Ivan Illich and René Girard: The Dream of Modernity Ends

Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 23:155-185 (2016)
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Abstract

In the year 2002, I came across a manuscript by Jean-Pierre Dupuy that linked the work of Ivan Illich with that of René Girard. I immediately set about translating the text, which was published in Spanish as part of the essay collection The Other Titan: Ivan Illich.1 The original “Detour and Sacrifice” can be found in two books that pay tribute to the authors. The first was compiled by Lee Hoinacki and Carl Mitcham, Illich’s disciples;2 the second is a book edited by Sandor Goodhart, Jorgen Jorgensen, Tom Ryba, and James G. Williams that celebrates Girard’s work.3The genesis of Dupuy’s text actually goes back to 1996 and was inspired by Ivan Illich’s seventieth birthday, which was celebrated with a series of...

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