Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Girard Reader” as Want to Read:
The Girard Reader
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Girard Reader

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In one volume, an anthology of seminal work of one of the twentieth century's most original thinkers.
Paperback, 328 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by The Crossroad Publishing Company
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Girard Reader, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Girard Reader

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  146 ratings  ·  11 reviews

Sort order
Andrew Marr
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In the main, René Girard's own books are not the best introductions to his thought as his writing can be a bit dense and difficult. This collection of key chapters and important essays, especially the essay on Scandal the defines what Satan really means in the Bible, is the best entree into Girard's writing for someone beginning to explore his thought. For more of my reflections on Girard's thought see my blog at
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Life changing. Girard's unified theory of human nature explains so many life experiences. Also, Girard's reinterpretation of Jesus' death is super interesting (I'm still contemplating if I agree, but I'm glad to have a new set of ideas to consider).
Ben McFarland
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
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:

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.)

It’s highly si
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating study of scapegoating and of sacrifice in ancient religious history, in the Hebrew Scriptures, and in Christian theology. As a literary critic, Girard's familiarity with literary masterpieces and the functioning of language in society enables him to give specific illustrations of his theory being played out. I was especially struck by the analogy of the Hebrew story of Joseph and his brothers to the story of Jesus in the New Testament as regards the idea of substitution for offenses. ...more
Blayze Hembree
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theory
girard's fascinating concept of mimetic violence of individual or collective behavior, stems from his critique on nietizche's anti-christian and pro-dionysian (pagan ritual) concept and freud's oedipal complex theory, and through these critiques he shapes a new foundation for mimetic desire before the birth of Christ, which is visible in Hebrew Scripture (beginning with cain). he exemplifies how Christ was the ending of such violence because he chose to not take part in it, but absorb all violen ...more
Apr 11, 2013 added it
I gave up. Kind of heavy going for me.
Aaron Ventura
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Girard was a brilliant anthropologist but a terrible theologian. I enjoyed the sections on mimetic theory, myth, and Freud but the chapters on Christ and the gospels are cringeworthy.
Jan 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. I'll have to stick this in the hopper and let it rattle around for a while before I know what I think of it.
Anthony Francavilla
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great general over view of Girard's theories. Well worth reading, especially if you only have time for one of his books.
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2015
Mike Warnemuende
rated it liked it
Feb 26, 2019
Ryan Cagle
rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2018
rated it liked it
Apr 10, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Oct 04, 2013
rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2010
rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2013
rated it liked it
Dec 20, 2015
Revi Sterling
rated it it was ok
Oct 23, 2007
rated it really liked it
May 29, 2018
rated it really liked it
Apr 17, 2016
Chip Berlet
rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2014
Steve Pelton
rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2016
rated it really liked it
Dec 22, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2014
rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2008
Nithin Thompson
rated it liked it
Dec 04, 2015
Daniel Andreassen
rated it really liked it
Aug 31, 2016
Nicolás Ceron
rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jul 12, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • History in English Words
  • The Philosophy of Civilization: The Decay & the Restoration of Civilization/Civilization & Ethics
  • Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education
  • The Meaning of the City
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • A Third Testament: A Modern Pilgrim Explores the Spiritual Wanderings of Augustine, Blake, Pascal, Tolstoy, Bonhoeffer, Kierkegaard, and Dostoevsky
  • The Message in the Bottle: How Queer Man Is, How Queer Language Is, and What One Has to Do with the Other
  • Solomon Among the Postmoderns
  • The Idea of Decline in Western History
  • The Essential Mcluhan
  • The Drama of Atheist Humanism
  • Paideia of God: & Other Essays on Education
  • Economy of Desire
  • The Culture We Deserve
  • Representative Men: Seven Lectures
  • The Mac is Not a Typewriter
  • I Only Say This Because I Love You: How the Way We Talk Can Make or Break Family Relationships Throughout Our Lives
  • How to Think Straight: An Introduction to Critical Reasoning
René Girard is a French-born American historian, literary critic, and philosopher of social science whose work belongs to the tradition of anthropological philosophy.

He was born in the southern French city of Avignon on Christmas day in 1923. Between 1943 and 1947, he studied in Paris at the École des Chartres, an institution for the training of archivists and historians, where he specialized in m
“Nietzsche is a marvelous antidote to all fundamentally anti-Biblical efforts to turn mythology into a kind of Bible, and that is the project of the Jungians of this world, or to boil the Bible down to myth, and that is the project of more or less everyone else” 3 likes
More quotes…