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The Girard Reader

Author : René Girard
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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.

Ren Girard s Mimetic Theory

Author : Wolfgang Palaver
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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 question of capital punishment. Mimetic theory is placed within the context of current cultural and political debates like the relationship between religion and modernity, terrorism, the death penalty, and gender issues. Drawing textual examples from European literature (Cervantes, Shakespeare, Goethe, Kleist, Stendhal, Storm, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Proust) and philosophy (Plato, Camus, Sartre, Lévi-Strauss, Derrida, Vattimo), Palaver uses mimetic theory to explore the themes they present. A highly accessible book, this text is complemented by bibliographical references to Girard’s widespread work and secondary literature on mimetic theory and its applications, comprising a valuable bibliographical archive that provides the reader with an overview of the development and discussion of mimetic theory until the present day.

Ren Girard Unlikely Apologist

Author : Grant Kaplan
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Since the late 1970s, theologians have been attempting to integrate mimetic theory into different fields of theology, yet a distrust of mimetic theory persists in some theological camps. In René Girard, Unlikely Apologist: Mimetic Theory and Fundamental Theology, Grant Kaplan brings mimetic theory into conversation with theology both to elucidate the relevance of mimetic theory for the discipline of fundamental theology and to understand the work of René Girard within a theological framework. Rather than focus on Christology or atonement theory as the locus of interaction between Girard and theology, Kaplan centers his discussion on the apologetic quality of mimetic theory and the impact of mimetic theory on fundamental theology, the subdiscipline that grew to replace apologetics. His book explores the relation between Girard and fundamental theology in several keys. In one, it understands mimetic theory as a heuristic device that allows theological narratives and positions to become more intelligible and, by so doing, makes theology more persuasive. In another key, Kaplan shows how mimetic theory, when placed in dialogue with particular theologians, can advance theological discussion in areas where mimetic theory has seldom been invoked. On this level the book performs a dialogue with theology that both revisits earlier theological efforts and also demonstrates how mimetic theory brings valuable dimensions to questions of fundamental theology.

Resisting Violence and Victimisation

Author : Joel Hodge
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The reality and nature of religious faith raises difficult questions for the modern world; questions that re-present themselves when faith has grown under the most challenging circumstances. In East Timor widespread Christian faith emerged when suffering and violence were inflicted on the people by the state. This book seeks a deeper understanding of faith and violence, exploring how Christian faith and solidarity affected the hope and resistance of the East Timorese under Indonesian occupation in their response to state-sanctioned violence. Joel Hodge argues for an understanding of Christian faith as a relational phenomenon that provides personal and collective tools to resist violence. Grounded in the work of mimetic theorist René Girard, Hodge contends that the experience of victimisation in East Timor led to an important identification with Jesus Christ as self-giving victim and formed a distinctive communal and ecclesial solidarity. The Catholic Church opened spaces of resistance and communion that allowed the Timorese to imagine and live beyond the violence and death perpetrated by the Indonesian regime. Presenting the East Timorese stories under occupation and Girard's insights in dialogue, this book offers fresh perspectives on the Christian Church's ecclesiology and mission.

The Mosaic of Atonement

Author : Joshua M. McNall
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The Mosaic of Atonement offers a fresh and integrated approach to historic models of atonement. While modern treatments of the doctrine have tended toward either a defensive hierarchy, in which one model is singled out as most important, or a disconnected plurality, in which multiple images are affirmed but with no order of arrangement, this book argues for a reintegration of four famous "pieces" of atonement doctrine through the governing image of Christ-shaped mosaic. Unlike a photograph in which tiny pixels present a seamless blending of color and shape, a mosaic allows each piece to retain its recognizable particularity, while also integrating them in the service of a single larger image. If one stands close, one can identify individual squares of glass or tile that compose the greater picture. And if one steps back, there is the larger picture to be admired. Yet in the great mosaics of age-old Christian churches, the goal is not for viewers to construct the image, as in a puzzle, but to appreciate it. So too with this mosaic of atonement doctrine. While no one model is set above or against the others, the book notes particular ways in which the "pieces"--the feet, heart, head, and hands--mutually support one another to form a more holistic vision of Christ's work. "This is my body," Jesus said to his followers, and by reintegrating these oft-dismembered aspects of atonement, we will note fresh ways in which it was given for us.

Marcel Girard Bakhtin

Author : Pius Ojara
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This book is about the human disruption and restlessness in the modern world and the way in which three important 20th century thinkers - Gabriel Marcel, René Girard and Mikhail Bakhtin - dealt with the subject. Although all three emerged from different backgrounds they produced remarkably parallel philosophies that centered on the human condition and pointed out the need for «conversion». The first part of the book elaborates Gabriel Marcel's thought and the relationship between religion and the human quest for personal and transpersonal harmony. Further chapters provide surveys on the philosophies of «conversion» of Girard, Bakhtin and Rousseau. The book is a contribution to the discussion about human religious consciousness.

