to Jul 13

2019 Colloquium on Violence and Religion, July 10-13, Innsbruck, Austria

“Imagining the Other: Theo-political Challenges in an Age of Migration”

We live in an age of migration—often forced—with its special challenges. How we imagine “the other” is a decisive element in the (theo-)politics of exclusion and desire that feed on these challenges. Aware that imagination is a mimetic process, COV&R’s 2019 annual meeting wants to address these challenges by trying to illumine different aspects of this complex entanglement, asking whom or what we mean by “the other”: the stranger and migrant, the brother or sister, nature that envelopes or defies us, the transcendent Other to whom religions refer, the other sex or gender….

Scheduled subsections will include:

Migration, ecology, and economic justice

Exclusion and the transcendent Other

Imagining the other: media coverage of migrants and refugees

How do Europeans view the “others”?

The theme, “Imagining the Other,” also widens the conference’s range of topics beyond migration to other fields of interest for COV&R members.

For these and other topics we are looking forward to your paper or other proposals which are due by March 31st, 2019. Information on travel, accommodations and the optional cultural program is now available on the conference website.

COV&R 2019 will coincide with the 350th jubilee of the University of Innsbruck, western Austria’s largest institution of research, with 28,000 students and 4,500 staff. Innsbruck is a city of 132,000 located at an elevation of 574 meters (1,722 feet) in the Inn River valley surrounded by mountains of the Tyrolian Alps extending up to 2,300 meters (7,000 feet) that can be reached by a cable car.

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to Jun 30

"Scapegoat" at the Swiss National Museum in Zurich, 15 March - 30 June, 2019

From the Swiss National Museum: “On March 15, the Swiss National Museum in Zurich will open an exhibition titled “Scapegoat”. The exhibition examines collective violence against individuals, from antiquity to the present day. Topics cover the range from human sacrifice and lynchings of Jews and witches to the scapegoating mechanism, with its civilised violence extending into the modern era. The show builds its argument on René Girard’s theory of mimetic desire and, also in accordance with Girard, presents those powers who have opposed the violence, as the Jewish and Christian religion as well as the Enlightenment.”

A Press Conference will take place at the National Museum Zurich on Thursday, 14.03.2019, 10.00 am.

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to Jul 14

2018 Colloquium on Violence and Religion, July 11-14, Regis University, Denver, CO

The Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R), an international association of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines who are dedicated to developing, critiquing, and applying René Girard’s mimetic theory, will holds its annual meeting and conference July 11-14, 2018 at Regis University in Denver, Colorado (USA). Find out more about conference registration, submissions, and travel information here.

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to Jul 16

2017 Annual COV&R Meeting: Identity and Rivalry, July 12-15, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Madrid, Spain

In COV&R 2017 in Madrid, we would like to invite scholars to explore the roots of identity; the ways rivalry survives and rises over the centuries as a force of destruction and foundation. Jean-Michel Oughourlian, Cesáreo Bandera (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Charles Powell (Real Instituto Elcano), Jon Juaristi (Universidad Alcalá de Henares), Roland Hsu (University of Stanford), or Carlos Mendoza-Álvarez (Universidad Iberoamericana de México) have confirmed their participation as plenary speakers and we are waiting for others to accept our invitation.

We are also working on a special cultural program. It will include private visits to the Prado museum, a memorable gala dinner, opera, literary nightwalks around the old city, and field-trips on Saturday and Sunday to the nearby towns of Avila, Toledo, el Escorial and other historical sites.

Call for Papers

This conference aims to bring together the insights of the 20th century’s premier theorist of violence and religion, René Girard, with the latest scholarship on topics such as:

The formation, the destruction and the dynamics of current and traditional nationalisms;

Inner-national conflicts such as the Spanish Civil War;

The Indignados, anti-system groups and similar generational, political, and sociological movements;

The construction of pan-national identities in Europe, America, Africa, Asia;

Identity, Religion, and Communion: Islam, Judaism and Christianity in Spain and Europe in the Middle Ages.

In addition to the topics listed above, papers are welcome on any other topic related to the title of the conference: Identity and Rivalry, or related to the work of René Girard.

The seminar is held in English, simultaneous translation will not be provided.

Spanish may be used as the language to work with if a panel so wishes (then simultaneous translation will be provided).


