Kierkegaard and Girard

Charles K. Bellinger

in The Genealogy of Violence

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195134988
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833986 | DOI:
Kierkegaard and Girard

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Rene Girard's concept that human psychology begins with a sense of lack or personal deficiency is compared with Kierkegaard's notion of the incompleteness of the self. Mimetic desire, as it is described by Girard, is a phenomenon that Kierkegaard was keenly aware of. Both authors show that mimetic desire leads to a situation captured by the phrase ”the crowd is untruth.” Immature persons, in a state of spiritual cowardice, take offense at God and are scandalized by the possibility of self‐knowledge; they hide in the crowd. The synthesis of Kierkegaard and Girard produces a very powerful Christian interpretation of the psychology of violence.

Keywords: crowd; Girard; mimetic desire; offense; scandal

Chapter.  7495 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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