Posts Tagged ‘René Girard’

René Girard in conversation

January 28, 2016

When René Girard passed away in November of last year, I neglected to mark the occasion. He was a leading Catholic intellectual, and his thoughts on culture, literature, and the place of Christianity in the West have been influential. (Here, for instance, is an appreciation by Fr Robert Barron.)

I’ve actually not read any of Girard’s books, but years ago I heard a fantastic long-form interview with him on the CBC radio programme Ideas, and I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve discovered that this same interview is available on YouTube. If you’ve 4-1/2 hours to spare, it is well worth your time and attention.

Here is the first part:

And here are parts II, III, IV, and V.

Interview with René Girard at NRO

December 10, 2009

This week the French literary critic and anthropologist René Girard is being interviewed at National Review Online.  I don’t quite know what to make of Girard, but he is certainly a very interesting and original thinker.  I first encountered him some years ago through a long set of interviews on CBC Radio’s Ideas.  His thoughts are not easy to summarize briefly; we would have to talk about desire and imitation, cultural violence, scapegoating, sacred order, and apocalypse.  But this interview seems to cover the basic ground fairly well.

The interview is in five parts.  Each part is about six or seven minutes long:

Part 1: Mimetic desire

Part 2: Scapegoating

Part 3: “Christianity destroys mythology”

Part 4: Apocalypse

Part 5: The meaning of Christmas

A few months ago First Things published an essay by Girard: On War and Apocalypse.