss's canonical formula, Fx(a):Fy(b)::Fx(b):Fa-1(y), and the sacrificial mechanism described by René Girard? The answer to that question, at first sight, is far from evident. Yet, once it is worked out by Lucien Scubla in his magnificient Lire Lévi-Strauss it makes both for a fascinating story and a major contribution to theoretical anthropology. First introduced in 1955, in "The Structural Study of Myth", the canonical formula should be understood in the context of Lévi-Strauss's definition of a myth as the set of its variants. A myth, in other words, is made up of its various versions, some of which can be far different from the version of reference the anthropologist began his study with. The canonical formula gives the rule of transformation which unites the different variants of the myth. Nothing it seems is more intellectual and formal than this definition or appears further away from social processes and institutions, from conflict and rivalry. Notheless, argues Scubla, a careful reading of Lévi-Strauss reveals that the formula aims to capture the fundamental intuition of his structuralism: that every structure is generated by a conflict.
The demonstration of that claim is long and sinuous, for it is not only to the layman that the canonical formula is obscure and, to a large extent, Lévi-Strauss himself is responsible for this lack of clarity. When he first introduced it, Lévi-Strauss gave little indications as to how it should be interpreted and apart from a few mentions in the late 1950s, the formula completely disappeared from his writings until the mid 1980's when it made a triuphant return in The Jealous Potter (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988). This strange attitude of Lévi-Strauss towards his formula, who always affirmed that it guided all his research on myth while never explicitly using it, is confirmed by the fact that when he first reintroduced it, in one of his courses at the College de France, he applied the formula not to a myth, but to a ritual, though it has always been an article of faith of his structuralism that the two phenomena are radically different.
According to Scubla, these hesitations reveal, not a lack of rigour on the part of Lévi-Strauss, but the power of the anthropological intuition which the canonical formula tries to capture. Through an attentive reading of Lévi-Strauss's text, but also of the those, anthropologists and mathematicians, who tried to make sense of the formula, Scubla succeeds in showing that once it is translated in an appopriate formalism - that of the catastrophe theory - Lévi-Strauss's formula does express, as he claimed, the unity of myths, but also their relationship to other social institutions like rituals and kinship systems. Further Scubla shows that the formula is inseparable from Girard's hypothesis of violent victimage as the origin of all institutions and sees in Lévi-Strauss's intuition a confirmation of Girard's thesis.
Lire Lévi-Strauss is a difficult book, but very rewarding to the careful reader. It offers not only powerful justification of Girard's theory, it also constitute a profound reflection on the place of formalism in human sciences, on the value of theoretical anthropology, on the importance of morphogenetic theories. In the foreword to his book, Lucien Scubla mentions those authors who have given him "intense moments of intellectual pleasure." On my list of those authors, there now is one more name: Lucien Scubla.
Paul Dumouchel Université du Québec à Montréal
Verlag Kohlhammer, Stuttgart Berlin Köln, Beiträge zur Friedensethik, 1998.
'The Mythical Sources of the Political' is a short monograph adapted from a Habilitationsschrift submitted to the Theological Faculty of the University of Innsbruck.. It is not a comprehensive evaluation of Schmitt's entire work, but a theological critique of Schmitt's famous and disreputable political theology, in particular his `friend-enemy' theory. Schmitt's context of discovery was Nazi Germany, but to understand the context of justification one has to go further back in history. Wolfgang Palaver argues that Schmitt's thinking is very close to mythical thinking in spite of the Catholic garment Schmitt has put on it. His political theology is portrayed as a mixture of mythical and Christian tradition.
According to Schmitt, the concept of politics - whose quintessential criterion is the distinction between friend and enemy - is interesting as a diagnostic instrument, but should not be considered as a political program. Nevertheless, the concept is not free from ambiguities. On the one hand, Schmitt denies that his political concept amounts to the annihilation of the enemy, while on the other he speaks about the idea of intensity with regard to the distinction friend-enemy. By the latter he means that the political increases with the intensity of the distinction friend-enemy. In other words, highlights of great politics go hand in hand with outbursts of hatred. In this monograph Palaver dives into the complicated history of interpretation of Schmitt and pays attention to the German philosopher Heinrich Meier in particular, whose work has drastically changed its history. Heinrich Meier distinguishes between political philosophy that flourishes on the soil of human wisdom, and political theology that prospers on the soil of obedience to the truth of revelation. On account of this distinction he considers Schmitt a political theologian, and reconstructs Schmitt's theory along the lines of an enmity between the serpent and humankind proclaimed by God in paradise. Meier sees the theologoumenon serpent vs. humankind reflected in Schmitt's political theology. All attempts to overcome this antithesis are to be seen as works of the Antichrist. Wolfgang Palaver cannot follow Meier's interpretation of Schmitt. In a very valuable discussion, Palaver considers Christian Meier's (not the same Meier) attention to Aeschylus' influence on Schmitt through his play Eumenides. This play represents the myth of the political. Aeschylus describes in the Eumenides how the system of the blood feud has been overcome by a new administration of justice (Rechtsordnung) or Polis-order. War should be exported from the interior of the sociopolitial order to the exterior. In other words, the internal peace of the polis is only possible due to violence directed to the outside of the polis.
Among the rival interpretations Palaver's proposal, which follows Girard's, is superior and very adequate for interpreting Schmitt. The mimetic theory agrees with the interpretation of Aeschylus. For René Girard and Wolfgang Palaver Aeschylus' Eumenides is a typical example of ritual canalization of internal violence towards the outside. On the basis of this Eumenides interpretation it can be shown that the friend-enemy distinction has religious-ritualand mythical sources. They are an important distinguishing mark of political thinking and acting as such, and not only in ancient Athens of Aeschylus. In short, with the Girardian theory the ambivalence and contradictions characteristic of Schmitt's theory can be explained.
Palaver's conclusion is that Schmitt does not have a biblical but a mythical political theory and according to him, the difficulty is that the Christian elements are presented in mythical logic. He demonstrates this by elaborating on three issues: Schmitt's interpretation of the sermon on the Mount, his understanding of original sin which he connects with a theory of predestination, and the connection between the doctrine of the Trinity and the distinction of friend-enemy. These discussions are interesting, in my view, because they represent theological ingenuity. Palaver reduces these Schmittian insights to non-biblical and mythological thinking originating from the scapegoat mechanism.
Wolfgang Palaver writes that thinking one's way through Schmitt's work might be a precondition for every political theory. A biblical ethics of peace should go through this purgatory to offer a sustainable contribution to peace. He warns that whoever prematurely closes the eyes for the reality disclosed by Schmitt might have no access to the offer of Christ's grace.
Some concluding points: 1. I have read this book with much pleasure and delight. Many insights for theology and politics are to be harvested. It turns out that Girard's theory is extremely fruitful and performs miracles in elucidating Schmitt's complex theory. 2. The Girardian sauce is sometimes so dominant that the food itself cannot be tasted any more. By this I mean that the discussion of Eumenides does not give insight into the structure of Aeschylus' play, but into the theory of Girard.. 3. The hypotheses of René Girard itself are not contested. That is acceptable, but sometimes the hypotheses are identified with the biblical revelation, and in my view that is going too far. 4. A reviewer is never satisfied. I would not encourage Wolfgang Palaver to sojourn any longer in Schmitt's black Catholicism. Whoever touches pitch runs the risk of being defiled. I am really interested in Wolfgang Palaver's own theological contribution to political philosophy in which he makes use of the results of this interesting book.
Pieter Tijmes, University Twente, Enschede, Holland.
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Alison, James. The Joy of Being Wrong: Original Sin through Easter Eyes. Forword by Sebastian Moore. New York: The Crossrads Publishing Company, 1998.
Elias, Michael J. Rechterraadsels of "De twee gezichten van de zondebok. (Neck Riddles of "The two faces of the Scapegoat") Maastricht: Shaker Publishing, 1998.
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Martinez, Marie-Louise. Vers la réduction de la violence à l'école: Contribution à l'étude de quelques concepts pour une anthropologie relationelle de la personne en philosophie de l'education. These à la carte. Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 1998.
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Rohr, Richard. Love Your Enemy: The Gospel Call to Nonviolence. Lecture (Sound recording) based on the books "Violence and the Sacred", by René Girard, and "Violence Unveiled", by Gil Bailie. Cincinatti: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1997: Sound cassette, 83 minutes.
