As I write this, I am en route to Belgium for three days of meetings on the thought of Rene Girard, the French-American historian, literary critic and philosopher of the social sciences. Girard is receiving more and more attention these days from theologians, among many others, for his insights into the nature of human desire and violence. It is heady stuff. I am not a Girardian, per se, nor do I agree with every bit of his theory, but his ideas have influenced a number of notable Christian thinkers, including Rowan Williams. Girard himself is a faithful Catholic, having found his faith again after reading Dostoevsky, among others. In any case, you can check out Girard’s work at http://www.imitatio.com/. His thoughts on the mimetic nature of desire and human conflict are perhaps particularly relevant in an election cycle. More on that, perhaps, in a later post.