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René Girard

Geburtstag: 25. Dezember 1923
Todesdatum: 4. November 2015

René Noël Théophile Girard war ein französischer Literaturwissenschaftler, Kulturanthropologe und Religionsphilosoph. Sein Werk lässt sich in die Tradition der philosophischen Anthropologie einordnen.

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„Meine ganze Arbeit hatte zum Ziel zu zeigen, daß der christliche Glaube höherstehend ist und nicht bloß eine weitere Mythologie.“ in einem Interview in der WELT vom 14. Mai 2005

„Die mimetische Theorie reagiert auf die Neigung des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, überall nur Fiktives zu sehen. Auch heute ist es beinahe Pflicht, alles in den Mythen für imaginär, spielerisch, poetisch, lyrisch, traumartig, psychoanalytisch zu halten - nur nicht für real.“ Die verkannte Stimme des Realen, Hanser, München-Wien, 2005, S. 13


„The goal of religious thinking is exactly the same as that of technological research -- namely, practical action. Whenever man is truly concerned with obtaining concrete results, whenever he is hard pressed by reality, he abandons abstract speculation and reverts to a mode of response that becomes increasingly cautious and conservative as the forces he hopes to subdue, or at least to outrun, draw ever nearer.“ Violence and the Sacred

„Everywhere and always, when human beings either cannot or dare not take their anger out on the thing that has caused it, they unconsciously search for substitutes, and more often than not they find them.“ The One by Whom Scandal Comes

„The distance between Don Quixote and the petty bourgeois victim of advertising is not so great as romanticism would have us believe.“ Deceit, Desire and the Novel: Self and Other in Literary Structure

„Passive, submissive imitation does exist, but hatred of conformity and extreme individualism are no less imitative. Today they constitute a negative conformism that is more formidable than the positive version. More and more, it seems to me, modern individualism assumes the form of a desperate denial of the fact that, through mimetic desire, each of us seeks to impose his will upon his fellow man, whom he professes to love but more often despises.“ The One by Whom Scandal Comes

„Victimism uses the ideology of concern for victims to gain political or economic or spiritual power.“ I See Satan Fall Like Lightning

„Our world is filled with competition, frenzied ambition in every domain. Each of us is acquainted with the spirit of competition. This spirit is not a bad thing in and of itself. Its influence has long been felt in personal relations within the dominant classes. Subsequently it spread throughout the whole of society, to the point that today it has more or less openly triumphed in every part of the world. In Western nations, and above all in the United States, it animates not only economic and financial life, but scientific research and intellectual life as well. Despite the tension and the unrest it brings, these nations are inclined on the whole to congratulate themselves for having embraced the spirit of competition, for its positive effects are considerable. Not the least of these is the impressive wealth it has brought a large part of the population. No one, or almost no one, any longer thinks of forgoing rivalry, since it allows us to go on dreaming of a still more glittering and prosperous future than the recent past. Our world seems to us the most desirable one there ever was, especially when we compare it to life in nations that have not enjoyed the same prosperity.“ The One by Whom Scandal Comes


„Some primitive societies avoid striking out at the true guilty party because it might awaken the spirit of vengeance. Channeling violence toward a sacrificial victim as if toward a lightning rod doubtless stops violence, but it's not very pretty.“ When These Things Begin: Conversations with Michel Treguer

„The true threat to the world today comes from the mad ambitions of states and capitalists bent on destroying non-modern cultures. It is the so-called developed countries that plunder the planet's resources without showing the least concern for consequences they are incapable of foreseeing.“ The One by Whom Scandal Comes

„The experience of death is going to get more and more painful, contrary to what many people believe. The forthcoming euthanasia will make it more rather than less painful because it will put the emphasis on personal decision in a way which was blissfully alien to the whole problem of dying in former times. It will make death even more subjectively intolerable, for people will feel responsible for their own deaths and morally obligated to rid their relatives of their unwanted presence. Euthanasia will further intensify all the problems its advocates think it will solve.“

„Silence is the only conduct truly befitting a solipsist, the only one, however, that he cannot bring himself to adopt.“ To Double Business Bound: Essays on Literature, Mimesis and Anthropology


„That's why he's called Legion—in a way he's the embodiment of the crowd. It's the crowd that comes out of him and goes and throws itself off of the cliff. We're witnessing the birth of an individual capable of escaping the fatal destiny of collective violence.“ When These Things Begin: Conversations with Michel Treguer

„To escape responsibility for violence we imagine it is enough to pledge never to be the first to do violence. But no one ever sees himself as casting the first stone. Even the most violent persons believe that they are always reacting to a violence committed in the first instance by someone else.“ The One by Whom Scandal Comes

„It is not difference that dominates the world, but the obliteration of difference by mimetic reciprocity, which itself, being truly universal, shows the relativism of perpetual difference to be an illusion.“ The One by Whom Scandal Comes

„El mejor modo de castigar a los humanos, es dándoles lo que tanto reclaman.“ Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World

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