Those who anticipated the demise of religion and the advent of a peaceful, secularized global village have seen the last two decades confound their predictions. René Girard’s mimetic theory is a key to understanding the new challenges posed by our world of resurgent violence and pluralistic cultures and traditions. Girard sought to explain how the Judeo-Christian narrative exposes a founding murder at the origin of human civilization and demystifies the bloody sacrifices of archaic religions. Meanwhile, his book Sacrifice, a reading of conflict and sacrificial resolution in the Vedic Brahmanas, suggests that mimetic theory’s insights also resonate with several non-Western religious and spiritual traditions. This volume collects engagements with Girard by scholars of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism and situates them within contemporary theology, philosophy, and religious studies.
“Insightful, critical, and wide-ranging, this is the book we have been waiting for on Girard and world religions. But beyond mining the mimetic theory and comparing religious traditions in its light, these essays also illuminate philosophy, theology, and the secular. From limpid pools, via steep ascents, to commanding vistas, this collection points the way to rational, faithful, converting religious dialogue.”
—Scott Cowdell, Research Professor, Public and Contextual Theology, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia, and author of René Girard and Secular Modernity