Reading the Bible with Rene Girard

Author : Michael Hardin
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Reading the Bible with Rene GirardWhen René Girard introduced the Bible back into conversation with anthropology in 1978, it was all a bit scandalous. Here, for the first time, Girard weaves his life story and that of the mimetic theory with his own faith reflections and interpretation of Scripture. These interviews are a great introduction for the person new to Girard's writings and will delight Girardian scholars and aficionados alike."One of the many gifts of René Girard is his ability to unfold his theory in interviews...many of these dialogues open new perspectives on mimetic theory. Reading the Bible with Rene Girard is a wonderful example of this" ~ Wolfgang Palaver, Universität Innsbruck, Austria, past COV&R President"Reading the Bible with René Girard is an important contribution both to understanding the Bible as a "work in progress" that continues into our own lives and to introducing the ground-breaking insights of René Girard on the human condition and the love of God that breaks through to us in the historical process." ~ James G. Williams, Syracuse University, past COV&R President"This is a wonderful introduction to René Girard's work. Through it one can follow the unfolding of his theory in the context of his life. We are lucky to have this!" Jeremiah Alberg, International Christian University, Tokyo, COV&R President"Very often René Girard is at his best when he talks freely in a relaxed interview style. Reading the Bible With Rene Girard provides the master of mimetic theory with one more chance to show this strength. It is indeed hearing the master's voice." ~ Niki Wandinger, University of Innsbruck"One comes away from Reading the Bible with René Girard unable to view the Bible-or the modern world that has been so decisively shaped by it-in quite the same way ever again." ~ George A. Dunn, University of Indianapolis "Clear, conversational, and as always brilliantly insightful. There are few more accessible introductions as this little gem." ~ Jarrod McKenna Australian peace award-winning pastor, cofounder of First Home Project "In this excellent book, you are invited to sit in on a series of conversations with one of the leading thinkers of our time, concerning matters of the utmost philosophical, theological, and practical significance. This is a very important volume indeed." ~ Dr Chris Fleming, University of Western Sydney

The Eclipse and Recovery of Beauty

Author : John Dadosky
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According to the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, a world that has lost sight of beauty is a world riddled with skepticism, moral and aesthetic relativism, conflicting religious worldviews, and escalating ecological crises. In The Eclipse and Recovery of Beauty, John D. Dadosky uses Kierkegaard and Nietzsche’s negative aesthetics to outline the context of that loss, and presents an argument for reclaiming beauty as a metaphysical property of being. Inspired by Bernard Lonergan’s philosophy of consciousness, Dadosky presents a philosophy of beauty that is grounded in contemporary Thomistic thought. Responding to Balthasar, he argues for a concept of beauty that can be experienced, understood, judged, created, contemplated, and even loved. Deeply engaged with the work of Aquinas, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Kant, among others, The Eclipse and Recovery of Beauty will be essential reading for those interested in contemporary philosophy and theology.

The Publishers Weekly

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The Publishers Trade List Annual

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The Genealogy of Violence

Author : Charles K. Bellinger
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Various historians, philosophers, and social scientists have attempted to provide convincing explanations of the roots of violence, with mixed and confusing results. This book brings Kierkegaard's voice into this conversation in a powerful way, arguing that the Christian intellectual tradition offers the key philosophical tools needed for comprehending human pathology.

The Pennsylvania Reader Historical and Patriotic

Author : Stephen O. Goho
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Violence Desire and the Sacred Volume 2

Author : Scott Cowdell
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This collection of state of the art interpretations of the thought of René Girard follows on from the volume Violence, Desire, and the Sacred: Girard's Mimetic Theory Across the Disciplines (2012). The previous collection has been acclaimed for demonstrating and showcasing Girard's mimetic theory at its inter-disciplinary best by bringing together scholars who apply Girard's insights in different fields. This new volume builds on and extends the work of that earlier collection by moving into new areas such as psychology, politics, classical literature, national literature, and practical applications of Girard's theory in pastoral/spiritual care, peace-making and religious thought and practice.

The Book of Imitation and Desire Reading Milan Kundera with Rene Girard

Author : Trevor Cribben Merrill
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Trevor Cribben Merrill offers a bold reassessment of Milan Kundera's place in the contemporary canon. Harold Bloom and others have dismissed the Franco-Czech author as a maker of “period pieces” that lost currency once the Berlin Wall fell. Merrill refutes this view, revealing a previously unexplored dimension of Kundera's fiction. Building on theorist René Girard's notion of “triangular desire,” he shows that modern classics such as The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The Book of Laughter and Forgetting display a counterintuitive-and bitterly funny-understanding of human attraction. Most works of fiction (and most movies, too) depict passionate feelings as deeply authentic and spontaneous. Kundera's novels and short stories overturn this romantic dogma. A pounding heart and sweaty palms could mean that we have found “the One” at last-or they could attest to the influence of a model whose desires we are unconsciously borrowing: our amorous predilections may owe less to personal taste or physical chemistry than they do to imitative desire. At once a comprehensive survey of Kundera's novels and a witty introduction to Girard's mimetic theory, The Book of Imitation and Desire challenges our assumptions about human motive and renews our understanding of a major contemporary author.

