Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World presents a highly original global theory of culture. Here, in his greatest work, Rene Girard explores the function of violence, mimetic desire and the mechanism of the scapegoat, in the history of society and religion. Girard's vision is a brilliant and devastating challenge to conventional views of literature, anthropology, philosophy and psychoanalysis.
BOOK I: FUNDAMENTAL ANTHROPOLOGY Chapter 1: The Victimage Mechanism as the Basis of Religion Acquisitive Mimesis and Mimetic Rivalry; The Function of the Law: Prohibiting Imitation; The Function of Ritual: Imperative Mimesis; Sacrifice and the Victimage Mechanism; The Theory of Religion Chapter 2: The Development of Culture and Institutions Variants in Ritual; Sacred Kingship and Central Power; The Polyvalence of Ritual and the Specificity of Institutions; The Domestication of Animals and Ritual Hunting; Sexual Prohibitions and the Principle of Exchange; Death and Funeral Rites Chapter 3: The Process of Hominization Posing the Problem; Ethology and Ethnology; The Victimage Mechanism and Hominization; The Transcendental Signifier Chapter 4: Myth: The Invisibility of the Founding Murder The 'Radical Elimination'; 'Negative Connotation', 'Positive Connotation'; Physical Signs of the Surrogate Victim Chapter 5: Texts of Persecution Persecution Demystified: The Achievement of the Modern and Western World; The Double Semantic Sense of the Word 'Scapegoat'; The Historical Emergence of the Victimage Mechanism BOOK II: THE JUDAEO-CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES Chapter 1: Things hidden since the Foundation of the World Similarities between the Biblical Myths and World Mythology; The Distinctiveness of the Biblical Myths; The Gospel Revelation of the Founding Murder Chapter 2: A Non-Sacrificial Reading of the Gospel Text Christ and Sacrifice; The Impossibility of the Sacrificial Reading; Apocalypse and Parable; Powers and Principalities; The Preaching of the Kingdom; Kingdom and Apocalypse; The Non-Sacrificial Death of Christ; The Divinity of Christ; The Virgin Birth Chapter 3: The Sacrificial Reading and Historical Christianity Implications of the Sacrificial Reading; The Epistle to the Hebrews; The Death of Christ and the End of the Sacred; Sacrifice of the Other and Sacrifice of the Self; The Judgement of Solomon; A New Sacrificial Reading: The Semiotic Analysis; The Sacrificial Reading and History; Science and Apocalypse Chapter 4: The Logos of Heraclitus and the Logos of John The Logos in Philosophy; The Two Types of Logos in Heidegger; Defining the Johannine Logos in Terms of the Victim; 'In the Beginning ...'; Love and Knowledge BOOK III: INTERDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY Chapter 1: Mimetic Desire Acquisitive Mimesis and Mimetic Desire; Mimetic Desire and the Modern World; The Mimetic Crisis and the Dynamism of Desire; The Mimesis of Apprenticeship and the Mimesis ofRivalry; Gregory Bateson's 'Double Bind'; From ObjectRivalry to Metaphysical Desire Chapter 2: Desire without Object Doubles and Interdividuality; Symptoms of Alternation; The Disappearance of the Object and Psychotic Structure;Hypnosis and Possession Chapter 3: Mimesis and Sexuality What is known as 'Masochism'; Theatrical 'Sado-Masochism'; Homosexuality; Mimetic Latency and Rivalry; The End of Platonism in Psychology Chapter 4: Psychoanalytic Mythology Freud's Platonism and the Use of the Oedipal Archetype; How do you reproduce a Triangle?; Mimesis and Representation; The Double Genesis of Oedipus; Why Bisexuality?; Narcissism: Freud's Desire; The Metaphors of Desire Chapter 5: Beyond Scandal Proust's Conversion; Sacrifice and Psychotherapy; Beyond the Pleasure Principle and Structural Psychoanalysis; The DeathInstinct and Modern Culture; The Skandalon To Conclude Notes Bibliography Index