“In this captivating book, Girard presents the most elaborate explication of his stunning thesis on violence and religion. In conversational style he responds to questions by two psychiatrists who explore with him an amazing learning across the fields of anthropology, religion, literature, psychoanalysis, and modern theories of society and culture…. Girard’s thesis on mimetic desire and the spiral that leads to conflict, violence, and the eventual restoration of social order by means of sacrifice is known to readers of Violence and the Sacred and The Scapegoat. What the present work add is a remarkable disclosure of the way in which Girard comes to his thesis, reflects upon its significance, and shares his views on the twentieth century.”
––Religious Studies Review
“A rich, provocative presentation of one of the most striking theories of human culture ever presented…. It is difficult to do justice to this polyvalent work…. a necessary confrontation to Christian intellectuals in the human sciences.”
––Christianity and Literature
“Girard’s major work – from Violence and the Sacred through Things Hidden is of magisterial breadth…. We ignore his message at the price of our own belittlement, perhaps our annihilation.”
[Excerpted from the back cover]
This book records the conflict between religion and science throughout human history. In a chronological order, this book traces the origin of science and the origin of Christianity, the transformation of Christianity in rising to the imperial power and its incompatibility with science, the conflict respecting the doctrine of the unity of God in the First/Southern Reformation, the restoration of science in the south, the conflict respecting the nature of the soul, the conflict respecting the nature of the world, the controversy respecting the age of the earth, the conflict respecting the criterion of truth, the controversy respecting the government of the universe, the Latin Christianity in relation to modern civilization, science in relation to modern civilization, and the impending crisis such as the controversy between the Prussian Government and the papacy. There are 12 chapters altogether, and each chapter regarding conflict and controversy is organized in such way that the orthodox view comes first and then followed by that of its opponents.