The organising committee also welcomes proposal for practitioner-focused, interactive workshops that relate to the work of Girard or the conference theme. Such sessions could take different forms (e.g., workshop-style, forum, discussion group, panel) and may cover areas such as:


countering violence/radicalisation

inter-faith dialogue

Girard and preaching

Girard and psychotherapy

Girard and sciences

Girard and literature

This list is only suggestive and not exhaustive. Please provide a description and rationale for an inter-active workshop on a particular topic to be facilitated for approx. 45 or 90 minutes by appropriately qualified persons.

Schwager Award

To honor the memory of Raymund SCHWAGER, SJ (1935-2004), the Colloquium on Violence and Religion offers an award of $1,500.00 shared by up to three persons for the three best papers given by graduate students at the COV&R 2017 meeting. Students presenting papers at the conference are invited to apply for the Raymund Schwager Memorial Award by sending a letter to that effect and the full text of their paper (in English, maximum length: 10 pages) in an e-mail attachment to the organizers of  COV&R 2017. Due date for submission is the closing date of the conference registration, June 1. Winners will be announced in the conference program. Prize-winning essays should reflect an engagement with mimetic theory; they will be presented in a plenary session and be considered for publication in Contagion.

Travel Grants

Travel grants to attend COV&R 2017are available for graduate students who are giving a paper and are first-time attendees of the COV&R conference.  To apply, write a letter of application accompanied by a letter of recommendation by a COV&R member to that effect to the Executive Secretary, Martha Reineke until the closing date of the conference registration. The board will sponsor the attendance of up to 6 persons with a maximum amount of $500 USD each. Grants are awarded by the officers of COV&R on a first come, first served basis.

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to Jan 31

Raven Foundation 10th Anniversary Contest

From the organizers:

Raven Foundation 10th Anniversary Contest 

Representing René Girard’s Mimetic Theory

Do you teach undergraduates? Do you use mimetic theory in your course? If you answered yes to both those questions, this contest is for you!

The Raven Foundation is observing its 10th Anniversary in January 2017. To mark that milestone we wanted to connect with instructors like you who share Raven’s enthusiasm for the transformative power of mimetic theory.

This unique opportunity is offered in partnership with the Colloquium on Violence and Religion(COV&R) an international association of scholars founded in 1990. The Colloquium is dedicated to the exploration, criticism, and development of René Girard‘s mimetic theory. We hope the contest generates excitement for the study of mimetic theory and sparks creativity in your students. Perhaps it can also deepen their connection to the global mimetic theory community.

The Contest

The idea is simple: Assign your students to create artistic expressions of mimetic theory as it applies to your field of study. Projects can employ such media as film and video, photography, painting, drawing, poetry, fiction, screenplays, and sculpture. Essays, research papers or other nonfiction such as book reviews will not be considered!

Contest Deadlines

Instructors will submit the best two student projects from each class they are teaching in the summer or fall 2016. Submissions will be accepted from November 15, 2016 to January 31, 2017. Winners will be announced in late February or early March 2017.

Prizes and Recognition

All students whose projects have been submitted by their instructor will receive a letter of commendation from the Raven Foundation and COV&R and be entered into the contest. The first place winner will receive a cash award of $1,000. The second and third place award is $500 and all three winning projects will be featured on the Raven Foundation website. In addition, the three winners will receive a letter of commendation from the Raven Foundation and COV&R acknowledging their achievement.

Register Today!

It’s easy to register for the contest. Submit your name and email address on this form and you will receive the complete contest rules as well as instructions for how to submit your student projects.

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to Nov 4

Paying Tribute to René Girard, November 3rd and 4th, 2016

November 4, 2016

Saint Paul University

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

From the call for papers:

From the 1950s until just a few years before his death, René Girard engaged in scholarly work that advanced and deepened our understanding of mimetic theory, generating a discursive field including mimetic desire, ontological desire, mimetic rivalries, mimetic doubling, scapegoating, sacrificial systems, the sacred, and mimetic violence. As he persisted in examining writers, philosophers, sacred texts, psychological and anthropologic literature, and more recently Clausewitz, he showed the inner complexity of the stable concepts he developed. After the emergence of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion in the early 1990s, an ever- growing body of international scholars expanded on mimetic theory—showing its implications for many disciplines, as well as many aspects of human existence.

On November 4, scholars and thoughtful readers of Girard will be given an opportunity to gather at Saint Paul University to present their critical reflections on the impact that Girard has had on them and their respective fields. The stage will be set on the evening of November 3 when Prof. Sandor Goodhart, the fourth PhD that Girard supervised, will present a public lecture to honour Girard.

