Michael R. Bartley

Why does James say that we are right to feel queasy about stories in the Bible such as the stoning of Achan?

They are built around a scapegoat model. We should feel uncomfortable with them at some level.

Did you feel queasy?


Why or why not?

I have been working through the work of Girard, Williams and Alison for many many years. I suspect I simply do not read the stories with the same emphasis as many.

Imagine that the story you identified in Unit 2, “Reading Scripture through new eyes,” was one of the stories that Jesus interpreted on the road to Emmaus. Where might you listen for the unheard voice of the Forgiving Victim in that story?

I do not remember the story I used.

Somehow Joshua and the Israelites’ belief in their own goodness survived the stoning, preventing them from including Achan’s perspective in their account of the event. What stories do we tell about our own goodness that prevent us from including the unheard voice of the Achans among us?

I actually think the entire narrative of the United States is built on a scapegoating theoretical constructions.