Nature as a Source of Non-Conflictual Mimetic Desire

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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.


Originally published as:

“Nature as a Source of Non-Conflictual Mimetic Desire.” In René Girard and Creative Mimesis, Vern Redekop and Thomas Ryba, eds., Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014.

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