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to Jul 17

COV&R Conference 2016 at Australian Catholic University

The Annual Conference of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion (COV&R)
and 6th Annual Conference of the Australian Girard Seminar.

Wednesday 13 – Sunday 17 July 2016

St Patrick's Campus, Melbourne
Australian Catholic University

Theme: Violence in the Name of Religion...

One of the most pressing issues of our time is the outbreak of extremist violence and terrorism, done in the name of religion. René Girard is the premier theorist of violence in the 20th century. In this conference, we aim to bring together the insights of Girard’s mimetic theory with the latest scholarship on religion and violence, particularly exploring the nature of extremist violence. The conference will critically analyse the link made between religion and violence, and explore contemporary topics of great significance, such as Islamist terrorism and radicalization in its various political, economic, religious, military and technological dimensions.

The conference is open to academics, professionals, religious practitioners, military, police, and anyone interested in engaging this topic in respectful dialogue.

We have an exciting range of internationally acclaimed speakers who will present at the conference, including:

Professor Anne Aly (Edith Cowan University, Western Australia);
Rev Dr Sarah Bachelard (Australian Catholic University, Canberra);
Professor Greg Barton (Deakin University, Melbourne);
Reverend Professor Frank Brennan SJ (Australian Catholic University, Canberra);
Professor William T. Cavanaugh (De Paul University and author of The Myth of Religious Violence), who will give the Raymund Schwager Memorial Lecture;
Professor Jean-Pierre Dupuy (École Polytechnique, Paris / Stanford University, California);
Dr Chris Fleming (Western Sydney University, NSW);
Most Rev Dr Philip Freier (Archbishop of Melbourne);
Monsignor Professor Tomáš Halík (Charles University, Prague); and
Professor Wolfgang Palaver (the University of Innsbruck).

The format of the conference will include evening keynote addresses, followed by morning panel sessions on the same topic as the keynote. The morning sessions will have extended time for discussion and questions to explore the key conference themes, such as the relationship between religion and violence, and an analysis of contemporary religious violence, especially Islamist extremism.

The conference will also feature a panel on violence and religion in Australian-Indigenous history.

There will be two rounds in the Call for Papers/Panels. The first round is currently open, please see the Call for Papers page.

The conference is hosted by the Australian Catholic University. It is co-organised with the Australian Girard Seminar (AGS) and will incorporate its 6th annual conference.

Sponsors for the conference include:

Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University
Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University
Imitatio (the Thiel Foundation)
Raven Foundation.

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11:00 AM11:00

Principle and Practice: René Girard, politics, religion & violence


Hope College, Holland, Michigan | 11 a.m.

Lunch will be provided | RSVP Required: gruenler@hope.edu


Rev. James Alison is a Catholic priest, theologian, and author of numerous texts.

Duncan Morrow is the Director of Community Engagement at the University of Ulster.

Introductions: Rev. Matt Malone, S.J., president and editor in chief of America Media. Moderator: Sheelah Treflé Hidden, research associate, Heythrop Institute: Religion and Society 


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5:30 PM17:30

Principle and Practice: René Girard, politics, religion & violence


Cadigan Alumni Center Atrium, Brighton Campus, Boston College | 5:30 p.m.

Reception to Follow | RSVP Required: www.bc.edu/stmce


Rev. James Alison is a Catholic priest, theologian, and author of numerous texts.

Duncan Morrow is the Director of Community Engagement at the University of Ulster.

Introductions: Rev. Matt Malone, S.J., president and editor in chief of America Media. Moderator: Sheelah Treflé Hidden, research associate, Heythrop Institute: Religion and Society 


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6:00 PM18:00

Principle and Practice: René Girard, politics, religion & violence


Union Theological Seminary, Social Room, Columbia University | 6 p.m.

Reception to follow | RSVP Required: events@americamedia.org or by calling 212-515-0193


Rev. James Alison is a Catholic priest, theologian, and author of numerous texts.

Duncan Morrow is the Director of Community Engagement at the University of Ulster.

