Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Coming Christian Renaissance by Rene Girard

A well known French anthropologist predicts a Spring renewal of Christian culture that would make the Renaissance "seem like nothing".
In a book published recently in Italian, Verite o fede debole. Dialogo su cristianesimo e relativismo ("Truth or Weak Faith: Dialogue on Christianity and Relativism"), Professor Girard writes that "we will live in a world that will seem and be as Christian as today it seems scientific", Zenit reports. "I believe we are on the eve of a revolution in our culture that will go beyond any expectation, and that the world is heading toward a change in respect of which the Renaissance will seem like nothing," Girard says, who was elected in 2005 as one of the 40 "immortals" of the French Academy.
If this happens, in my opinion, it would occur after a great tumult of Christian persecution in Europe.
The book, which is the product of 10 years of discussion between the French thinker and Italian professor Gianni Vattimo, theorist of so-called weak thought, transcribes three debates between the authors on topics such as faith, secularism, Christian roots, the role of the Gospel message in the history of humanity, relativism, the problem of violence, and the challenge of reason. In the book, Girard argues that "religion conquers philosophy and surpasses it. Philosophies in fact are almost dead. Ideologies are virtually deceased; political theories are almost altogether spent. Confidence in the fact that science can replace religion has already been surmounted. There is in the world a new need for religion.
Seems like Islam fulfills this need with Christianity not far behind in the third world. Though I would disagree about ideologies being deceased since Islam can be termed an ideology. Unlike Christianity, Islam sees no separation between the realm of God and the realm of Caesar.
"In regard to moral relativism, which is defended by Vattimo, Professor Girard answers that "I cannot be a relativist" because "I think the relativism of our time is the product of the failure of modern anthropology, of the attempt to resolve problems linked to the diversity of human cultures." Anthropology has failed because it has not succeeded in explaining the different human cultures as a unitary phenomenon, and that is why we are bogged down in relativism. "In my opinion, Christianity proposes a solution to these problems precisely because it demonstrates that the obstacles, the limits that individuals put on one another serve to avoid a certain type of conflicts." The French academic continues: "If it was really understood that Jesus is the universal victim who came precisely to surmount these conflicts, the problem would be solved." According to the anthropologist, "Christianity is a revelation of love" but also "a revelation of truth" because "in Christianity, truth and love coincide and are one and the same." The "concept of love," which in Christianity is "the rehabilitation of the unjustly accused victim, is truth itself; it is the anthropological truth and the Christian truth," explains Girard.
Where have I heard this before? Hmmm, Catholicism? To read more about this fascinating interview click here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is amazing!

Anonymous said...

In the interview he was called an anthropologist not archaeologist. There is a little but not significant difference.

Tito said...

Anon,

Thanks for the proof reading. No insult was intended, honest mistake.

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