Best Quotes by Rene Girard

By | January 3, 2020

We are aware that globalization doesn’t mean global friendship but global competition and, therefore, conflict. That doesn’t mean we will all destroy each other, but it is no happy global village, either.

Rene Girard

What I call a mimetic crisis is a situation of conflict so intense that on both sides people act the same way and talk the same way even though, or because, they are more and more hostile to each other.

Rene Girard

If you scapegoat someone, it’s a third party that will be aware of it. It won’t be you. Because you will believe you are doing the right thing.

Rene Girard

When we judge, we are always in a psychic space which is circular.

Rene Girard

The true Resurrection is based not on the mythical lie of the guilty victim who deserves to die, but on the rectification of that lie, which comes from the true God and which reopens channels of communication mankind itself had closed through self-imprisonment in its own violent cultures.

Rene Girard

When scandals proliferate, human beings become so obsessed with their rivals that they lose sight of the objects for which they compete and begin to focus angrily on one another.

Rene Girard

When we describe human relations, we usually make them better than they are: gentle, peaceful, and so forth, whereas in reality, they are often competitive.

Rene Girard

In preventing a riot and dispersing a crowd, the Crucifixion is an example of cathartic victimization.

Rene Girard

The protective system of scapegoats is finally destroyed by the Crucifixion narratives as they reveal Jesus’ innocence and, little by little, that of all analogous victims.

Rene Girard

When the whole world is globalized, you’re going to be able to set fire to the whole thing with a single match.

Rene Girard

Instead of blaming victimization on the victims, the Gospels blame it on the victimizers. What the myths systematically hide, the Bible reveals.

Rene Girard

A scapegoat remains effective as long as we believe in its guilt.

Rene Girard

Learning that we have a scapegoat is to lose it forever and to expose ourselves to mimetic conflicts with no possible resolution.

Rene Girard

More than ever, I am convinced that history has meaning – and that its meaning is terrifying.

Rene Girard

Western civilization is, no doubt, predominantly on the side of secular relativism. That is not true in the Islamic world, where faith dominates.

Rene Girard

Paradoxically, we have become so ethnocentric in our relativism that we feel it is only okay for others – not us – to think their religion is superior!

Rene Girard

All of my work has been an effort to show that Christianity is superior and not just another mythology.

Rene Girard

The profound self is a universal self.

Rene Girard

Humanity is the child of religion.

Rene Girard

Why is our own participation in scapegoating so difficult to perceive and the participation of others so easy? To us, our fears and prejudices never appear as such because they determine our vision of people we despise, we fear, and against whom we discriminate.

Rene Girard

Individualism is a formidable lie.

Rene Girard

Salvation lies in imitating Christ, in other words, in imitating the ‘withdrawal relationship’ that links him with his Father… To listen to the Father’s silence is to abandon oneself to his withdrawal, to conform to it.

Rene Girard

The myth-making machine is the mimetic contagion that disappears behind the myth it generates.

Rene Girard

When the Bible and the Gospels say that the victims should have been spared, they do not merely ‘take pity’ on them. They puncture the illusion of the unanimous victimization that foundational myths use as a crisis-solving and reordering device of human communities.

Rene Girard

Having a scapegoat means not knowing that we have one.

Rene Girard

Society’s preservation against the unlimited violence of scandals lies in the mimetic coalition against the single victim and its ensuing limited violence. The violent death of Jesus is, humanly speaking, an example of this strange process.

Rene Girard

A mimetic crisis is when people become undifferentiated. There are no more social classes, there are no more social differences, and so forth.

Rene Girard

I believe that in intense conflict, far from becoming sharper, differences melt away.

Rene Girard

It doesn’t take much insight to realize that wars have been getting worse every time – worse from the point of view of the civilian, more and more destructive, more and more total.

Rene Girard

We don’t even know what our desire is. We ask other people to tell us our desires. We would like our desires to come from our deepest selves, our personal depths – but if it did, it would not be desire. Desire is always for something we feel we lack.

Rene Girard

Each person must ask what his relationship is to the scapegoat. I am not aware of my own, and I am persuaded that the same holds true for my readers. We only have legitimate enmities. And yet the entire universe swarms with scapegoats.

Rene Girard

On September 11, people were shaken, but they quickly calmed down. There was a flash of awareness, which lasted a few fractions of a second. People could feel that something was happening. Then a blanket of silence covered up the crack in our certainty of safety.

Rene Girard

I think that historical processes have meaning and that we have to accept this – or else face utter despair.

Rene Girard

Every time I could escape from Sunday church, I did, from the age of twelve until about thirty.

Rene Girard

I do not read many periodicals, and I have little or no contact with progressive Christians, so I don’t really know what goes on with them. It seemed to me that very often, the progressive Christianity was an initial step in de-Christianization, but this was probably unfair.

Rene Girard

I think the most influential aspect of my work is to show that Judaism and Christianity exist in a continuity with archaic religions.

Rene Girard

I am fundamentally an anthropologist and a rationalist. What I say is that human societies are very different from what specialists call ‘animal society’ because the former have religion.

Rene Girard

The distance between Don Quixote and the petty bourgeois victim of advertising is not so great as romanticism would have us believe.

Rene Girard

Terrorism is the vanguard of a general revenge against the West’s wealth.

Rene Girard

The sources of Islamism’s strength include the fact that it is a response to the oppression of the Third World as a whole.

Rene Girard

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