Walking the Ancient Way of Asevon – Written by Konstantinos Kostouros6 min read

Art as revelation· violence as sacred and the scapegoats

How guilty was Oedipus? Was Job only a man who became a toy in the hands of God? Did Christ promise to bring peace to the world? Do the gods “order” holy wars?

It is well known that people’s communities, from antiquity to today, in every difficult cycle of history, are attempting to recapture an ancient ritual of violence that will bring a candidate victim (or a group of victims) to the forefront. This scapegoat will carry all the “dysfunctions” of the community and, once it is “ritually sacrificed,” it will allow the whole to restart a “pure” new course.

On the 3rd, 10th, 17th and 21st of December 2018, the artistic and theatrical performance “Walking the Ancient Way of Ασεβών” will be presented at the Anglican Church of St. Paul in Athens.

The Walking the Ancient Way of Asevon draws its inspiration from the work of the French thinker and scholar René Girard. Girard, a writer, among others, of books The scapegoat and The Ancient Way of the Ασεβών, is a scholar who is very concerned with the issue of violence and the holy, as it appears over time and globally, in human communities.

Details of the painting. Oil painting in a rusty sheet metal. Dimensions: 175 cm high X 50 cm wide. Photo: Ioanna Paggalia

Through art, this play is deals with a very dark story. Dark as deep as time and as old as man. It talks about culprits and victims, about ancient civilizations and modern societies, about anthropology and religion.

It talks about violence and how it manifests in the communities of people; about the idea of “holy” and how it shapes religions. Above all, however, it is trying in a particular and poetic way to draw attention to a global phenomenon. It tries to reveal why, wherever we travel on this earth, whichever historical period we study, we will encounter the phenomenon of the “Scapegoat”.

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