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Violence, Desire, and the Sacred, Volume 1


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Table of Contents

Foreword Ann Astell Contributors Introduction Scott Cowdell, Joel Hodge and Chris Fleming Part I: Finding Our Bearings 1. Rene Girard, Modernity, and Apocalypse Scott Cowdell Part II: Biblical Studies 2. "Like Being Dragged Through a Bush Backwards": Hints of the Shape of Conversion's Adventure James Alison 3. Finding the Way: How to Study Scripture with the Help of Scripture and the Desert Fathers Drasko Dizdar 4. Sacred Men and Sacred Goats: Mimetic Theory in Levitical and Passion Intertext Debra Anstis Part III: Theology 5. Beyond Locked Doors: The Breath of the Risen One Anthony J. Kelly, CSsR 6. Torture and Faith: The Violent Sacred and Christian Resistance in East Timor Joel Hodge 7. Girard and the Tasks of Theology Kevin Lenehan Part IV: Literary Studies 8. Rene Girard, Jacques Derrida's The Gift of Death, and Salman Rushdie Vijay Mishra 9. Grace Can Be Violent: Flannery's O'Connor's Novelistic Truth Jeremiah Alberg Part V: History and Political Thought 10. Europe and Enmity: How Christianity Can Contribute to a Positive Identity Wolfgang Palaver 11. Herodian Aspects of the English Reformation Monarchy: Girardian Insights into Unacknowledged Brutality Ivan Head 12. Human Rights: Controlling the Uncontrollable? Peter Stork Part VI: Developments and Critiques 13. Hard Evidence for Girardian Mimetic Theory? Intersubjectivity and Mirror Neurons Scott Cowdell 14. Nietzsche, the Last Atheist Chris Fleming and John O'Carroll 15. Is All Desire Mimetic? Lonergan and Girard on the Nature of Desire and Authenticity Neil Ormerod Glossary of Key Girardian Terms Some Further Reading Index

Promotional Information

Showcases the application of Rene Girard's mimetic theory across a range of disciplines, including philosophy, religious studies, literature and cultural studies.

Promotional Information

Showcases the application of Rene Girard's mimetic theory across a range of disciplines, including philosophy, religious studies, literature and cultural studies.

About the Author

Scott Cowdell is Associate Professor and Research Fellow in Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University, Australia, Canon Theologian of the Canberra-Goulburn Anglican Diocese, and Founding President of the Australian Girard Seminar Chris Fleming is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Anthropology, School of Humanities and Languages, the University of Western Sydney, Australia. His is the author of Violence and Mimesis (2004) and is current Vice-President of the Australian Girard Seminar. Joel Hodge is Lecturer in Systematic Theology, School of Theology, Australian Catholic University, Australia. He is the author of Resisting Violence and Victimisation: Christian Faith and Solidarity in East Timor and is current Treasurer and Secretary of the Australian Girard Seminar. Wolfgang Palaver is Professor and Chair of the Institute for Systematic Theology at the University of Innsbruck, Austrian, and President of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion (COV&R).


This very impressive volume shows how mimetic theory has broken free of its transatlantic origins, inspiring first-rate scholarship from around the world, most notably Australia. The interdisplinary richness of the theory remains intact: established scholars and new voices provide the customary insightful readings of theological and literary texts, alongside new trajectories, in history and in neuroscience. Violence, Desire and the Sacred is an indispensible survey of the state of play with regard to the latest wave of Girardian studies. -- Dr Michael Kirwan SJ, Head of Theology, Heythrop College, University of London
A fascinating contribution to the growing intellectual excitement about a major insight into the causes and possible cures for the violence that threatens us from within and without. Rene Girard's mimetic theory brings together not just philosophers, theologians, and literary people, but also theoreticians and practitioners from practically all the social and natural sciences to talk about and work toward lessening the internal and external violence that threatens our human existence. Remarkable that such a rich conversation could come from just one country! -- Robert J. Daly, S.J., Professor Emeritus of Theology, Boston College
This superbly-edited collection addresses the key issues in mimetic theory for this century, all of which require the interdisciplinary approach followed here. Readers who have been following the resurgent interest in Rene Girard's work will recognize the names of James Alison, Wolfgang Palaver, Jeremiah Alberg and Chris Fleming. To the centers already known at Stanford, Paris and Innsbruck, which generate scholarship and attract fellow researchers as students and colleagues, we must now add The Australian Girard Seminar. -- William A. Johnsen, Editor, Contagion. Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture

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