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The Documentation of Literature on the Mimetic Theory is searchable online via Internet. The World Wide Web adress is: http://starwww.uibk.ac.at [for further information see Bulletin no. 9 (1995): p. 6].
You are welcome to send us copies of your articles as well as to refer to any kind of literature dealing with the Mimetic Theory.
Dietmar Regensburger E-mail: Dietmar.Regensburger@uibk.ac.at
Girard-Documentation Fax: (43 512) 507-2761
University of Innsbruck, Universitätsstr. 4, A-6020 Innsbruck / Austria
Annual brief meeting in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (AAR/SBL).
Place : Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Room Oceanic 4
Theme : Fieldwork in Sacred Violence: Applying Girard outside the Academy
'Standing with the Scapegoat: Post-Sacrificial Possibilities through Prayer and Social Action' Fred Boehrer, Catholic Worker Community, Albany, NY
'I Preach Christ Crucified: Girard in Pulpit and Parish'
Paul Bellan-Boyer, All Nations Lutheran Church, Jersey City, NJ
Respondents: Rusty Palmer, Thee Smith, Walter Wink
Announcement of the 8th International Symposium of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion June 3-5, 1999
CALL FOR PAPERS / REQUEST FOR PRACTICUMS
Violence Reduction in Theory & Practice: From Primates to Nations
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA June 3-5, 1999
All the traditions are worn out, all the creeds abolished; but the new program is not yet ready . . . This is the cruelest moment in the life of societies. Pierre Joseph Proudhon
The moral arm of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Martin Luther King, Jr.
COV&R members and other interested scholars/practitioners are encouraged to submit either (1) papers or (2) proposals for practicums (or a combination of both), for presentation at the next annual meeting in Atlanta, June 3-5, 1998. Hosted by Emory University, the conference is designed to explore the theme, "Violence Reduction in Theory & Practice: From Primates to Nations". That theme reflects the rich resources available at Emory and elsewhere in Atlanta in the area of (a) violence studies and (b) violence reduction practices; hence the dual emphasis on theory and practice.
Emory resources range along a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum are found primate studies in animal conflict resolution conducted at the Yerkes Primate Center. At the other end is the international conflict resolution program of the Carter Center (also associated with Emory). Hence the conference offers a rare opportunity for an inclusive framework: "from primates to nations". Along that spectrum we find other valuable theory/practice resources at Emory and in Atlanta, such as the Violence Studies Minor in the Emory College curriculum, the Consortium on Negotiation & Conflict Resolution (CNCR) comprising other universities in the area, and not least Atlanta's diverse activist communities including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
Presenters of papers and practicums are invited to contribute to, or provide critical counterpoints for, the conference hypothesis: that a convergence of violence reduction theory and practice already exists that can significantly ameliorate the still epidemic levels of violence occurring in the world today. By hypothesis: It only remains to correlate and synthesize the already available theories and practices of violence reduction, ranging from primate studies to international affairs, in order to garner for the next millennium the most promising resources for fostering violence-free societies in the future.
COV&R members in particular, in addition to other scholars/practitioners familiar with the work of René Girard, are strongly urged to address the conference theme with close attention to "the mimetic model of the relationship between violence and religion in the genesis and maintenance of culture" (The COV&R Bulletin). Other scholars/practitioners are warmly encouraged to submit papers and practicum proposals that will make available a repertory of best resources for violence reduction theory and practice for the next millennium. COV&R welcomes presentations within and across all disciplines including: literary criticism and aesthetics, political science, economics, social ethics, biblical theology, systematic theology and philosophy, psychology and psychiatry, gender studies, education, social practices and performance theory/practice, anthropology, and religious studies.
The conference format will permit only brief synopses of papers, and only sample presentations of practicums, in order to allow maximal time for audience response and participant review of the presentations. Papers and practicum proposals are solicited that will best facilitate that format, which aims to advance the overarching goal of the conference: correlating and synthesizing prospective resources for envisioning and creating a violence-free future.
Deadline : January 15, 1998
Prof. Thee Smith Department of Religion, Callaway Center,
Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
Tel. (404) 727-0636 FAX: (404) 727-7597
Dr. Fred Smith Interfaith Health Program, The Carter Center,
One Copenhill, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA
Tel. (404) 420-3847 FAX: (404) 420-5158