|List Price: Paperback
Sigler Price: Paperback $17.00
Cloth - 230 pp
Is there a necessary link between religion and violence?
Robert Hamerton-Kelly uses the hermeneutic of Rene Girard to frame a
creative description of Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus,
of sin, of Judaism, of the Law of Moses, of eros and agape.
The result is a startlingly new statement on Paul and on the
dynamics of "sacred-violence."
This book is fundamentally about participative seeing.
Trying on the lenses ground in the hermeneutical laboratory of Rene
Girard, Hamerton-Kelly asks whether looking in, through, and behind
the letters of Paul we can see both the basic structure of our
violent world (religion as the vortex of sacred violence) and the
God-give antidote to it. Given Paul's focus on the death of
Jesus, the cross then emerges as the deconstruction of sacrifice,
enabling us to withfraw our allegiance from the contemporary
structure of sacrificial violence and to find -- in mimetic
fellowship with the crucified -- true love of one another and the
true hope of resurrection.
It is a fresh and powerful vision, demanding the attention of
both peacemakers and readers of the Bible, and opening the
possibility that each group may recognize itself in the other.
J. Louis Martyn
Building on the theoretical foundations of the French literary
critic Rene Girard, Hamerton-Kelly argues that the cross of Christ
is redemptive because it reveals the true dimensions of religious
violence as motivated by an exclusive understanding of the
law. He shows that the death of Christ was offered as a
transforming propitiation to humankind, revealing the imitation of
vengeance that a perverse but universally shared view of the sacred
produces. Redemption thus gives human beings the chance to
take responsibility for their violence, to escape its mystique, and
to enter into new relationships of a nonacquisitive and consensual
type. This book provides the most compelling treatment of the
death of Christ currently available, offering revolutionary insights
into important issues in current ethic and theology. Its
provocative analysis . . . will likely make this the most hotly
debated book of the season.
Written with conviction and courage, this is a new
and daring approach to Paul in the light of Girard's theory of
mimesis, scapegoating, and of a violence at the heart of the
Sacred. It will challenge and disturb Jews and Christians and
all who have honored the category of the "Sacred."
This most serious work demands a most serious assessment and
W. D. Davies