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Document Details :
Title: Beyond Violence in Monotheism
Subtitle: Interfaith Possibilities in René Girard's Theory of Mimetic Rivalry
Author(s): REYNOLDS, Thomas E.
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 19 Issue: 1 Date: 2009
It is commonplace to note the ambivalent relationship between belief in God and violence. This essay seeks to come to terms with the relationship by exploring René Girard’s influential interpretation of the roots of violence in mimetic rivalry. However, drawing from Paul Ricoeur, it extends Girard’s analysis to suggest, against Girard, that interfaith possibilities lie within the affirmation of God. Whereas Girard appeals to specific acts of Christian revelation to move beyond violence, the monotheism at the heart of Abrahamic faiths can be understood in a way that not only resists violence, quelling rivalry and cultivating a self-transcending posture of concern for others, but also is interreligious in scope, opened by a hermeneutic double play that is non-idolatrous in character.