Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Don't sell short what countless repetitions account for

René Girard I See Satan Fall Like Lightning

The true guide of human beings is not abstract reason but ritual. The countless repetitions shape little by little the institutions that later men and women will think they invented ex nihilo. Actually it is religion that invented human culture.

Human societies are the work of the mimetic process that has been disciplined by ritual. Human beings know very well that they cannot master mimetic rivalries by their own powers. That is why they attribute this mastery to their victims, whom they take for gods. In a strictly matter-of-fact sense, they are wrong; in a deeper sense, they are right. Humanity, in my view, is the child of religion.
pp 92-93

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