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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013

Maria Leppäkari
Pages 38-47

Apocalyptic Scapegoats

This article highlights the impact of endtime representations in relation to concepts of an apocalyptic enemy. Apocalyptic violence, as related here, involves three parties: Jewish Temple activists, Christian Zionists and their common apocalyptic enemy, Islam. Violence is always present in endtime representations, but it does not necessarily involve physical confrontation. Violence has a double nature. René Girard calls it a two-edged sword, which can be used to oppress as well as to liberate. The role prescribed by Christian Zionists (CZ) to the Jewish Third Temple activists and vice versa is here addressed in light of Girard’s theory of the scapegoat as presented in Violence and the Sacred [1977] (2005) and in Leppäkari’s previous studies, such as, Apocalyptic Representations of Jerusalem (2006) and Hungry for Heaven (2008). Here the double nature of violence accounts for the point that violence can stain or cleanse, contaminate or purify, drive humans to fury and murder or appease their anger and restore them to life. When set in an apocalyptic context the double nature of violence enables dissemination of images of threat and xenophobia, yielding physical confrontation.

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