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Church and SocietyThe Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007$
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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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Crucified for Our Sake

Crucified for Our Sake

Love, Violence, and Sacrifice

April 10, 1995

(p.175) 13 Crucified for Our Sake
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses the death of Jesus Christ, in the context that he sacrificed his life to redeem the sins of the world. The sacrificial interpretation of the death of Jesus is questioned in some recent literature. The most sustained attack on the notion of sacrifice has been mounted by the Catholic anthropologist René Girard in a series of books. He traced the concept of sacrifice to a type of mythical thinking found in the rituals and literature of many cultures. Driven by a deep psychological mechanism, people tend to overcome their rivalries and mutual hostilities by turning their aggression on an innocent party, who becomes a kind of scapegoat. Rituals of this nature have given support to the idea of sacred violence, of peace mysteriously achieved through the slaying of an innocent victim. The chapter also offers an insight to the relationship between the Father and the Son.

Keywords:   Jesus' death, Girard, sacred violence, sacrifice, innocent victim

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