The Prophetic Law cover
The Prophetic Law
Essays in Judaism, Girardianism, Literary Studies, and the Ethical
To read literature is to read the way literature reads. René Girard’s immense body of work supports this thesis bountifully. Whether engaging the European novel, ancient Greek tragedy, Shakespeare’s plays, or Jewish and Christian scripture, Girard teaches us to read prophetically, not by offering a method he has developed, but by presenting the methodologies they have developed, the interpretative readings already available within (and constitutive of) such bodies of classical writing. In The Prophetic Law, literary scholar, theorist, and critic Sandor Goodhart divides his essays on René Girard since 1983 into four groupings. In three, he addresses Girardian concerns with Biblical scripture (Genesis and Exodus), literature (the European novel and Shakespeare), and philosophy and religious studies issues (especially ethical and Jewish subject matters). In a fourth section, he reproduces some of the polemical exchanges in which he has participated with others—including René Girard himself—as part of what could justly be deemed Jewish-Christian dialogue. The twelve texts that make up the heart of this captivating volume constitute the bulk of the author’s writings to date on Girard outside of his three previous books on Girardian topics. Taken together, they offer a comprehensive engagement with Girard’s sharpest and most original literary, anthropological, and scriptural insights.
Subjects: Philosophy | Religion
Publication Date: January 1st, 2014
342 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Sandor Goodhart is Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Purdue University, former President of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R), and author of Sacrificing Commentary, as well as more than ninety essays.

Early Praise

"Sandor Goodhart claims that one can sustain a Girardian reading of the sacrificial and the mimetic and remain a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or a Jew. His own intellectual itinerary exemplifies impressively how a Jewish reader can broaden the understanding of René Girard’s mimetic theory by uncovering its prophetic roots and by complementing it with Emmanuel Levinas’s emphasis on the ethical."
--Wolfgang Palaver, Institute for Systematic Theology, University of Innsbruck

"Goodhart brings to these deft readings in Mosaic law and prophetic tradition a thorough grounding in René Girard’s mimetic theory and in Hebrew culture. The result is a Jewish-Christian dialogue that interweaves the most powerful cognitive and ethical insights of our religious heritage."
--Andrew J . McKenna, Professor of French Language and Literature, Loyola University

"These collected essays reflect a Jewish intellectual’s lifelong, devoted, and critical engagement with the mimetic theory of René Girard, the renowned French cultural anthropologist, literary critic, and Biblical interpreter who was Goodhart’s teacher at SUNY Buffalo. As the developing corpus of his writings show, Girard also learned a great deal from Goodhart. Indeed, principally because of Goodhart, it is now possible to imagine a Jewish Girardianism."
--Ann W. Astell, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

"Essays by Goodhart and responses from René Girard and others address a common theme: Goodhart’s call to bring within the purview of mimetic theory the anti-sacrificial message of Judaism and other religious and reflective traditions. An essential back story to the Girardian corpus, these essays chronicle and preserve for future generations a conversation that spanned two decades and had a transformative impact on mimetic theory."
--Martha J. Reineke, Professor of Religion, University of Northern Iowa

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