Hammerton-Kelly quotes

In the For Rene Girard essay collection, Robert Hammerton-Kelly certainly sounds the most “popular” as opposed to academic. In fact, he even seems a bit grouchy at times.

Oh well. It makes for some good one liners!

The sad fact of most academic discipleship is that the teachers are so often unworthy examples of their teaching – immoral moralists, clumsy aestheticians, and prejudiced philosophers.


The right explanation can help heal a mind distressed beyond endurance by events whose significance it cannot grasp.

This is really really important. Some of us just HAVE to keep digging into mountains of theology and philosophy. It’s not because we’re heartless or bookworms or nerds (though that can at times be part of it). Our mind is distressed and our hearts damaged. We are looking for healing that only a “right explanation” can bring.

In another place, he points out that mimetic theory can actually be pretty helpful for chilling out and not taking everything personally. This is especially hand for pastors.

Perhaps most helpfully, it enabled me to take less personally the inevitable punishment load on the pastor as part of the venting of violence from a social system. It helps if the goat knows that it is not all his fault.