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Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads
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Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  80 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
This is aGirardian-influenced, engagingly written classic on the nature of violence and the hope for overcoming it in our conflict-ridden world. It is also a literary work, an often miraculous interplay between cultural documents and historical periods. ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by The Crossroad Publishing Company (first published March 1st 1995)
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Adam Ross
Bailie has done what I previously thought impossible, and actually managed to write a comprehensive, readable introduction to the work and thought of Rene Girard. A French literary theorist and sociologist, Girard's work is, much like Joseph Campbell, Michael Foucault, and other visionaries, grasping toward defining something they have seen. Their work, as a result, is unsettled, dense, and convoluted. Bailie has written a book that accurately and beautifully introduces the concepts without that ...more
Dec 17, 2007 Raully rated it really liked it
Rene Girard's work on sacrificial culture, Christian theology, and modern theory remains for me the most compelling work of the past decades. Apparently the same can be said of Gil Bailie, a Christian theologian who heads his own California institute. This book is an extended reflection (and restatement) of Girard's importance for modern evangelicals. Worth reading, but perhaps the casual reader would do better to go straight to Girard himself. (Read on the train ride back home.)
Betsy Hansbrough
Jan 05, 2015 Betsy Hansbrough rated it it was amazing
If ever there has been a book that changed the direction of my life, this would be it. Poetic, hyperbolic and inaccurate in spots, gloriously filled with faith, carefully crafted, and a good introduction to what is referred to as Girardian theory. Many better books have been written about this brilliant thinker, Rene Girard, but many of us were introduced to Girard by Bailie. If i was trying to introduce Girard to someone now, this book would probably not cross my mind. Michael Hardin or James A ...more
Douglas Wilson
Jan 17, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture-studies
Appalling and glorious both.
Sean Goh
Jun 26, 2014 Sean Goh rated it it was amazing
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that. What the world needs is people who have come alive."

With these words, Gil Bailie's exploration of Rene Girard's work began.

Sacred violence helps to put an end to other forms of violence when it arose. Cathartic violence ends social chaos

Disdain for religion is no antidote for religious superstition (e.g. all the bloody atheistic regimes)

Scripture's intent is to achieve a conversion of the human hear
Apr 26, 2009 Merrie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Merrie by: Keith and Suzanne Ross
This is an amazing book with tons of insights into the formation of human culture and the role Jesus' death and resurrection played in teaching the world about the myth of "sacred violence." Bailie is trying to describe the insights of Rene Girard, a French cultural critic, who is a prolific but difficult to understand writer. (Even my very intelligent husband gave up on Girard and searched for an easier read). Girard believes that humanculture was founded on violence as a way to create cohesion ...more
Tom Phillips
Jul 20, 2014 Tom Phillips rated it it was amazing
This book changed my understanding of Christianity and the meaning of the cross of Christ. It forced my Christian views to go deeper than ever before. I won't say I understand it all now, or that I believe without reservations. But forcing a better and more thoughtful understanding was powerful for me.
Jul 22, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
I too found the book provocative and somewhat convincing. The only thing I would add to the existing reviews is that Bailie puts a cultural spin on the redemptive value of the crucified Christ. The symbol of the crucified Christ as it has been passed down through history, he maintains, exposes the vestiges of primitive religion in contemporary culture that use various forms of acceptable violence to satisfy a kind of a blood thirst. Sounds weird, yes, but Bailie makes a credible case. See for yo ...more
Jul 06, 2007 Kathy rated it liked it
Shelves: research
i don't know that i agree with Baile's conclusions, some of his departures from orthodox theology are difficult for me to make, but he challenges assumptions about atonement theology that have helped me to revisit my own beliefs.
Andrew Marr
Nov 24, 2012 Andrew Marr rated it it was amazing
A really good introduction to the thought of René Girard for the general reader. Bailie draws on documents from various sources from all periods to provide evidence for the truth of sacred violence.
Brett Salkeld
Mar 15, 2013 Brett Salkeld rated it it was amazing
This is a must read book for anyone who wants to understand the role of religion in human history and the modern world. Paradigm altering!
Christoffer Skuthälla
absolutely fascinating
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“The people who burned witches at the stake never for one moment thought of their act as violence; rather they thought of it as an act of divinely mandated righteousness. The same can be said of most of the violence humans have ever committed.” 17 likes
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