This should be my last note on Battling to the End.
My big excuse is eschatology. Is eschatology compatible, as you would like it to be, with heroic resistance to the course of events?
Stop and digest that one. “Heroic resistance to the course of events”. This is essentially striving to “change the world for the better”. When Sam says (in the movie, NOT the book) “There’s some good in this world. And it’s worth fighting for!” Is this just a sham? No Girard says it’s worth it:
Yes, in so far as it can produce examples that can be imitated, but they will always remain “invisible to the eyes of flesh,” as Pascal says. No man is a prophet in his own land.
When asked in a recent interview what we can do, his answer was: “We can behave like Christians.”
We are mimetic. We cannot transcend this. What can be done? We can find good models to imitate. This begins with the imitation of Christ. We can also BE good models, first to our children and then to our neighbors.
…why was there no eschatology in the Christianity of the seventeenth century? It is very interesting to wonder about the various contexts that Christianity has had. In the Middle Ages, it had apocalyptic periods in which Christians realized they were in the process of completely failing. However, Christianity has always been too young for eschatology. Perhaps it is ready now, for what is threatening us has become tangible.
-Rene Girard, Battling to the End, p.106
It’s true that theologians of all stripes have cared more about the apocalypse in the last 50 years than in seeminly all of human history. Whatever their reasons, perhaps the time is finally ripe. Not necessarily ripe to happen as we think, but a ripe time to consider it. It will languish on the back shelf no longer.