Violence and the Sacred

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JHU Press, 1979 - Religion - 333 pages
His fascinating and ambitious book provides a fully developed theory of violence as the 'heart and secret soul' of the sacred. Girard's fertile, combative mind links myth to prophetic writing, primitive religions to classical tragedy.
 

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User Review  - PhilipJHunt - LibraryThing

Hard to read. Impossible to forget. Reality changing. A whole new way to understand humanity. Everyone should read it and the world may change for the better. Read full review

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User Review  - gmicksmith - LibraryThing

Girard's thesis is that violence is at the heart of the sacred, that violence belongs to all, and no one. Sacrifice restores order to society as the end of religious practice. This is an important and ... Read full review

Contents

One Sacrifice
1
Two The Sacrificial Crisis
39
Three Oedipus and the Surrogate Victim
68
Seven Freud and the Oedipus Complex
169
Eight Totem and Taboo and the Incest Prohibition
193
Nine LeviStrauss Structuralism and Marriage Laws
223
Ten The Gods the Dead the Sacred and Sacrificial
250
Eleven The Unity of All Rites 214
274
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About the author (1979)

René Girard was born on December 25, 1923 in Avignon, France. He received an advanced degree in medieval studies at the École Nationale des Chartes in 1947 and a Ph.D. in history from Indiana University in 1950. He taught French language and literature at Indiana University, Duke University, Bryn Mawr College, Johns Hopkins University, and the State University at Buffalo. He taught at Stanford University from 1981 until his retirement in 1995. His explorations of literature and myth helped establish influential theories about how people are motivated to want things. His first book, Deceit, Desire, and the Novel, was published in French in 1961 and in English in 1965. His other works included Violence and the Sacred and Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Modern Language Association in 2009 and the Order of Isabella the Catholic from the king of Spain for his work in philosophy and anthropology in 2013. He died on November 4, 2015 at the age of 91.

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