Like Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Émile Durkheim, Martin Buber, or others who have changed the way we think in the humanities or in the human sciences, Girard has put forth a set of ideas that have altered our perceptions of the world in which we function. We will never be able to think the same way again about mimetic desire, about the scapegoat mechanism, and about the role of Jewish and Christian scripture in explaining sacrifice, violence, and the crises from which our culture has been born.
The contributions fall into roughly four areas of interpretive work: religion and religious study; literary study; the philosophy of social science; and psychological studies.
The essays presented here are offered as "essays" in the older French sense of attempts (essayer) or trials of ideas, as indeed Girard has tried out ideas with us. With a conscious echo of Montaigne, then, this hommage volume is titled Essays in Friendship and in Truth.
This book is intended to provide Christians and theologians with an access to Karl Rahner to unpack his thinking and to make a theological inspection of his work possible. In this respect it is essential to locate the central point of departure for the theology of Karl Rahner in the concerns and questions of human beings and, to take a cue from the key concept of the "anthropological point of departure," to make understandable the underlying tendency of Rahner's work.
Mastering scientific inquiries in the everyday praxis of contemporary theological studies of necessity often takes the unsatisfactory form of a compilation of various essays, articles, and contributions to handbooks. Precisely for this reason, immersing oneself in the work of an epochally significant author, in the world of his thoughts, and in his theological profile--as here in the case of the theology of Karl Rahner--ought to be, not only a dutiful exercise, but a delightful change of pace, perhaps even a passion: studium in the proper sense of the word.
Over the last thirty years André Droogers has extensively published on the relation between religion, power and play. In this collection of essays the most relevant articles are reprinted. For this volume Droogers wrote an autobiographical introduction, showing how the contingencies of a career may nevertheless lead to a more or less consistent approach.
In Part I of the book articles are included that represent the basic ideas of Droogers’ approach, with an emphasis on margin, inversion, ritual and meaning-making. In part II some of his articles on syncretism and Pentecostalism illustrate his views. Part III contains articles that apply the play-and-power perspective to methodological issues in the study of religion.
A list is also presented of famous and noteworthy religious and mythical figures that are said to share the December 25th birthday.
Refresher information on Christianity and more exotic religions is also included. A diverse and very informative glossary closes out the book.
Scott Cowdell has written a wide-ranging book, bringing together several normally separate debates while tackling the problem from a distinctive perspective. He explores faith against the backdrop of secularization, the collapse of community, and the encroachment of an intentionally destabilizing consumer culture. He expounds the nature of desire in terms of imitation and rivalry, and the violent false-sacred roots of cultural formation evident in the modern West's many victims, all according to the uniquely comprehensive vision of Rene Girard. Finally, he dismisses today's growing mood of militant religious skepticism as philosophically outdated and out of its depth before the resilient confidence of a genuine living faith. What Cowdell calls "abiding faith" emerges as a venerable yet strikingly contemporary possibility. This is good news for today's "homeless hearts"--there is the gift of a secure identity and a mature spirituality on offer, within a liberating, inclusive, world-affirming, ecclesial form of life.