Origin of Mimetic Desire

The discovery of the phenomenon of “mimetic desire” was made by René Girard around 1959. The French professor, now teaching in America, had been asked to teach classes on European literature. He approached the texts like a good archeologist, looking to uncover some overlooked truth about human nature. In that respect, René Girard is similar […]

Deviated Transcendence

Deviated transcendence is a form of false transcendence that seeks transcendence in the wrong places—it is an immanent transcendence, like looking for God within the confines of one’s own fishbowl. It comes from an inner void that opens up when human desire seeks its fulfillment in places other than its divine and metaphysical origin. Real […]

Desire Definition

Girard discovered that we come to desire many things not through biological drives or pure reason, nor as a decree of our illusory and Sovereign Self, but through imitation. That idea was unpalatable to me the first time I heard it. Are we all just imitation machines? No. Mimetic desire is only one piece of […]

Family Scapegoat Syndrome

The family scapegoat syndrome is a version of the scapegoat mechanism that operates within a family system of desire.

René Girard and Creative Reconciliation – edited by Vern Neufeld Redekop and Thomas Ryba

The contribution of this book to the field of reconciliation is both theoretical and practical, recognizing that good theory guides effective practice and practice is the ground for compelling theory. Using a Girardian hermeneutic as a starting point, a new conceptual Gestalt emerges in these essays, one not fully integrated in a formal way but showing a […]

René Girard Quotes

“Individualism is a formidable lie.” “More than ever, I am convinced that history has meaning – and that its meaning is terrifying.” “Victimism uses the ideology of concern for victims to gain political or economic or spiritual power.” “The profound self is a universal self.” “Passive, submissive imitation does exist, but hatred of conformity and […]


Mimetic desire is the hyperobject hidden since the foundation of the world.

Mimetic System

A mimetic system is a structure sustained by mimetic desire and the mimetic process.

Social Fact

A social fact is an idea originating with the sociologist Émile Durkheim—it’s something that has a genesis in the institutions or culture of a society which affects the behavior or attitudes or any one member of that society. Mimetic systems and the scapegoat mechanism are examples of Social facts. The University of Colorado gives the […]

Scapegoating in American Beauty – by Eric Buys

In the article Scapegoating in American Beauty Eric Buys reflects on the role mimetic desire plays in the life of Frank Fitts. Fitts, a closeted colonel in the United States Marine Corps desires acceptance and recognition which he feels is not possible if he is openly gay. Yearning to express who he truly is, he […]