I finally decided to read Rene Girard, and all I can fit into a one paragraph review are statements, so let’s just make them bullet points:
n Girard thinks like Darwin. I don’t mean that he’s as important a thinker as Darwin was, but that he has a simple but effective mechanism that may tie the social level together the same way Darwin’s mechanism tied together biology. Girard’s scapegoat mechanism functions like Darwin’s variation + selection. (One could argue both are Malthusian.)
n It’s highly significant that Girard came to his Catholic faith through his academic work. It’s hard to find these stories, but it shouldn’t be. They’re surprisingly common.
n This particular selection answered most of my questions. I was curious about the implications for the creation of humans and also how this fits with scripture. I would have liked a little more on the former is all, but otherwise this Reader is remarkably balanced. The sections on literature and Freud/Nietzsche were less relevant but the inclusion of the interview at the end is perfect – in fact, I read it first and recommend you do the same.
I’m still digesting Girard but I only get rocked by a new (to me) thinker about once per year, and this is Girard’s year. You’ll hear more about Girard in my future scribblings, of that I’m sure.