RENÉ GIRARD’S THEATRE OF ENVY

René Girard argues that the 10th Commandment against coveting, or envy, explains every other sin in the Bible, starting with Adam and Eve coveting God’s knowledge of good and evil.  Overcoming that envy is at the heart of Christ’s Passion. Shakespeare, he argues, would agree.  To see what he means, this course will attempt to understand Girard’s theory of  “mimetic rivalry,” “triangulation” and scapegoating violence, by reading how he interprets Shakespeare’s major plays.  From “A Midsummer Nights Dream,” through “Julius Caesar” and “A Winter’s Tale”, we will use these plays to see the otherwise hidden connection between envy, sin, Christ’s crucifixion, and his Resurrection. 

LITTRAD 450

Course starts Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, at 5:30pm Pacific (8:30pm Eastern), and continue for EIGHT consecutive Mondays.

NO CLASS on September 6th for Labor Day

REGISTRATION OPENS MAY 1ST 2021

About Instructor

Patrick Downey

Patrick Downey received his MA in theology from Harvard University and PhD in theology from Boston College. He taught at Boston College from 1988-1993 and at St. Mary’s College of California since 1994. His areas of specialization are ethics, political philosophy, foundational theology, and poetics. He is the author of two books: Serious Comedy: The Philosophical and Theological Significance of Tragic and Comic Writing in the Western Tradition and Desperately Wicked: Philosophy, Christianity, and the Human Heart. He’s married with four daughters and lives in California.

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