Thursday, November 5, 2015

Religion, desire, violence, why should read René Girard – Le Figaro

FIGAROVOX / ANALYSIS -Damien The Gay explains why the philosopher and academician account and will count more.

Damien Le Guay, philosopher, president of the National Ethics Committee of the funeral, member of the scientific committee of the RFS, teaching at the ethical space of the AP-HP, has just seem a book these issues. The bottom line of life – against evil die in France, the CERF editions

Since the early 1960s, its intellectual place was unique and his original thought. That is why his work to have been rejected for a long time will remain as one of the most important of the time. He was internationally recognized but never was really in France – even though he was a member of the French Academy. It was too archaic for modern, too literary for philosophers, not quite fashionable for the dominant intelligentsia and even too Christian for many – including some Catholic authorities. If found (the east and will be more and more), it was against the time, against the dominant thoughts against existing institutions, against the media. In France, there was a marginal, a qualified intellectual “original” for best left outside the university when, in it, the reign of Marxism structures and crushed everything. Yet it has and will have more and more

For his entire academic career in the United States, particularly at Stanford. for failing stowed under the flag of no intellectual fashions germanopratines, whether structuralist, Sartre, Foucault, Maoist, Deleuze or others; For being interested, thirty years before Regis Debray, the “religious fact” when he was still ranked in the hell of superstition; for daring to say “Christian” – the crime of lese modernity – which, in the eyes of our mentors (and thus excommunicated), withdrew him any scientific legitimacy; for not having little or relays in France (though it had become, later on, a member of the French Academy) while it is translated into more than twenty-five languages; For all these reasons and many others, René Girard was at hand in the hexagonal intellectual landscape.

In 1961, with Deceit and romantic truth His interests literature for what it says about the man; In 1972, with violence and the sacred, he dissects religious mechanisms to better understand violence; In 1978, with The things hidden from the foundation of the world, he sees Christianity as a kind of “on-religion” that comes to abolish the other, making them ineffective and almost obsolete. His thinking is wrong part of a clearly defined line. To be elsewhere, some put it anywhere. That is more convenient for purring between itself! He criticizes anthropologist anthropology when, with Levi-Strauss, it condemns the sacrifice by stripping it of all meaning; literary critic, he rejects those who, like Georges Poulet, think that literature has become a world in itself, has no reference alone has nothing to prove radical human truths – like mimicry; Christian, he criticizes Catholics too immersed in the world and unaware of the Apocalypse issues.

It all starts with the rivalry. This rivalry called back vengeance and revenge murder and revenge killing. Humanity is thus entering an endless circle.

René Girard, a Durkheim Pascal …

So who is he? Where did he come from? Kind of in Guelph and Ghibelline Ghibelline in Guelph, in the posture of a Erasmus, anxious not give anything to anyone, it was both a disciple of Durkheim and is in line with Pascal. Untenable position if any. In the religious camp is too Durkheim; in the camp of sociologists, too religious. And when it comes to these “masters of suspicion” that since the late nineteenth century, tend to return man to the forces behind the scenes, the dominate, as if he were rather puppet actor, René Girard, too, claims to this tradition that disqualifies modern autonomy. It does not highlights the social forces, unconscious or unexpected genealogies impulses, but in the same displacement effect, a mimetic rivalry at the foundation of everything. The individual is never alone. Consciousness is acquired not by reason but the desire

So it is a Pascal Durkheim -. Which is equivalent to an intellectual oxymoron. One member of this unique category, it retains the Author of Elementary Forms of Religious Life, an approach that makes religion a social coagulation effect and collectively to regulate violence. Pascal it keeps the sake of a full apology for Christian right. “All my books,” he said, “are apologies more or less explicit Christianity.” Christ, the first innocent victim, who says his innocence in the face of the world, stripped, by the same token, all religious mechanisms archaic. So today, we can only be Christians, although Christianity has not been fully received. René Girard calls for a “new ethic” that can not be born, he said, “that within the mimicry released – released by Christianity.”

Whether the side of Durkheim or that of Pascal, he favors the analysis and forsakes priori ideological. Neither rationalism or fideism. It must be said that today the situation is unprecedented. The violence was unleashed. Nothing holds. Religious no longer his office. Hold both of the equation: both religious of the analysis, according to Durkheim methods and the Christian horizon, in the tradition of Pascal’s prophecy. This is what made René Girard, leaving in its wake a lot of discontent, misunderstandings, uncertainties and question marks.

How to get out of a violent nature man?

René Girard, he emphasizes a tragic history and nature through violence without any control. Unlike the “modern” who think they can control the chain reaction of violence, as a control nuclear fusion, it focuses on a process which eventually no longer be held. He escapes everyone. Such was the lesson of the past century: the “ascent to the extreme,” in the words of Clausewitz, Prussian strategist death in 1831 in which he confronts his thought in Complete Clausewitz (2007), does not, after the fact, reconciliation of men between them. This formula of a “surge” of violence seems to him relevant. René Girard, he sort of environmentalist violence, focuses on a process of imitation which pits men together. Everything begins with the rivalry. This rivalry called back vengeance and revenge murder and revenge killing. Humanity is thus entering an endless circle. Note that for him the violence has still answer an offense – that this offense is real, imaginary or symbolic. Violence is a response. It is not first. The rivalry, it is first. The desire to have what the other is the origin of everything. The violent, he is first an offended. Or so he believes. Any revenge is revenge. A return. A second time. An answer.

How can we break this cycle, pause the game to infinity of reference? Alone, says René Girard, religious, through the introduction of sacrifice, break this circularity of revenge and murder. Obviously the archaic sacrifice is arbitrary. The victim is responsible for “the sins of the world.” His murder reconciles the community with the divine powers and above all with itself. In all societies, even if they are more primitive include this mechanism of “scapegoat”. It can evacuate violence, soothe consciences and to end, provisional in cascading rivalries. Somehow the sacrifice breaks the mirror rivalries. They see themselves, did respond more to one another. Reconciliation therefore occurs at the expense of another. This murder founder, establishes rites which themselves give rise to the institutions. And thus was born the culture and all the institutions that put it in shape.

The Christian novelty …

However, Christianity in For the sake of truth, the man withdraws his “sacrificial crutches” recognizing the full innocence of the victim. Christ said and found innocent, not very convenient endorses the social guilt to justify sacrifices. “Religious” says René Girard “invents sacrifice; Christianity deprives him. ” This deprivation is an ethical challenge, an invitation to break the cycle of violence from above (the Beatitudes). And if men gave them in tune with kindness! Such is the sense of the Christian invitation.

The advantage of intuitions dug and explored in many ways, such as René Girard mimetic rivalry around, is that they take the risk of becoming obsessive . At first he dreamed of knowledge about violence which, once known, would control it. This claim has left. Reconciliation among men, designed, at first, almost automatic as has become, over the years, uncertain if not problematic. Remains certain: the religious prevents society from destroying itself. Certainty even more vital that we are witnessing a global rise of religious violence with the risk of a total blast. On this side then our concerns looming on the horizon, René Girard can help us move forward. There remains a serious support to prevent us from dying. Die by the current set of mirrors to infinity of mimetic rivalry – another name of democracy-egalitarian. Die by the return to religious fundamentalism, far from the understanding of texts and understanding of the true mechanism of violence.


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