Rene Girard passed away on November 4, at age 91, just nine days before the Friday the 13th terrorist attacks in Paris. Over the last few days I have continued to study this man’s work, including his last book entitled “Battling to the End.”
Girard’s lifelong research into “mimetic desire” goes straight to the heart of human origins, human nature, and human destiny. For a brief bio of the man go here, and for a look at the various fields of study that his ideas have impacted you can go here.
In his last book I found that Girard’s faith in Christ was unshakeable, whereas his faith in “humanity” became much more pessimistic. Indeed, his final book is filled with apocalyptic warnings, which seem to be born out by the recent terror attack and by the global response to it:
We have to destroy one another or love one another, and humanity, we fear, will prefer to destroy itself.
The reason that people fight more and more is that there is a truth approaching against which their violence reacts. The Christ is the Other who is coming, and who, in his very vulnerability, arouses panic in the system.
The paradox is thus that we are starting to grasp the Gospel message at the very moment when the escalation to extremes is becoming the unique law of history.
Holiness is perhaps the only form of resistance that can be made to the heroism that nations can offer.
There is nothing nihilistic about the apocalyptic spirit: it can make sense of the trend toward the worst only from within the framework of very profound hope.
Rene Girard, you were in possession of the bright morning star. I can’t wait to get to know you in the New Creation!
2 Peter 1:19