Justice Without Violence Conference, June 5 – 7, 1997, Albany, New York
Whither Now? The question presupposes a prior: Whence Already?
Part of knowing who we are is discerning from where we have come. Do we feel rooted in a hopeful story? Part of our cultural milieu is to deny there is a “metanarrative”, an overarching story. I am suggesting nonetheless that we are storied people, and that there is a discernible storyline for us to follow.
To what kind of story are we accustomed? Where have we come from? From all our experience, study, knowledge, do we know of any time in human history where violence has not attended the human story? Do we know of any time in history where desire has not urged humans to imitate the desire of others, such that rivalry arises and violence erupts? What human society, what human culture, has been free of desire that leads to violence? Literary scholar René Girard calls this universal phenomenon “mimetic desire”.
Please click on: Whither Now?