Mimetic Theory and Biblical Interpretation

Mimetic Theory and Biblical Interpretation

by Michael Hardin


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For close to two thousand years, Christian theology has been captivated by a sacrificial rendering of the Gospel that renders God as retributive, arbitrary, and Janus-faced. In the past fifty years a non-sacrificial way of perceiving the Gospel, God, and the mission and message of Jesus has challenged this sacrificial hegemony. Now what began as a trickle in the 1960s has burst the dam and the Gospel is on a collision course with Christianity. What are some of the implications of this moment? What is the integral cohesion in a non-sacrificial theology, ethics, and spirituality? What does Christian doctrine look like if one removes retributive economies of exchange?

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532601101
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 06/19/2017
Series: Cascade Companions
Pages: 130
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.31(d)

About the Author

Michael Hardin is the cofounder and executive director of Preaching Peace, cofounder of Theology and Peace, and is the coeditor of Compassionate Eschatology, editor of Reading the Bible with René Girard, and author of the acclaimed The Jesus Driven Life, in addition to other books and essays. With his wife, Lorri, Michael has taken courses for the past decade on wilderness survival and Native American healing traditions. He is a singer/songwriter.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Prelude 1

2 Mimetic Theory 15

3 Religion and Revelation 32

4 Interlude: Holy Scripture 51

5 Atonement and Eschatology 66

6 Ethics and Spirituality 84

7 Postlude 110

Bibliography 113

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The Gospel is on a collision course with Christianity, Michael Hardin says. It’s time to leave the two-faced God of conventional Christianity behind and discover (at last!) the nonviolent character of God revealed in the one face of the crucified Christ. Sound intriguing? Don’t miss Mimetic Theory and Biblical Interpretation. It’s bold, clear, and needed now more than ever.”

—Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

“One of René Girard’s most capable and creative interpreters is Michael Hardin. In this gripping and succinct volume Hardin demonstrates that Girard’s views of sacred violence, sacrifice, and the scapegoat were not original with him, but the Bible; Girard’s nonviolent God and forgiving-victim Jesus are not contemporary innovations, but are deeply rooted not only within the scriptures, but orthodox Christian theology. This is a wonderful short introduction to the theological and biblical implications of Girard.”

—John E. Phelan Jr., Senior Professor of Theological Studies, North Park Theological Seminary

“This is a passionate statement connecting Girardian theory with the interpretation of the Bible in the modern US context, with a dash of Barthianism thrown in for good measure. . . . Hardin’s uncompromising assessments will challenge some of his readers. But this book has a touch of the prophetic. Its exposés of violence are needed now more than ever.”

—Douglas A. Campbell, Professor of New Testament, The Divinity School, Duke University

“What we think about God matters—a matter of life and death for many thousands throughout the centuries of Christian violence. . . . I sincerely believe that this book will shine a light on the path back home to God for those who are disenchanted, disillusioned, and dismayed by the contemporary church. In other words, Michael Hardin has given us back a God stolen from us by the church—a God of immeasurable, unfettered love, endless extravagant grace, and incalculable unbounded redemption.”

—Sharon L. Putt, Professor of Theology and Religion, Messiah College

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