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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 1, Issue 2, 2013

Special Issue on René Girard's Mimetic Theory

Wilhelm Guggenberger
Pages 167-191

Taming Violence

To René Girard, religion is not a source of violence but rather one of the most widespread means to reduce violence. It even preserved archaic societies from self-destruction and worked in the same mode for most of history. The article tries to depict this mechanism and to explain its paradoxical nature, which is the taming of violence by violent means. Further on, functional equivalents are shown, which become necessary because of the enlightenment triggered by the biblical revelation and other axial-age-dynamisms.

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