Bulletin for the Study of Religion, Vol 45, No 3-4 (2016)

Whither Girard and Islam? Reflections on Text and Context

Vanessa J. Avery
Issued Date: 27 Oct 2016


Despite attempts to bring scholars of Islam into dialogue with Girard’s theories of mimetic desire, scapegoating, and religious sacrifice, the scholarship on this topic is still extremely limited. In this article, Avery first expands on Wolfgang Palaver’s assertion in his short piece on Girard and Islam for The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence that declares Islam as part of the Abrahamic revolution against sacrifice. Avery then offers two reasons for why Girardian theory has not gained more interest from scholars of Islam, addressing biblical parallels in the context of the Qur’an, and Islam’s seeming departure from a sacrificial paradigm. Avery offers Girard’s mimetic desire as the discrete portion of Girard’s theory that resonates with the nature of Islamic texts, and also avoids the possible pitfalls of colonizing Islam with Judaic or Christian presumptions.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsor.v45i3-4.31361


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