Little Platoon Seminar: Christendom Without Christ: Violence, Victims, & Mob Rule

May 21-21, 2022
Stanford University

Have we reached the end of Christendom?

Christianity is unique among the sacrificial mythologies and religions of old. Not only did it create the primary civilization through which world history is defined, it inverted and de-mythologized the sacred and myths that came before it. This unleashed the potential for both sainthood and the divine as well as violence, chaos, and collapse. The Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen declared in 1974 that we are at the “end of Christendom.” But what if we are merely at the end of Christendom with Christ? What if the conflict of the 21st century is uniquely new and marked due to this specific shift in viewpoint?

In this daylong seminar, students explore the works of René Girard, specifically through the lens of the Gospels and Christendom. Students will explore questions regarding what exactly made Christianity unique, what made Christendom so creative, and what the collapse of Christendom with Christ(ianity) means for holding back the violence of the mob.

Core readings:

About the Presenter

Zak Slayback

Zak Slayback is a partner at 1517 Fund, a venture capital fund that invests in startups led by dropouts, renegades, and deep tech scientists. In that capacity, he also runs workshops on political theory, technology & sovereignty, mimesis, and macroeconomic theory. He’s previously the author of How to Get Ahead (McGraw-Hill, 2019), a startup operator, and an academic researcher.