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Conference Proceeding

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Captive on a flight across the Atlantic, I viewed the movie Watchmen, which is an adaptation from the graphic novel by Alan Moore. Watchmen, in short, is the story of a band of “dark” superheroes who, despite good intentions, succumb to violence and fail in their yearnings for justice. To my delight and surprise, Watchmen is also an undeniable illustration of Girard’s mimetic theory, and a philosophical exploration of possible responses to a culture trapped in a destructive mimetic cycle. In a climactic scene, Moore’s character Rorschach speaks a stunningly fundamental Girardian truth: “God doesn’t make the world this way. We do.” Are we ready for this truth?


Paper presented at the University of Notre Dame Transforming Violence Conference held June 30-July 4, 2010.

Vanessa Avery is adjunct faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University.

This paper received the Honorable Mention award in the Raven Foundation Essay Contest.