Introductions: Rev. Matt Malone, S.J., president and editor in chief of America Media. Moderator: Sheelah Treflé Hidden, research associate, Heythrop Institute: Religion and Society 


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7:30 AM07:30

Religious ceremony in Paris in honor of René Girard

From the organizers:


en l’église Saint-Germain des Prés,  
Concert spirituel à 16h30 : le Quatuor Girard interprétera  

  "Les Sept dernières paroles du Christ en croix" 

de Joseph Haydn, avec la participation de Michel Serres, récitant.

Messe à 17h30, élébrée par Monseigneur Claude Dagens.

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4:00 PM16:00

Raven Foundation to host Girard Memorial January 23rd in Chicago

From the organizers:

Please join us on Saturday, January 23, 2016 to celebrate the life, work and memory of our friend and teacher, René Girard. We will gather as a community at Mon Ami Gabi, a French restaurant located at 2300 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago, Illinois. The evening will begin at 4:00pm with a service of remembrance, followed by tributes and will conclude with a dinner hosted by the Raven Foundation. (RSVP required by December 21)


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2:30 PM14:30

ARM sponsors lecture on violence

Who is the Enemy? Reflections on Limitless Violence

Saturday, December 5, 2:30 pm, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, Site François Mitterand, Petite auditorium (in French)

From the organizers:

The January and November terrorist attacks stunned France.

We have asked Harald Wydra, author of a recent book on violence (Politics and the Sacred, Cambridge University Press) to give a lecture on the subject as an outside observer.

Harald Wydra is Professor of Political Philosophy at Cambridge University and a member of the ARM.

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9:00 AM09:00

French Psychiatrists Explore Mimetic Desire

The Association Française de Psychiatrie and the Association Recherches Mimétiques will co-organize a conference on mimetic desire, psychopathology, and neuroscience, Friday 20 November 2015, 9h-17h at the Salle de Conférence de l’AQNDC, 92 bis Boulevard Montparnasse (14th arrondissement), with Benoît Chantre, Nathalie Depraz, Jean-Paul Kornobis, Yves Manela, Christian Mille, Jean-Michel Oughourlian, and Jean-Pol Tassin. 

From the organizers:

We will examine different approaches to mimetic desire in relation with René Girard’s work. The latter developed the idea of mimetic desire, which posits immediate interference between imitated and imitating desires. In other words, what desire imitates is the other’s desire, desire itself. This theory raises questions about the object, the movement of desire, the relationship to the Other, and has broad implications for healing.

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10:00 AM10:00

Association Recherches Mimétiques holds conference on Girard and Michel Henry

Saturday 7 November 2015, 10h00 – 17h00, Site François Mitterand, Salle 70

From the organizers:

This international conference will continue the dialogue between René Girard and his French contemporaries, whom he never or infrequently met, and who nonetheless benefit from a confrontation with Girard’s mimetic analysis of desire and with his wider anthropological theories. The encounter with the thought of phenomenologist Michel Henry is a natural one in that Henry also presented an extremely innovative reading of the Gospels. With Benoît Chantre, Jean-Philippe Milet, Thierry Berlanda, Grégori Jean, Adrian Navigante, Jérôme Thélot, and François Sebbah. Organized by the Association Recherches Mimétiques.

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to Oct 21

Girard Featured at Cambridge Festival of Ideas

“Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World"

Presentation and discussion of two new books exploring the interface of nature and culture – and of science and religion -- through the far-reaching ideas of French-American culture theorist and fundamental anthropologist René Girard. St. John’s College, Cambridge, 5-7 pm Old Music Room, St. John’s Street, CB2, 1TP.

Why is human violence the much-neglected key to understanding human emergence and development? How does it differ from animal violence? How was it controlled by the victimary or scapegoat mechanism? How does this stabilise human communities and lead to the creation of natural or archaic religion (‘the sacred’); and then to the development of our culture as a whole? 

What does this understanding of 'how we became human' contribute to our grasp of violent sacralities now? And what are our chances of ‘surviving our origins’? 

With Dr Rowan Williams (Master, Magdalen College), Dr Pierpaolo Antonello (Cambridge, St Johns College), Prof. Paul Gifford (University of St Andrews) and a distinguished panel of respondents in science and religion.

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to Sep 26

9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations

The 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, organized by European International Studies Association (EISA), will take place in Sicily September 23-26 in Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy. The conference will be devoted to “The Worlds of Violence” and will include a series of panels and events devoted to mimetic theory, including a round-table discussion about Roberto Farneti’s Mimetic Politics (Michigan State University Press, 2015). For more information, please visit the conference website.

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