In this book, Charles Bellinger draws on the thought of S/oren Kierkegaard and Rene Girard in search of a Christian understanding of the roots of violence. Utilizing Kierkegaard's idea of sin as the evasion of the call to become oneself before God, he argues that the basic motive that impels human beings toward acts of violence is a refusal to grow spiritually. He finds congruencies between Kierkegaard's concept and the Girardian theory of mimetic desire and scapegoating. From these two sources he creates a model which he applies to a consideration of the problem of violent acts committed by Christians throughout history. Such episodes as the Crusades and the Inquisition, says Bellinger, reveal the failure of ostensible Christians to live in accordance with the insights of biblical revelation.

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