Thinking with gratitude about the passing of René Girard on 4th November at the age of 91. He is one of those people who, although I never met him, has made an enormous contribution to my life and faith.
He has been described as the 'Darwin of the human sciences'. He was particularly interested in the causes of human conflict and violence and the role of imitation in human behavior. In the Christian context his work discloses much about the meaning and significance of Jesus' death on the cross in a way that uncovers that wrath and violence come from human beings not God.
Many Christians have not yet caught up with his scholarship on these themes, disclosing not so much new ideas but original themes often hidden. The life, teaching and death of Jesus are shown to continue the work of unraveling human violence and scapegoating and to reveal the divine as the source of creative love unfolding through history and culture. His work is not an easy read but many other scholars, authors and teachers are making his work accessible. Thank you René!
Here is a tribute from The Raven Foundation, established in 2007 to raise awareness of mimetic theory outside the world of academia. Its goal is to raise awareness about a theory of human behavior, violence, religion, war and peace that can change lives and make possible a real, lasting a global peace: