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Principle and Practice:
René Girard, Politics, Religion, and Violence

PANEL

May 25, 2016
Panelists: Rev. James Alison and Duncan Morrow
Moderator: Sheelah Treflé Hidden

The thought of René Girard (1923-2015), the late professor Emeritus at Stanford University, is recognized worldwide as a theory of desire and violence, and of how these structure human culture.  An outsider in every field, René Girard has changed scholars' thinking in literature, anthropology, and religion. But you don't have to be a scholar or an insider of mimetic theory, as his thought is sometimes called, to understand it. Imitation is constant, scapegoating is an ever-present temptation, and violence is wrong. These simple insights have unlocked the meaning of modern novels, ancient myths, religious traditions, and the behavior of each and every one of us in our daily lives. In this panel discussion, Fr. Alison approaches the topic from a theological perspective and Dr. Morrow approaches it from an anthropological one.

Cosponsored by America magazine, Imitatio’ (an arm of the Peter Thiel Foundation), REMUS (Religion-Mimesis-Society), and
the School of Theology and Ministry

Rev. James Alison is a Catholic priest, systematic theologian, and author of a number of books including Knowing Jesus (1992), Undergoing God (2006), and Broken Hearts and New Creations: Intimations of a Great Reversal (2010).

Duncan Morrow is director of community engagement and lecturer in politics at the University of Ulster.

Sheelah Treflé-Hidden, moderator, is a research associate with the Heythrop Institute: Religion and Society.