Rene Girard believed that at the heart of all human culture was the distinction between the profane and the sacred. Generally, these terms describe the two different kinds of violence that result from mimetic desire.

Profane Violence

Profane violence is arbitrary, disordered, and chaotic. On the contrary, sacred violence, such as sacrifices, rituals, and religion, attempt to stem profane violence from spreading.

Sacred Violence Shapes

Sacred violence shapes and orders profane violence by establishing a founding myth and related rituals, thereby minimizing the adverse effects.