1st Edition

Rene Girard and Myth An Introduction

By Richard Golsan Copyright 1993
    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this comprehensive introduction to the work of contemporary French critic Rene Girard, Richard Golsan focuses on Girard's theory of myth and its connections to his broader exploration of the origins of suffering and violence in Western culture. Golsan highlights two of Girard's primary concepts--mimetic desire and the scapegoat--and employs the concepts to illustrate the ways Girardian analysis of violence in biblical, classical, and folk myths has influenced recent work in theology, psychology, literary studies, and anthropology. The book concludes with an interview between Golsan and Girard, who offers his own analysis of the appropriation (and criticism) of his work by a politically and intellectually diverse company of scholars.

    Series Editor's Foreword; List of Abbreviations; Introduction; Chapter One: From Triangular Desire to Interdividual Psychology; Chapter Two: Sacrificial Violence and Scapegoat; Chapter Three: Myth; Chapter Four: The Bible: Antidote to Violence; Chapter Five: Girard's Critics and the Girardians; Interview; A Venda Myth Analyzed by Rene Girard; Bibliography


    Richard Golsan is Professor of French at Texas A & M University. He is editor of The Papon Affair (Routledge 2000).

    "For the student of myth the book marks a promising prospect for the future direction of myth studies; for the Girardian, it signals the move from marginal to mainstream of a theory that not only rocks the closed hierarchy of academic disciplines but may open the way to an eventual, even wider, interinstitutional dialogue." -- The Bulletin of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion
    "...an excellent and much needed introduction not only to Girard's concept of myth but to Girard's thought in general." -- Cesareo Bandera, Zygon
    "A clear, well-balanced treatment of Girard's writings and thought. [Contains] the most complete bibliography pertaining to Girard's research that has yet appeared in print." -- James G. Williams, Religion
    "Golsan makes the foundations of Girardian theory as accessible as possible." -- Gary M. Ciuba, Kent State University Christianity and Literature
    "Golsan's lucid account makes it clear that his subject's main contribution to myth has been the insight that myth is a narrative that suppresses the violence from which it originates

    It is, indeed, an ambitious work that seeks to encompass various modern approaches to both myth and literature, most traditional types of myth, and most of the important developments in "mythification" in twentieth=century literature." -- Religious Studies Review
    "The crowning virtue of Richard J. Golsan's book Rene Girard and Myth is its consistent clarity; Golsan proceeds with remarkable economy through a complex body of thought." -- The Journal of Religion