The fall Arts and Humanities Symposium at Hope College on Friday, Oct. 10, will feature reflections by scholars from multiple disciplines on Rene Girard’s work on violence and the sacred.

The symposium will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room.  The public is invited, and admission is free.

The purpose of the symposium is to bring to important and timely topics and interdisciplinary conversation that displays the academic disciplines at their best.  Each academic discipline equips its practitioners with particular skills and training that, when juxtaposed to other disciplines, brings the best solutions to the problems society faces.

Girard is a historian, literary critic and philosopher of social science.  Elected to the Academie Francaise, he is retired from the faculty of Stanford University, where he is the Andrew B. Hammond Professor of French Language, Literature and Civilization Emeritus.

His work is notable for its examination of why modern societies still perpetuate violence in all its forms, whether war, murder or the mob violence of lynching, despite humankind’s high cognitive abilities.  The symposium will present the work of Girard and its application to many areas, including religion, race, literature and art.

Presenters will include Chris Dorsey, assistant professor of theology and preaching at Western Theological Seminary; Sandor Goodhart, professor of English at Purdue University; Curtis Gruenler, professor of English and director of general education/IDS at Hope; Patrice Rankine, dean for the arts and humanities and professor of classics at Hope; and Katherine Sullivan, associate professor of art at Hope.

The Herrick Room is near the southwest corner of the second floor of the DeWitt Center, which is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.