For half a century René Girard’s theories of mimetic desire and scapegoating have captivated the imagination of thinkers and doers in many fields as an incisive look into the human condition, particularly the roots of violence. In a 1993 interview with Rebecca Adams, he highlighted the positive dimensions of mimetic phenomena without expanding on what they might be. Now, two decades later, this groundbreaking book systematically explores the positive side of mimetic theory in the context of the multi-faceted world of creativity. Several authors build on Adams’ insight that loving mimesis can be understood as desiring the subjectivity of the other, particularly when the other may be young or wounded. With highly nuanced arguments authors show how mimetic theory can be used to address child and adult development, including the growth of consciousness and a capacity to handle complexity. Mimetic theory is brought to bear on big questions about creativity in nature, evolutionary development, originality, and religious intrusion into politics.
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About the Author
Thomas Ryba is Notre Dame Theologian-in-Residence at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center as well as lecturer in philosophy and religious studies and adjunct professor of Jewish studies at Purdue University. He is the co-editor of For René Girard: Essays in Friendship and in Truth (2008) and was North American editor of Religion (2004-2007).
Table of ContentsContextual Introduction: René Girard and the Problem of Creativity
Vern Neufeld Redekop and Thomas Ryba
Part I. CREATIVE MIMESIS: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 1: Transforming Intersubjective Space: From Ruthlessness to Primary Creativity and Loving Mimesis
Chapter 2: Mimesis and Creativity in Language Origins and Language Acquisition
Chapter 3: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful and René Girard’s Mimetic Theory
Richard McGuigan and Nancy Popp
Part II. ORIGINALITY AND COMPETITION
Chapter 4: Modern Freedom and Creativity: “truth stripped of its cloak of time . . .”
Chapter 5: Mimetic Theory and the Question of Originality
Chapter 6: Mimesis and Immortal Glory: How Creativity is Spurred by the Desire for One’s Ideas to Dominate the Meme Pool
Part III. POLITICS, POWER AND RELIGION
Chapter 7: Vox popluli, Vox Dei: The Pantheistic Temptation of Democracy
Chapter 8: The Girardian Mimetic Theory and its Reading in a Positive Cultural and Economic Liberal Context
Chapter 9: The Creative Desire for God: Mimesis Beyond Violence in Monotheistic Religion
Part IV. THEOLOGICAL CONCEPTS
Chapter 10: Lonergan’s ‘Imitating the Divine Relations’: A Theological Contribution to Mimetic Theology
Robert M. Doran, S.J.
Chapter 11: Original Sin, Grace and Positive Mimesis
Chapter 12: New Creation Metaphors? Mimesis and difference, creation and ecology
Part V. PHILOSOPHICAL AND SCIENTIFIC ISSUES
Chapter 13: Hermeneutical Mimesis
Chapter 14: The Imitation of the Cellular and Violence Toward the Neighbor
Francis Tobienne, Jr.
Chapter 15: Love vs. Resentment: The Absence of Positive Mimesis in Generative Anthropology
Chapter 16: Nature as a Source of Positive Desire