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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 1, Issue 2, 2013

Special Issue on René Girard

Mathias Moosbrugger
Pages 147-166
DOI: 10.5840/jrv20131210

René Girard and Raymund Schwager on Religion, Violence, and Sacrifice: New Insights from Their Correspondence

This article shows, that despite their different academic backgrounds and even before having met, cultural anthropologist René Girard and theologian Raymund Schwager had surprisingly similar convictions concerning the decisive dynamics in interpersonal relations and the problematic field of collective violence and its connection to the logic of sacrifice. Nevertheless, they differed in their applications of these convictions when it came to appraising the specific character of the Judeo-Christian revelation and the Christ event. Therefore, for several years, they had an intense discussion about this issue. This discussion, which Girardians regard as the source of Girard’s most important re-evaluation of his thinking, is reconstructed using material from their letter exchange. It is argued that this discussion was quite different from what it is usually believed to have been like.

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