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Title: Girard and Theology
Author: Kirwan, Michael
Publisher: Bloomsbury T & T Clark; Publication Date: 2009
Paperback; ISBN: 9780567032270
Volumes: 1; Pages: 176
List Price in Paper: $29.95 Our price: $29.95
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The work of the French American theorist Ren� Girard (b.1923) has been highly influential in a wide variety of intellectual disciplines. One enthusiastic reviewer in Le Monde suggested that the year 1972 (when La Violence et le Sacr� was published) should be marked with an asterisk in the annals of the humanities, including literature, theology and religious studies. There is a paradox here insofar as Girard is, strictly speaking, neither a philosopher nor a theologian. He was trained as a historian, but spent most of his academic career as a teacher of French literature. It is out of his study of great European literature (notably Proust, Dostoyevsky and Shakespeare) that what he calls "mimetic theory" evolved.
Mimetic theory is an account of how religion, culture and violence are interrelated. Its three principal parts consist of: an assertion of the "mimetic" (i.e. imitated or derivative nature of desire); the function of "scapegoating" as a means of achieving and maintaining social cohesion; the gospel revelation as the means by which these truths of the human condition are made known to us. A general introduction to his work will comprise an exposition of these three parts or phases in Girard's thinking. In Girard and Theology, Michael Kirwan looks at these ideas and their relevance to theology as well as their reception in the development of "dramatic theology" and new theological concepts of atonement and sacrifice.
Table Of Contents
Part I Introduction
1. Theology's Bickering Handmaids
3. Mimetic Theory
Part II Theological Themes in Girard's Work
4. Revelation and Conversion 1978-2003: From Things Hidden to "Evolution and Conversion"
5. A Theological Anthropology of Desire
6. Sacrifice and Atonement
7. Reading Biblical Texts
8. Political Theology
Part III The Theological Reception of Mimetic Theory
9. Girard in Europe: The Dramatic Theology Project (Innsbruck)
10. Girard in the US
11. The Views from the South
12. Against Girard: The Theological Objections