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Christ as Second Adam: Girardian Mimesis Redeemed



Analysis of several chapters of the book of Genesis beginning with the Fall in chapter three reveals a consistent theme which is well-interpreted by René Girard's concept of mimetic rivalry. This mimetic rivalry can be considered one manifestation of original sin which has been perpetuated generationally since its inception with the First Adam. Since a number of scholars, including James D.G. Dunn, have identified Phil 2:6–11 as a key piece of Second Adam Christology, I examine this pericope for clues to a remedy for mimetic rivalry. Christ's kenosis and humiliation—his self-emptying and choice not to seek after self-glorification—become the cornerstones to a counter-program which redeems mimesis. Christ is the Second Adam who fulfills through his obedience the failed role of the First Adam. One facet of Christ's overall redemption is to establish himself as the perfect Girardian ‘model’—one whose imitation leads not to violent rivalry but ever-increasing humble charity.