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Conversations with Rene Girard


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Socrates in the Digital Age, Cynthia L. Haven "There Are Real Victims Behind the Text", Discussion Myth & Opera, Philippe Godefroid Technological Power in the Post-Sacrificial World, Scott Walter The Logic of the Undecidable, Thomas Bertonneau Violence, Difference, Sacrifice, Rebecca Adams "Revelation is dangerous. It's the spiritual equivalent of nuclear power.", Michel Treguer "What Is Happening Today Is Mimetic Rivalry on a Global Scale.", Henri Tincq "How Should Mimetic Theory Be Applied?", Maria Stella Barberi Shakespeare, Mimesis, and Desire, Robert Pogue Harrison Why Do We Fight? How Do We Stop?, Robert Pogue Harrison "War Is Everywhere", Elisabeth Levy "I am first and foremost a social scientist.", Pedro Sette-Camara, Alvaro Velloso de Carvalho, and Olavo de Carvalho Apocalyptic Thinking after 9/11, Robert Doran The J'Accuse of Rene Girard: The Audacious Ideas of a Great Thinker, Giulio Meotti "I have always tried to think inside an evolutionary framework.", Pierpaolo Antonello and Joao Cezar de Castro Rocha A Passion Born of Rivalry, Mark Anspach and Laurence Tacou "Christianity Will Be Victorious, But Only in Defeat", Cynthia L. Haven Postscript: "Rene Girard Never Played the Great Man," Says Biographer, Artur Sebastian Rosman Index

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An unrivaled collection of Rene Girard's fifteen best interviews offering an ideal introduction to the life and thought of this leading intellectual.

About the Author

Cynthia L. Haven was previously Milena Jesenska Journalism Fellow at the Institut fur die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Austria, Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, USA and Voegelin Fellow at the Hoover Institution, USA. She is the author of Evolution of Desire: A Life of Rene Girard, the first-ever biography of the French theorist. She writes regularly for The Times Literary Supplement, and has contributed to The New York Times, The Nation, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. She has published several other books as well, including volumes on Czeslaw Milosz and Joseph Brodsky.


In Haven's collection, Girard's mimetic theory, with its ever-increasing range of applicability, comes forth forcefully. He had the rare gift of narrating ideas. Yet there is something else that the book reveals, which not only makes it a compelling read but deserves at least as much attention: the portrait of Rene Girard as a major public intellectual and one of the most seminal thinkers of our time; his uncompromising unorthodoxy and unusual position in American academia; the fascinating case of someone who, as a matter of both scholarly method and personal lifestyle, always seems to go against the flow, no matter the consequences. * Commonweal Magazine *
Interviewers solicit his views on topics ranging from U.S. partisan politics to jihadist terrorism to anorexia. The result is a portrait of an intellectual with a supple mind in dialogue with an eclectic array of influences. * Washington Examiner *
For those already acquainted with Girard, the book is a good refresher, for those yet to engage with him, a good introduction. All will find abundant evidence that Girard is an invaluable interlocutor in conversations on the perennial problems of the human condition. * The Irish Catholic *
Cynthia Haven's fascinating new collection, Conversations with Rene Girard: Prophet of Envy, showcases Girard at both his most typical and his most surprising ... [It] offers a salutary reminder that the dialogue can still be one of the most provocative and valuable argumentative methods. * Los Angeles Review of Books *
Girard was one of the last giants of Western culture to try to give us a little breadth and meaning. * Il Foglio (Bloomsbury Translate) *
A vital book. It gave me Rene Girard as I've never before encountered him in a text: like looking at a diamond from eighteen different sides. Each interview reveals the fecundity of his thought and the brilliance of a mind that was able to probe the human condition in a singular way. It's full of fire. * Luke Burgis, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship, The Catholic University of America, USA and Author of Wanting: Our Secret Economy of Desire *
Rene Girard was one of the most influential and important thinkers of the 20th century, much of his wisdom was dialogic in nature, and this volume brings together an excellent collection of conversations with him. * Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University, USA and Author of the "Marginal Revolution" Blog *
Covering the full scope of his thinking, from his reflections on desire and rivalry, right through to his final thoughts about modern warfare this really is a singularly valuable collection. * Chris Fleming, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Western Sydney University, Australia and Author of On Drugs *
Conversations with Rene Girard is sure to become an indispensable reference for readers interested in Girard's views on a wide range of topics, including such hot button issues as abortion, eugenics, same-sex marriage, anorexia, Islam, and Europe's demographic crisis. Cynthia Haven deserves tremendous credit for bringing these interviews, some of them hard to find, together in one volume. * George A. Dunn, Centre for Globalizing Civilization, Hangzhou, China *
This collection of interviews with the great French theorist Rene Girard offers an excellent presentation of his theories on mimetic desire, scapegoating and sacrificial violence, and the power of Biblical revelation. It covers Girard's remarkable explorations of everything from archaic cultures, to the great works of Western literature, to the crises of the contemporary world. An important book for scholars and the general public alike. * Richard J. Golsan, University Distinguished Professor and Senior Scowcroft Fellow, Texas A&M University, USA *

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