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When These Things Begin


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About the Author

Rene Girard is a member of the French Academy and Emeritus Professor at Stanford University, USA. His books have been translated and acclaimed worldwide. He received the Modern Language Association's Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement in 2008.


"Insights" like Rene Girard's--the kind which, in the course of a few decades, tear apart and restructure the firmament of ideas--are few and far between. The author of Violence and the Sacred--who draws on novelists and playwrights rather than philosophers--holds that the same mechanism, the same values, and the same snares are at work in the birth of religions, the triumph of Christianity, the collapse of Communism, and the reign of "human rights," but also in a banal marital squabble: mimetic desire. These conversations with Michel Treguer--who admires and is familiar with his interlocutor's work, but also is critical of it--show the amazing degree to which today's earth-shaking events bear out Girard's theses. Have "these things" really begun? The simplicity of [Girard's] avowals, and the familiarity of his conversations with Michel Treguer, make reading [this book] an experience as pleasant as it is moving. . . . The reader will be delighted to discover, in the last pages, the very simple narrative of his conversion.
--P. Gardeil, Nouvelle revue theologique
In a century that no longer has many means of believing and, worse still, of making others believe, it seems to me important to read this essay. Here we have a re-reading of fundamental texts. Truly mind-blowing.
--Marc Chabot, Horizons philosophiques

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