The Novel

Author : Dorothy J. Hale
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An anthology of the most important writings on the theory of the novel from the twentieth century. It traces the rise of novel theory and the extension of its influence into other disciplines, especially social, cultural and political theory.

Mimesis Movies and Media

Author : Scott Cowdell
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Building on the growing recognition and critical acclaim of volumes 1 and 2 of Violence, Desire, and the Sacred, this third volume in the series showcases the most groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research in mimetic theory, with a focus on well-known films, television series, and other media. Mimesis, Movies, and Media reaches beyond the traditional boundaries of continental theory to demonstrate how scholars apply and develop René Girard's insights in light of contemporary media. It brings together major Australian and international scholars working at the intersection of popular culture and philosophy.

Christian Approaches to International Affairs

Author : J. Troy
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Troy analyses how the understanding of religion in Realism and the English School helps in working towards the greater good in international relations, studying religion within the overall framework of international affairs and the field of peace studies.

On Violence

Author : Bruce B. Lawrence
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This anthology brings together classic perspectives on violence, putting into productive conversation the thought of well-known theorists and activists, including Hannah Arendt, Karl Marx, G. W. F. Hegel, Osama bin Laden, Sigmund Freud, Frantz Fanon, Thomas Hobbes, and Pierre Bourdieu. The volume proceeds from the editors' contention that violence is always historically contingent; it must be contextualized to be understood. They argue that violence is a process rather than a discrete product. It is intrinsic to the human condition, an inescapable fact of life that can be channeled and reckoned with but never completely suppressed. Above all, they seek to illuminate the relationship between action and knowledge about violence, and to examine how one might speak about violence without replicating or perpetuating it. On Violence is divided into five sections. Underscoring the connection between violence and economic world orders, the first section explores the dialectical relationship between domination and subordination. The second section brings together pieces by political actors who spoke about the tension between violence and nonviolence—Gandhi, Hitler, and Malcolm X—and by critics who have commented on that tension. The third grouping examines institutional faces of violence—familial, legal, and religious—while the fourth reflects on state violence. With a focus on issues of representation, the final section includes pieces on the relationship between violence and art, stories, and the media. The editors' introduction to each section highlights the significant theoretical points raised and the interconnections between the essays. Brief introductions to individual selections provide information about the authors and their particular contributions to theories of violence. With selections by: Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Osama bin Laden, Pierre Bourdieu, André Breton, James Cone, Robert M. Cover, Gilles Deleuze, Friedrich Engels, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Mohandas Gandhi, René Girard, Linda Gordon, Antonio Gramsci, Félix Guattari, G. W. F. Hegel, Adolf Hitler, Thomas Hobbes, Bruce B. Lawrence, Elliott Leyton, Catharine MacKinnon, Malcolm X, Dorothy Martin, Karl Marx, Chandra Muzaffar, James C. Scott, Kristine Stiles, Michael Taussig, Leon Trotsky, Simone Weil, Sharon Welch, Raymond Williams

Becoming Nonviolent Peacemakers

Author : Eli Sasaran McCarthy
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Why do many U.S. residents, Catholics and Catholic leaders among them, too often fall short of adequately challenging the use of violence in U.S. policy? The opportunities and developments in approaches to peacemaking have been growing at a significant rate. However, violent methods continue to hold significant sway in U.S. policy and society as the commonly assumed way to peace. Even when community organizers, policymakers, members of Catholic leadership, and academics sincerely search for alternatives to violence, they too often think about nonviolence as primarily a rule or a strategy. Catholic Social Teaching has been moving toward transcending the limits of these approaches, but it still has significant room for growth. In order to contribute to this growth and to impact U.S. policy, McCarthy draws on Jesus, Gandhi, Ghaffar Khan, and King to offer a virtue-based approach to nonviolent peacemaking with a corresponding set of core practices. This approach is also set in conversation with aspects of human rights discourse to increase its possible impact on U.S. policy. As a whole, Becoming Nonviolent Peacemakers offers an important challenge to contemporary accounts of peacemaking in the U.S.

The Trinitarian Self

Author : Charles Bellinger
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The Trinitarian Self argues that the insights of three key authors--Soren Kierkegaard, Eric Voegelin, and Rene Girard--can be synthesized to produce a Trinitarian theological anthropology. Their reflections on the deep roots of human behavior illuminate three structural dimensions of human existence: the temporal trajectory of selfhood, the vertical axis (God and nature), and the horizontal plane of cultural formation. An understanding of these dimensions and how they interrelate proves very fruitful in making sense of a wide variety of pathological forms of behavior that human beings have engaged in during the modern era. This work links together in thought-provoking ways various realms of thought, such as Trinitarian theology, a plea for a New Copernican Revolution that will result in a broadly held psychological understanding of violence, the ethics of war and peace, atonement theologies, and critical commentaries on terrorism and the war on terror. The interplay between these topics will likely prove very stimulating to a wide variety of readers.