In the field of religious studies, Burkert and Girard gave a modern interpretation of the role played by violence in the processes of social pacification. Through the figures of the pharmakos and the scapegoat the two authors have identified in the religious sacrifice a paradoxical power able to restore the social order through a socially shared unanimous violence. Above all for Girard, the sacrifice is the founding event from which the symbolic order of every human community is constituted. According to his hypothesis, the origin of culture is, as a single and fundamental principle, the sacrifice of an "innocent" victim who catalyzes the violence of an entire community. Hence the original connection between religion, violence and the sacred. Any social unity, any political community is structured as an order in which violence persists, and not as a residue, but as a central element. The social order (peaceful coexistence among men) originally laid its foundations in the ambivalent system of the sacred: every human society is formed around its "scapegoats", cyclically reproducing increasingly sophisticated forms of persecution and exclusion. In this sense, religious practices, in an attempt to avert and curb the spread of a disordered conflict capable of crossing the entire social fabric, are not anything else than the symbolic expression of a sacrificial order founded on "legitimate" violence. These practices remain, however, always disguised, mystified and hidden behind ritual forms and mythological narratives apparently marked by the criterion of justice (myths, rites, sacrifices and prohibitions are nothing but sacral forms closely linked to the ordering power of violence). In line with this perspective, this paper aims to re-read the relationship between religion and conflict, starting from an analysis of the symbolic systems behind which the constitutive process of violence is hidden, and it’s in this sense that I am going to use the case of scape goat mechanism as an example of claiming history, because from my point of view claiming history means questioning history and it’s narrations.

Peace through violence. The sacrificial mechanism as a religious resolution of conflicts / Kolasin, Ozgen. - (2021), pp. 63-86.

Peace through violence. The sacrificial mechanism as a religious resolution of conflicts

Ozgen Kolasin
Secondo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2021

Abstract

In the field of religious studies, Burkert and Girard gave a modern interpretation of the role played by violence in the processes of social pacification. Through the figures of the pharmakos and the scapegoat the two authors have identified in the religious sacrifice a paradoxical power able to restore the social order through a socially shared unanimous violence. Above all for Girard, the sacrifice is the founding event from which the symbolic order of every human community is constituted. According to his hypothesis, the origin of culture is, as a single and fundamental principle, the sacrifice of an "innocent" victim who catalyzes the violence of an entire community. Hence the original connection between religion, violence and the sacred. Any social unity, any political community is structured as an order in which violence persists, and not as a residue, but as a central element. The social order (peaceful coexistence among men) originally laid its foundations in the ambivalent system of the sacred: every human society is formed around its "scapegoats", cyclically reproducing increasingly sophisticated forms of persecution and exclusion. In this sense, religious practices, in an attempt to avert and curb the spread of a disordered conflict capable of crossing the entire social fabric, are not anything else than the symbolic expression of a sacrificial order founded on "legitimate" violence. These practices remain, however, always disguised, mystified and hidden behind ritual forms and mythological narratives apparently marked by the criterion of justice (myths, rites, sacrifices and prohibitions are nothing but sacral forms closely linked to the ordering power of violence). In line with this perspective, this paper aims to re-read the relationship between religion and conflict, starting from an analysis of the symbolic systems behind which the constitutive process of violence is hidden, and it’s in this sense that I am going to use the case of scape goat mechanism as an example of claiming history, because from my point of view claiming history means questioning history and it’s narrations.
978-3-7965-4454-5
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1580191
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