Evolution and Conversion

Evolution and Conversion : Dialogues on the Origin of Culture

4.08 (114 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.08 (114 ratings by Goodreads)

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Presented as a series of conversations, "Evolution and Conversion" is a thorough discussion of the major tenets of Girard's thought.Rene Girard is one of the most brilliant and striking intellectuals of the 20th century. His theory on the imitative nature of desire and on the violent origin of culture has been at the centre of the philosophical and theoretical debate since the publication in 1971 of his seminal book: "Violence and the Sacred". His reflection on the relationship between violence and religion is one of the most original and persuasive and, given the urgency of this issue in our contemporary world, demands a reappraisal.Girard, who has been hailed by Michel Serres as "the Charles Darwin" of human sciences, is in fact one of the few thinkers in the humanities and social sciences that takes into full consideration an evolutionary perspective to explain the emergence of culture and institutions. The authors draw out this aspect of his thought by foregrounding ethological, anthropological and evolutionary theories.Methodological and epistemological systematization has also been lacking in Girard's previous books, and by questioning him on the issue of evidence and truth, the authors provide a convincing framework for further inquiries.
In the last chapters, Girard proposes a provocative rereading of the Biblical texts, seen as the culmination of an enduring process of historical awareness of the presence and function of collective violence in our world. In fact, Girard's long argument is a historical spiral in which the origin of culture and archaic religion is reunited with the contemporary world by means of a reinterpretation of Christianity and its revelation of the intrinsic violent nature of the human being.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 27.69mm | 471.74g
  • T.& T.Clark Ltd
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0567032515
  • 9780567032515

Table of contents

Chapter 1. The Life of the Mind; Chapter 2. "A theory by which to work": the Mimetic Mechanism; Chapter 3: The Symbolic Species; Chapter 4. Critique and Dialogue: From Frazer to Levi-Strauss; Chapter 5: Method, Evidence and Truth; Chapter 6: The Scandal of Christianity; Chapter 7: Modernity, Postmodernity and the End of History.
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Review quote

'Girard is now well known for his multidisciplinary writings on religion and violence ... This book develops and reassesses ideas set out thirty years ago.' Theological Book Review, Volume 20, No 2, 2008
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About Dr Rene Girard

Rene Girard is the Andrew B. Hammond Professor Emeritus of French Language, Literature, and Civilization at Stanford University. Joao Cezar de Castro Rocha is Professor of Comparative Literature at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Professor of Latin American Studies at University of Manchester (UK), and currently Humboldt Research Fellow at the Frei Universitat in Berlin. He has widely published on literary theory and social history. Pierpaolo Antonello, Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College, is currently a member of COV&R, and has worked for many years on the relationship between literature, philosophy and science.
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Rating details

114 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 40% (46)
4 32% (37)
3 23% (26)
2 4% (4)
1 1% (1)
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