Monday, March 19, 2007

Girard and Vattimo Exchange (You Tube)

The alert Athos directs us in the comment boxes to an excellent You Tube exchange between the philosopher Gianni Vattimo and René Girard. It runs just under 100 minutes, and is mostly (except for Girard's answers) in Italian. This is linked from the COV&R 2007 site.

16 comments:

Athos said...

Never mind the imponderably long Italian questions, musings, rambling self-grandizement statements, THIS video of the great man is good.

Girard has never been more direct, although his diction is so chock filled that it bears listening to several times. But, then, anyone who is accustomed to listening sufficiently to Gil Bailie's lectures will begin to appreciate the true heft and weight words can carry. Both Girard and Bailie give the word "diatribe" a good name.

Porthos said...

I thought Girard, though direct, was notably charitable and soft-spoken in these exchanges--quite a bit less polemical than in writing. However, I only got 60 minutes into it. Perhaps in the last 38 he really lets rip!

Athos said...

I didn't think he was so much soft-spoken as simply expecting to scandalize or be misunderstood for speaking forthrightly using the name "Jesus", defending the uniqueness of Christianity and the biblical witness, and so forth.

Once it entirely downloaded, I'd zip it along - click and drag -during the interlocutor's comments.

It was amusing watching G's body language. When he started writing something down, he wd start speaking nearly immediately, and I would know to let it run normally.

Porthos said...

Too late. Listened to the whole thing. Now I know (listening to the last questioner) what French sounds like with an Italian accent.

So, you think Girard was conducting a diatribe? I didn't think so.

Porthos said...

I've heard Girard use the Solomon sacrifice story before, but his commentary (about 90 minutes to 92 minutes) was particulary good here. Roughly, "There is the first kind of sacrifice, and there is the second, but there is no non-sacrificial space where you can stand back from it . . ." Or something like that.

Porthos said...

Those were long questions, though, weren't they? Is this a continental scholastic tradition or something?

It's like, instead of asking, "Do you think it will rain tommorrow?" you asked:

"I have long been interested in your weather forecasts, in particular those made on the morning of July 7, 1998, and October 10, 2003. Of course, Lacan's forecast was somewhat at variance with your own on the afternoon of May 16, 2004, and I understand that there is still some controversy as to whose forecast was 'correct,' if we can think of a non-definitie evaluation of future weather possibilities as being in any sense 'correct'--which of course we cannot. Nevertheless, that being the case, and in view of these aforementioned predicitions with regard to meteorological conditions, would you care to venture an opinion as to the possibility of precipitation within the period of time beginning at 12:00 a.m. tonight and ending precisely the same time the next night, or, in other words, ending tommorrow night?"

Athos said...

No, no; I didn't mean that RG was exercising the ancient and quite acceptable means of discourse called 'diatribe', but that Bailie does all the time. And he shows that far from being borish and monopolizing, a great deal of knowledge and wisdom can still transmitted vis said method of public speech.

Athos said...

Also, Girard clearly points out the connection between the Decalogue - 10 Commandments - and charity. And, says he, the two will never be separated in this world.

Far from those who see the "Law" as part and parcel with the sacrificial system - ancient, primitive, whatever - Girard says these laws are a part of the divine economy of the God of steadfast mercy and agape (NT), hesed (OT).

May certain religious deconstructors take special note of this, particularly those who love to try to hotwire mimetic theory and take it on a "progressive" liberal and hedonistic joyride ...

Aramis said...

Not to minimize the scholarly deconstructionists, but we also need to keep our eyes on the trend to bring some religious education back into the classroom. (See book and column below.)

Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesn't

Charles C. Haynes

It seems to me that getting Girard's message out in front of this movement is important so MT is not hotwired by "progressive" liberals.

Athos said...

Why not tell us more about Haynes' book in a post, Aramis?

Porthos said...

OK, Ath. What does "diatribe" mean originally?

Porthos said...

Does it mean like when you have a whole pack of druids or picts and they paint themselves blue?

ba BUMP bump

Athos said...

Braveheart meets the Santa Barbara PD?

Mel ACTUALLY said "The Jutes have caused all the problems of the world!" but nobody knew what he was talking about ...

Aramis said...

Stephen Prothero, not Haynes, authored the book. I have not read the book, but I do concur with the findings. As I have been on what I consider a great faith journey I have felt an even greater "dumbing down" movement in all quarters around me. There was a comment made by someone on another post about RCIA being so poor and I completely agree and yet it is sooooo much better than any other program being offered of its kind (at least of what I have been aware of by any national denomination).

I also think it is why Gil has so much trouble reaching people - his message simply goes over the tops of people and they have ZERO desire to learn because they simply don't think religion has any significance in their lives. They have lost ALL connection to truth and meaning and therefore religion.

Athos said...

why Gil has so much trouble reaching people - his message simply goes over the tops of people and they have ZERO desire to learn because they simply don't think religion has any significance in their lives. They have lost ALL connection to truth and meaning and therefore religion

Which, in turn, is reinforced by the deconstructionists who simply are highcaflootin forms of the same ignoranti, only justifying their stances with highly decorated flourishes of phrase and edgicashun. BOTH, however, then fall prey absolutely to the sacred which is quite happy to welcome them back into the realm of the GMSM.

One only has to wait two, maybe three generations before ignorance begets young pagans who start looking for the homeless and wretched to set on fire, beat up, etc.

I'd love to say I am exaggerating, but we three know I am not. I have extensive files ...

Aramis said...

I will go back through this Girard clip, but a number of things stuck out for me: the curing of our violence is NOT going to be an easy fix - for one thing. Language is not going to lead be the way in solving our violence. There are many, many barriers to help us and yet we are constantly in need of more barriers as our unchecked competition jumps from one person to another attempting to fill our desire as it seeks real substance. It seems also that until we own up to our own participation in humanity and therefore see our connection to the violence - breaking through the laws of representation of philosophy AND language - we are not likely to take violence seriously, we will simply continue to project it to over there (or as Athos said, onto the homeless and wretched).

In the Bailie talk I have been sharing with you at other posts, Entering the Biblical Story at the Eucharistic Table, he mentions William Riley's book, "The Spiritual Adventure of the Apocalypse" and I thought I would quote an apropos footnote from the book; "Most first century Romans would have been very anti-Jewish. The religious and cultural differences that Jews insisted on maintaining in their faithfulness to God were taken as an insult by the Romans who could blend different religions together without a thought. In political terms, the Jews would have been seen as rebellious and ungrateful trouble-makers..."

Huuummm, just look at us Christians and our faithfulness to God in relation to our comfort within our culture. I guess the point to all this is just how relativism has engulfed our life; to where even our everyday worship is so water downed that no one in our culture objects; and as our religion no longer objects to anything our culture does. Our religion (shamefully it often seems, on its best days) is so politically correct now-a-days that one would not be able to tell the difference between it and secular humanism. Merge relativism with high-powered capitalism, infusing a dumbing down of the populace, and walla! You have nihilism.