An archetype of the scapegoat


This picture of the sacrificial lamb is a cogent symbolic representation of a scapegoat. According to the articles on Rene Girard’s theory of violence, religion and the scapegoat that I have read, the issue of scapegoating has been going on throughout human history. I am reflecting that it is somewhat ironic that the christian institutional church has been largely unaware of the scapegoat mechanism for so long, given that Jesus himself was the ultimate scapegoat who was cast out by the Jews and Romans. It seems like the christian world has been worshipping Jesus without really understanding the reason he was killed and instead attributing the violence to God, who is seen as a vengeful deity who demands retributive justice for human failures – when actually the cross revealed the violence that resulted from mimetic envy and rivalry among humans, which Jesus exposed on the cross, according to Colossians 2:13.

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