This week marked the death of one of the most important social and theological thinkers of the last century, Rene Girard.
Receiving his PhD in history, Girard began his academic career by teaching French literature, and it was his work in literary theory that would guide him into the study of scripture, theology and society.
At the core of Girard’s work is the concept of mimetic theory, i.e., that our human desires take shape by imitation, by desiring things that others desire. But these desires lead us into conflict and violence because there is a scarcity of the thing desired.
In remembrance of Girard, we offer the following introductory guide to his work (which focuses particularly on his theological work).
Introduction to Mimetic Theory:
This is a great, half-hour video in which Girard lays out the basic components of his mimetic theory. It is a good place to start engaging Girard’s work, as it is clear and relatively concise…