Girard and the analogy of desire (Alison, 2011)

http://www.jamesalison.co.uk/texts/eng65.html

All of this has been to bring us to the place where I would like to highlight how Girard can help us. Let us take the phrase: “God is for us”. It seems to me that where traditionally the negative approach to God has hinted at a sense of God who is not in rivalry with anything that is, and thus saved us from the danger of worshiping a god within the order of things that are, it has done so by problematizing the word “is”. It doesn’t offer much help in problematizing either the “for” or the “us” – which are inseparably bound together. It seems to me that Girard’s insight into the mimetic nature of desire, which some people accuse of being far too negative, actually gives us a chance to problematize the “for” and the “us” in very helpful ways. Or to put it into nutshell: when we say that “God is not in rivalry with anything that is” the phrase “not in rivalry” might be a very useful starting place for working towards a sense of a “for” that is not part of our cultural framework, and yet which has a positive incidence in it. So I’d like here to set out some hints of what I might call the Girardian analogy – the via negative of rivalistic desire.

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