On the strange allergy of modern research to all the forms of the sacred

This phrases comes from the footnotes of one of Rene Girard’s works. I think “Allergy” is the right word.

He discusses it earlier on:

The modern social sciences are essentially antireligious. If religion is not a kind of tough weed, irritating but unimportant, what can we make of it?

Throughout history religion is the constant element in diverse and changing institutions. Therefore we cannot discount it in favor of the pseudo-solution that takes it as a mere nothing, the fifth wheel of all the coaches, without coming to grips with the opposite possibility, disagreeable as it is for modern antirelgiion.

Later, while taking shots at postmodernism, he continues:

The old anti-Christian anthropologists knew better. Like the Christians themselves, they believed in truth. To demonstrate the Gospels were meaningless, they tried to show that they resembled myths too closely not to be mythical as well. They did, therefore, just what I have done; they sought to define what the myths and the Gospels have in common. They hoped that the two had so much in common that no room would be left for any significant difference between them. In this way they tried to demonstrate the mythic character of the latter.

These industrious researchers never discovered what thy were looking for, but in my view they were right to persist in their search. Paradoxically, their anti-Christian perspective prevented the old anthropologists from discovering ALL the similarities between the Gospels and the myths. Fearing, no doubt, that they might fall again into the orbit of the Gospels, they kept their distance from them.

-Rene Girard, I See Satan Fall Like Lighting, p.89, 103

A primary point in Girard’s theory is that Jesus’ death and resurrection where the turning point in human history, precisely because they were exactly the same as all the myths before it from the dawn of man. The one critical difference is that in this case, the victim is innocent, the crowd is guilty. There’s no going back.