Open Access

Jesus Christ as the Final Scapegoat: Mobilizing Nonviolent Movements for Change


We live in an age of endemic violence. Violence is fed by the binary categories through which human beings interpret the world, leading to the phenomenon of scapegoating violence. Jesus died to be the final scapegoat. Spirals of fear singled out Jesus to be the scapegoat for the anxieties and animosities of the people in his time. René Girard discovered in the Christian Gospels a truthful narrative that did not mask or disguise scapegoating for what it is: the elimination of the innocent victim(s). Christians dare to claim that Jesus died to end all scapegoating. This nonviolent interpretation of the cross of Jesus Christ serves as the theological foundation for active participation by Christians in movements for organized nonviolent resistance as a means of achieving social justice. This foundation is urgently needed in a world of spiraling violence and war making.

English, German
Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception