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David Gornoski

Jul 23, 2020

Dr. Paul Axton, theologian and host of the Forging Ploughshares podcast, sits down with David Gornoski to talk about his experience of living in Japan, the idea of shame in death, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and seeing Japanese culture through Christian eyes.

While pointing out that Romans 7 is absolutely essential for understanding what it is to imitate Jesus, Dr. Axton observes that death is "an orientation of violence and what we're continuously spreading as we go."

Dr. Axton further explains that the problem of scapegoating is rooted in theological development and that we often mistakenly think that scapegoating is our salvation. The theologian highlights that refusal to scapegoat is resisting the enthroned sacrificial powers through an analysis of Shusaku Endo's novel 'Silence' and the historical persecution of Christians during the Tokugawa shogunate.

Why is there such a high suicide rate in Japan? What can Japan teach the rest of the world in being both a high-functioning and scapegoating society? Listen to the full podcast for an intriguing conversation on culture, politics, and the juxtaposition between scapegoating and technological rise in modern Japanese society.