Girard Argument on Violence

Best Essays
Discuss Girard’s argument that violence is at the core of every religion and examine the scapegoat theory

Around the world violence and war are being carried out in the name of religion, not just in today’s society but throughout history. René Girard argues that violence is at the core of every religion, and by the ways that the media portray religious conflict could lead many people to agree. This essay will be explaining his argument and examining the key points, in order to understand his view point and show examples of where in history as well as biblically, violence is found to be at the core of religion. I will also be examining what is meant by the scapegoat theory and how this is used is relation to Girard 's theory on violence. The essay will evaluate what scapegoats are and why they are picked, and will give examples of when scapegoating is used. To give a standpoint; I am a Catholic and so would argue that to me violence is not at the core of my religion. However I am very open minded to see if what Girard has said could change the way I think, as Girard himself is Christian.

Girard’s main thesis for violence being at the core of every religion is what he calls mimetic. Mimetic was first introduced by Plato over two thousand years ago in his book ‘Republic art’; mimetic is translated from the Greek work ‘imitations’ (Tinsley, 2003, pg.1) In the book Mimesis by Potolsky he says that ‘mimesis can be said to Imitate a dizzying array of originals; nature, truth, beauty, mannerisms, actions, situations, examples, ideas.’(Potolsky, 2006, p.1). Girard’s theory then stands on a view point called acquisitive mimesis; this is where one person copies another and then wants the same thing as the first person. A famous example of this is one child notices a certain toy that had gone unnoticed by both children until that point. But when the first child notices the toy and makes an effort to acquire the toy to play with it, the second child sees this process



Bibliography: Books Bailie, G (1995) Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroad Fleming, C (2004) Rene Girard violence and Mimesis. Cambridge, UK :Polity Press. Girard, R (1988) Girard violence and the sacred Girard, R (1978) Things hidden since the foundation of the world. Editions Grasset & Fasquelle The Bible with apocrypha Google E-books Burke, K (1984) Performance and Change: An anatomy Purpose http://books.google.co.uk Potolsky, M (2006) Mimesis Timsley, J. (2003) Rene Girard’s theory of Violence, Religion and the Scapegoat. Retrieved from: http://www.jeramyt.org/papers/girard.html Research Article

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Girard Visit Report

    • 417 Words
    • 2 Pages

    In my lifetime I lived in to two areas which made a major impact on me. First I lived in Erie at the Franklin Terrace then I moved to girard in about second grade. This town girard is smaller than other areas but it is unique in its own way. First it has an area with a grocery store fast food places like dairy queen, when you continue down on Main street on that road there is a basketball court and a few other places like a bar, faulkner's, and a bank. They’re not the best you will see throughout…

    • 417 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Gun Violence Arguments

    • 407 Words
    • 2 Pages

    A lot of people lose their lives because of gun violence in America. This problem is an ongoing debate and the people suffer everyday in United States. Guns are a problem if people don’t know how to use it carefully. In most of the cases guns are legally purchased but some people that are mentally ill took advantage of it using it to harm other people. Mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas last month, where the gunman attacked large crowds of people while they were at the concert from his hotel…

    • 407 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Word negotiation has a negative connotation. People think other party is trying to deceive them in order to get what they want. We negotiate almost every day over small things like negotiation with friends to choose a restaurant and a vacation place. Girard Nirenberg, the author of the first formal book on negotiation, explains it this way: "When two or more people exchange ideas with the intent of changing the relationship in some way, they are in negotiation." If we believe that explanation is accurate…

    • 131 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    What is Domestic Violence? The Government defines domestic violence as An incident that has got to do with threatening behaviour, abuse(sexual, emotional or financial) and violence. This incident usually happens between partners and family members. It does not matter what sexuality they are or gender. Why does Domestic Violence Exist? Domestic violence exists because the forms of abuse that is happening between all kinds of couples whether they are married or unmarried. According to the Bureau…

    • 401 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    something would be gun violence because all over the world have gun violence people dieing because of the guns and also because of violence. This is bad for people all over the world gun violence is still around the world and that is something that I do not like in this world having gun violence what is the reason of having gun violence why do we need this type of violence. One thing that I can do to change gun violence is stop people from using guns and tell people why is gun violence bad for people all…

    • 317 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Anybody” By Joe Girard “Salesmen are made, not born. If I did it, you can do it. I guarantee it “ says Mr. Joe Girard . 
On January 1st 1978, Joe Girard quit selling cars. During his fifteen years of selling Cars (1963 – 1977) he sold 13001 cars at retail. Most of his time is now spent in writing books and columns, giving lectures, sales rallies and consulting. In this book the author describes his own life experience of how he became the number one salesman in the world! Girard makes selling…

    • 1121 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jones Merrick The author of my argument and persuasion draft is a man by the name of Richard Rhodes. He is also a successful graduate of Yale University. Rhodes recently published an article in the September 17th, 2000 issue of the New York Times. The article was called "Hollow Claims about Fantasy Violence", which was based from a dispute over media violence. The argument was focused on whether media violence provokes reality violence or is media violence innocent. The author of this article…

    • 487 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Unit 4: Constructing a Strong Argument Mayra A Torres Kaplan University CM220 Prof Russo I think that the type of claim my thesis express is a claim of cause. It work’s good for a domestic violence thesis. This thesis can be an effective one fist because is a global problem that touch everyone in a different way. There’s a lot of information out there I can use to add more information to my thesis or to make it better. And I think I have a point and I choose a good topic, a lot of…

    • 458 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    non-gaming adults claim people engaging in violent video games will start to confuse fantasy and reality, they will take the violence viewed in the game and believe such behavior is acceptable in the real world. But more informed adults would counter those assertions by stating that, if the vast amount of people which play violent video games all acted out on the violence they witness in games then anarchy would reign. In essence, labeling violent video games as “murder simulators” is an inconsiderate…

    • 1930 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    often drawn to gangs simply yearning to find safety in their own lives. Neighborhoods that suffer from high levels of criminal activity often become reason for one to join a gang. Joining guarantees support and offers considerable protection from violence and attacks from rival gangs. “Protection from a certain group of individuals could cause a person to get into a gang because they think the gang can protect them” (“Joining a Gang”). If their families can’t protect them they will reach out to something…

    • 105 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays