© 2017

The Palgrave Handbook of Mimetic Theory and Religion

  • James Alison
  • Wolfgang Palaver

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. James Alison, Wolfgang Palaver
    Pages 1-7
  3. Violent Origins

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. James Alison, Paul Dumouchel
      Pages 11-12
    3. Martha J. Reineke
      Pages 39-44
    4. Mark R. Anspach
      Pages 53-59
    5. Miguel Rolland
      Pages 61-67
    6. Christopher J. Knüsel, Bonnie Glencross
      Pages 69-75
  4. From Rites to Writing

About this book


The Palgrave Handbook of Mimetic Theory and Religion draws on the expertise of leading scholars and thinkers to explore the violent origins of culture, the meaning of ritual, and the conjunction of theology and anthropology, as well as secularization, science, and terrorism.  Authors assess the contributions of René Girard’s mimetic theory to our understanding of sacrifice, ancient tragedy, and post-modernity, and apply its insights to religious cinema and the global economy. This handbook serves as introduction and guide to a theory of religion and human behavior that has established itself as fertile terrain for scholarly research and intellectual reflection.


Mimetic Theory Rene Girard mimetic desire Christianity catholic theology violence scapegoat secularization anthropology theology sacrifice

Editors and affiliations

  • James Alison
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Palaver
    • 2
  1. 1.Independent ScholarMadridSpain
  2. 2.University of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

About the editors

James Alison, priest, theologian, and author, is a Fellow of Imitatio. He has been working with Girard’s thought since 1985 and has contributed to the field with a number of books, most recently the adult catechetical course “Jesus the Forgiving Victim.” 


Wolfgang Palaver is Professor of Catholic Social Thought at the University of Innsbruck. From 2007 to 2011 he was president of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion. Recent publications: René Girard's Mimetic Theory (2013); The European Wars of Religion (2016).

Bibliographic information