The Worm in the Pudding Cup

Violence, Disgust, and Mimetic Theory

Authors

  • Martha J. Reineke University of Northern Iowa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.v45i3-4.31473

Keywords:

Rene Girard, Violence, Disgust, Mimetic Theory

Abstract

Drawing on insights offered by Richard Beck in Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality (Beck 2011), I explore several categories of disgust. Girard incorporates sociomoral disgust into his theoretical reflections; however, core disgust and animal-reminder disgust are discrete forms of revulsion not recognized as such by Girard. Arguing that these merit special attention, I argue that Girard’s theory is made more compelling, not less, when we attend to foul elements that ooze from around the edges of his theory despite his effort to contain them under the sign of sacrifice. Making this seepage a topic of discussion is like taking the lid off a carton long forgotten at the back of the refrigerator. Yes, the mold so revealed is repulsive; however, as Alexander Fleming found when he discovered penicillin in mold growing in a neglected petri dish in his lab, that which disgusts us can also save us.

Author Biography

Martha J. Reineke, University of Northern Iowa

Professor of Religion in the Department of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of Northern Iowa.

References

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Published

2016-10-27

How to Cite

Reineke, M. (2016). The Worm in the Pudding Cup: Violence, Disgust, and Mimetic Theory. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 45(3-4), 34–46. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.v45i3-4.31473

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Section

Articles