René Girard (1923-) was Professor of French Language, Literature and Civilization at Stanford Unviersity from 1981 until his retirement in 1995. Violence and the Sacred is Girard's brilliant study of human evil. Girard explores violence as it is represented and occurs throughout history, literature and myth. Girard's forceful and thought-provoking analyses of Biblical narrative, Greek tragedy and the lynchings and pogroms propagated by contemporary states illustrate his central argument that violence belongs to everyone and is at the heart of the sacred. Translated by Patrick Gregory>
A systematic introduction into the mimetic theory of the French-American literary theorist and philosophical anthropologist René Girard, this essential text explains its three main pillars (mimetic desire, the scapegoat mechanism, and the Biblical “difference”) with the help of examples from literature and philosophy. This book also offers an overview of René Girard’s life and work, showing how much mimetic theory results from existential and spiritual insights into one’s own mimetic entanglements. Furthermore it examines the broader implications of Girard’s theories, from the mimetic aspect of sovereignty and wars to the relationship between the scapegoat mechanism and the quest...
In this groundbreaking work a foremost literary and cultural critic turns to the major figure in English literature William Shakespeare and proposes a dramatic new way of reading and performing his works. The key to A Theatre of Envy is Rene Girards's original expression and application of what he calls Mimetic Theory. For Girard, people desire according to the desires of others. He sees this as fundamental to the human condition and works out its implications in a most convincing and ultimately, easily comprehensible way. Bringing his insights to bear on Shakespeare, Girard reveals the previously overlooked coherence of problem plays like Troilus and Cressida and makes a convincing argument...
"In The scapegoat the author turns to classical mythology, medieval narrative, and the New Testament to explore the senses behind 'texts of persecution', documents that recount collective violence from the standpoint of the persecutor."--Back cover.
Rene Girard, the author of groundbreaking scholarly books such as Violence and the Sacred and Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World, has long been an intellectual cause celebre in Europe. Although he has studied and taught in the United States since the 1940s, he is now -- in his 70's -- finding his lifework praised and taught in academic and religious circles throughout the country.The Girard Reader brings that work to a broader audience. It includes major excerpts from Girard's books and articles which cover all aspects of his theories on violence, religion, and culture. These views cut across theology, biblical studies, anthropology, psychology, and literature. The book concludes with a conversation between Rene Girard and editor James G. Williams that brings new focus to his Christian vision and breathtaking ouevre.
The title echoes Jesus' words: "I saw Satan falling like lightning from heaven." Girard persuades us that even as our world grows increasingly violent the power of the Christ-event is so great that the evils of scapegoating and sacrifice are being defeated even now. A new community, God's nonviolent kingdom, is being realized - even now.
“Why is there so much violence in our midst?” René Girard asks. “No question is more debated today. And none produces more disappointing answers.” In Girard’s mimetic theory it is the imitation of someone else’s desire that gives rise to conflict whenever the desired object cannot be shared. This mimetic rivalry, Girard argues, is responsible for the frequency and escalating intensity of human conflict. For Girard, human conflict comes not from the loss of reciprocity between humans but from the transition, imperceptible at first but then ever more rapid, from good to bad reciprocity. In this landmark text, Girard continues his study of violence in light of geopolitical competition, focusing on the roots and outcomes of violence across societies latent in the process of globalization. The volume concludes in a wide-ranging interview with the Sicilian cultural theorist Maria Stella Barberi, where Girard’s twenty-first century emphases on the continuity of all religions, global conflict, and the necessity of apocalyptic thinking emerge.
These hard-to-find writings afford an inside look at the emergence of Girard's scapegoat theory from his pioneering analysis of rivalry and desire. Girard unbinds the Oedipal triangle from its Freudian moorings, replacing desire for the mother with desire for anyoneor anythinga rival desires."