A Conversation on Political Atheism
An audio recording and transcript of this week's special seminar
On Sunday afternoon I hosted a special Anti-Mimetic Salon on the topic of “political atheism”, a phrase used by René Girard to refer not to politics founded on atheism, but to an approach to politics itself—one which desacralizes the political, strips it of idols, and recognizes the mimetic mediators and mechanisms (i.e. scapegoating violence) by which it works.
But while Girard named a few historical figures as people who seemed to be “atheists in politics” (a few of them are pictured above), he never fully explained what he meant by the concept political atheism.
Since I’m currently working on an extended monograph on this topic (which I hope to have complete next month), I invited readers to join me for a discussion. The hour that we spent together was incredibly rich with insights from all of the participants.
I am happy to share the recording and notes with you here in the hopes that we can continue this conversation.