Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Fr Barron on Zeitgeist the Movie - If only he were to add Girard to his explanation
Father Barron does a respectable job differentiating myth and Gospel, however his argument would have carried much more weight if he would have included René Girard (who he has commented on in prior talks and video).
Are the Gospels Mythical? by Rene Girard Copyright (c) 1996 First Things (April 1996).
The evangelists see something very simple and fundamental that we ourselves should see. As soon as we become reconciled to the similarities between violence in the Bible and myths, we can understand how the Bible is not mythical—how the reaction to violence recorded in the Bible radically differs from the reaction recorded in myth.
Beginning with the story of Cain and Abel, the Bible proclaims the innocence of mythical victims and the guilt of their victimizers. Living after the widespread promulgation of the gospel, we find this natural and never pause to think that in classical myths the opposite is true: the persecutors always seem to have a valid cause to persecute their victims.
In most biblical texts, the dissenting minority remains invisible, but in the Gospels it coincides with the group of the first Christians. The Gospels dramatize the human impossibility by insisting on the disciples’ inability to resist the crowd during the Passion (especially Peter, who denies Jesus three times in the High Priest’s courtyard). And yet, after the Crucifixion—which should have made matters worse than ever—this pathetic handful of weaklings suddenly succeeds in doing what they had been unable to do when Jesus was still there to help them: boldly proclaim the innocence of the victim in open defiance of the victimizers, become the fearless apostles and missionaries of the early Church.
The true Resurrection is based not on the mythical lie of the guilty victim who deserves to die, but on the rectification of that lie, which comes from the true God and which reopens channels of communication mankind itself had closed through self-imprisonment in its own violent cultures. Divine grace alone can explain why, after the Resurrection, the disciples could become a dissenting minority in an ocean of victimization—could understand then what they had misunderstood earlier: the innocence not of Jesus alone but of all victims of all Passion-like murders since the foundation of the world.
Read all HERE