Ecclesial roots of clergy sexual abuse: A Girardian reflection

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Abstract

The phenomenon of clergy sexual abuse is discussed in light of family systems theory and Girard's mimetic theory as a consequence of institutional dysfunction and theological distortions that damage individuals and issue in abusive behaviour. Australian and American reflections on this issue are canvassed. The superficial and potentially abusive nature of managerial responses on the church's part are also considered. A theological alternative to abusive God images is offered, with some practical suggestions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationViolence, desire, and the sacred
Subtitle of host publicationRene Girard and sacrifice in life, love, and literature
EditorsScott Cowdell, Chris Fleming, Joel Hodge
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Chapter18
Pages233-246
Number of pages14
Volume2
ISBN (Print)9781623561963
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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