- Series: Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture
- Paperback: 424 pages
- Publisher: Michigan State University Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1611860776
- ISBN-13: 978-1611860771
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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René Girard's Mimetic Theory (Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture) Paperback – January 1, 2013
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--James Williams, author of The Bible, Violence, and the Sacred and editor of The Girard Reader
A real tour de force, Palaver succeeds in situating mimetic theory in regard to major trends in contemporary thought, to document its relevance and contributions to various disciplines while simultaneously providing the most comprehensive and accessible introduction in any language.—Paul Dumouchel, Ritsumeikan University
Wolfgang Palaver’s exploration of Rene Girard’s mimetic theory is comprehensive, thorough, and penetrating. He takes us into the heart of Girard’s anthropology of desire, while also tracing its rich implications for the contemporary study of politics, culture, gender, and religion. This English translation now makes available to a wider audience the definitive “must-read” account of one of the most important theoretical projects of our time.—Bruce K. Ward, Laurentian University
First published in German in 2003, Wolfgang Palaver’s René Girard’s Mimetic Theory is a crucially important addition to the growing body of English-language studies of Girard’s work. Clear, comprehensive, analytically acute, this volume shows Palaver to be a worthy successor to his Austrian colleague, Raymund Schwager, as Girard’s interpreter and collaborator. The rich fruit of annual lectures over a period of ten years, René Girard’s Mimetic Theory not only describes that theory, placing it in comparison and contrast with the theories of other major twentieth-century intellectuals concerning religion, mimesis, desire, and violence, it also shows why and how Girard’s insights are increasingly relevant today. Braiding together topically related discussions of literary fiction, Biblical texts, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, political science, and theology, Palaver reflects, imitates, and extends Girard’s own inter-disciplinarity in a breathtaking, scholarly tour de force.
—Ann W. Astell, University of Notre Dame
About the Author
Wolfgang Palaver is Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Chair of the Institute for Systematic Theology at the University of Innsbruck. He is a member of the advisory board of Imitatio, a nonprofit organization dedicated to René Girard’s mimetic theory.
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Top Customer Reviews
Every stage of Girard's professional career is examined to show how his insights developed over time. Particularly valuable is the way Palaver explores the contest of Girard's thought in the intellectual and cultural world around him, featuring interactions between his thought & Freud, Marx, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Hegel & many others. Perhaps most important of all is the comparison with deconstructionist thinkers, especially Derrida. What emerges from all of the comparisons is both common ground of insights with all of these thinkers coupled with sharp, sometimes profound disagreement. The examination of these interactions greatly enriches one's understanding of Girard and equips the reader for continuing these interactions. As an excellent theologian himself, Palaver outdoes himself in his analysis of Girard's theological development, giving the reader one probing insight into the abyss of God's love as it intertwines with our mimetic world.
Since the book is focused on Girard, there is little about Girard's colleagues except for when there was direct and protracted interaction between the two, as there was with the great Innsbruck theologian Raymund Schwager.
I recommend this book without reservation to anyone who wants to explore the work of René Girard or seek understanding about the causes of human violence and what might be done about it.