“Saint Peter as ‘Sympresbyteros’: Mimetic Desire, Discipleship, and Education”

Bibliographic information:

Gregory E. Lamb, “Saint Peter as ‘Sympresbyteros’: Mimetic Desire, Discipleship, and Education,” CEJ 15.2 (2018): 189–207.



Aristotle considered μίμησις/mimēsis (“imitation”) to be innate in humanity from childhood, pedagogical in nature, and that humans are the most mimetic species (Poet. 4.5–8). This essay investigates the relationship between Christian discipleship and education through the lens of René Girard’s “mimetic desire,” and how 1 Pet 5:1–5 (especially the hapax legomenon συμπρεσβύτερος/sympresbyteros) can be informed by this pedagogical concept. Going beyond mere mimēsis and the imitation of surface-level actions, “mimetic desire” explores how modeled behaviors and desires – whether positive or negative – affect the desires and motivations of others. This is important for ministry as pastors/Christian educators should faithfully model the gospel externally and internally, so their congregants/students may learn to live as good citizens worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil 1:27).

Mimesis, René Girard, Mimetic Desire, 1 Peter 5, Christian parenting, Discipleship and Education, Pastoral Modeling, Shepherding


Christian Education Journal (website: http://journals.sagepub.com/toc/ceja/15/2)

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