As the world wrestles with how to respond to the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, we thought we’d offer you some mimetic reflections on the use of violence. Mimetic theory is an anthropological theory of human violence that has theological implications. The reflections in this article are from friends of ours who are guided by the mimetic insight about violence in their work as preachers, teachers, bloggers, film producers, activists and civilian peacekeepers.
What is the mimetic insight about violence? What you will observe in their comments and prayers are two basic insights: (1) that violence creates more violence as adversaries become mirror images or doubles of each other and (2) Jesus came to shake our faith in violence as a means to achieve peace. Jesus knew that we have persistently and to our own detriment relied on violence to keep the peace, and that in so doing good people lose our claim to being any better than our adversaries.