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Publisher's Summary

In Sacrifice, Rene Girard interrogates the Brahmanas of Vedic India, exploring coincidences with mimetic theory that are too numerous and striking to be accidental. Even that which appears to be dissimilar fails to contradict mimetic theory, but instead corresponds to the minimum of illusion without which sacrifice becomes impossible.

The Bible reveals collective violence, similar to that which generates sacrifice everywhere, but instead of making victims guilty, the Bible and the Gospels reveal the persecutors of a single victim. Instead of elaborating myths, they tell the truth absolutely contrary to the archaic sense. Once exposed, the single victim mechanism can no longer function as the model for would-be sacrificers.

Recognizing that the Vedic tradition also converges on a revelation that discredits sacrifice, mimetic theory locates within sacrifice itself a paradoxical power of quiet reflection that leads, in the long run, to the eclipse of this institution which is violent but nevertheless fundamental to the development of human culture.

Far from unduly privileging the Western tradition and awarding it a monopoly on the knowledge and repudiation of blood sacrifice, mimetic analysis recognizes comparable, but never truly identical, traits in the Vedic tradition.

In giving attention to the overlooked subject of Vedic sacrifice in Indian religious tradition, this Stanford Emeritus Professor and member of the French Academy deepens understanding of the universal practice of sacrifice." (Midwest Book Review)

©2011 Rene Girard (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks

What listeners say about Sacrifice (Breakthroughs in Mimetic Theory)

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solid, pithy Girard lectures transcribed

this is a tremendous text by Girard as he explains a parallel analysis of mimetic theory based on Ancient Hindu texts and Compares them to ancient biblical Concepts including finding both opposites as well as complementary Parts in his argument relative to his overall Theory. if you're looking for a great audio relatively short introduction to girardian thought, Theory and the overall sense of how scapegoats have formed civilizations and people groups this is an excellent choice

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Nuggets of insight floating in word soup.

This book makes many overly general claims that aren't supported by evidence, and it does so in passing, as if everyone already agrees. The first half of the book is written in a language that seems deliberately obfuscatory. It gets more coherent in the second half, or perhaps I just got used to the style. There core point of the argument makes sense and was new to me, which I enjoyed.

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A quick and solid introduction to mimetic desire

This is a quick listen and will give you a clear understanding of Girard’s overarching point. He juxtaposes Christian mythology with that of the Vadic (Hindu) tradition which allows for a wider understanding of ones own culture

These lectures are some of the most straightforward articulations of complex ideas and will give the listener a starting point to go deeper into Girards work.

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Finally an explanation of Christianity

This is a short but poignant explanation of how Christianity differs from the religions that came before it and after. It explains why it seems similar and how it transcends to a truth incomparable with the others.

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Robotic

I appreciated René Girard's arguments and this unique perspective on sacrifice. There are definitely things worth considering, especially in the context of Christianity, where sacrifice is fundamental to the story of Jesus.

While the considerations in this book are interesting, the narration was difficult to get past. I know it can be difficult when the information is highly technical or uses a lot of jargon, but the narration was so robotic it was often difficult to follow during complex sentences. There was a lack of natural flow and inflection that made things unpleasant to listen to. I think reading the book probably would have been a better experience.

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Intriguing

I have a colleague who thinks the sun rises and sets on Rene Girard, so I started with this book because I could get it on Audible.

I didn't care for the narrator, but the theory is intriguing. I will have to read more of Girard. I also enjoyed the last chapter defense of both Christianity and the Vedic religions.

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  • Ruth Williams
  • 02-10-21

Great Content, really bad reading

This book is a classic but after listening to half of it I decided I preferred to read it myself as the monotone reader was so difficult to listen to

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  • pat morrissey
  • 08-09-20

Judeo-Christian solution to sacrifice rituals

Compelling explication of the long history of sacrifice in Vedic and Greek traditions and how the Judeo-Christian stories and history bring a resolution to this primal societal impulse to find a scapegoat and practice ritual sacrifice to maintain the social order.

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  • Pete Shields
  • 01-26-20

The one who takes is himself taken

Scape goat became a lamb and compassion and consciousness flourished. Logos for the greeks was conscious reason and compassion is indeed reasonable. RIP Dr Girard. What a liberating gift he has left us. A pinacle of the church.