The Revd. Canon Enid R. Morgan
The Church in Wales
Biography: The Revd Canon Enid R. Morgan is a priest (retired active) in The Church in Wales. She
graduated in English from Oxford University and in Theology from Aberystwyth University. Before
ordination, while bringing up a family of three small boys, she worked in journalism and
broadcasting. She edited the Church in Wales’s weekly Welsh journal, Y Llan, for seven years.
Ordained deacon in 1984 she was one of the first group of women to be ordained to the priesthood
in 1997. She has served in parishes in a Welsh-speaking rural area in Ceredigion and in post-industrial
South Wales. From 1993 to 2000 she served as Director of Mission for The Church in Wales, she is
Vice-Chair of Cristnogaeth21 and Chair of the Friends of the National Library of Wales.
‘Violence, Religion and Power: Interfaith Exchange and Mimetic Theory’
Abstract: Three narratives of power featuring cultural imperialism form an introduction to the
anthropological Mimetic Theory of Rene Girard, whose seminal volume, Violence and Religion, was
published in France in 1973. His hypothesis is that all religions are rooted in the struggle of archaic
societies to control conflict. When a society stumbles into a crisis, e.g., plague, humans seek a
scapegoat to blame, in order to maintain unity. The lynching of an innocent victim, which wins a
measure of peace, is the source of sacrificial ritual, originally human, then animal or vegetable, which
attempts to replicate the effects of the founding murder. A ritual sacrifical system was one strategy
in an attempt to control conflict and violence. Rivalrous conflict arises from similarities rather than
major differences between faith systems and sectarian differences within faiths. The narcissism of
small difference produces not only rivalry between major faiths but within the creedal systems. A
brief discourse evinces how a religious culture takes a long time to bear fruit. Reference is made to
how the original nonviolent establishment of Christianity in Wales set the tone of a distinctive
spirituality reflected in the great classic of medieval Welsh literature, The Mabinogion.