Rene Girard is one of those intrepid anthropologists who in spite of the desertion of much of the anthropological scientific community continued to follow the results of his exploration. The disenchantment of the scientific community, a community that not only had approved but heralded Girard’s eminently scholarly, intricately detailed, and exhaustively researched thesis, regarding violence and religion and myth, was because as he followed the direction of his thesis he found himself drawn to Christianity. His research and study concluded that the Hebrew scriptures and the Gospels told the truth about the human condition and the cross was the redemptive key to that condition. All this finally lead Girard to enter the Catholic church.
"Violence and the Sacred" was published in 1972 (English publication 1977) reviewed extensively, and enthusiastically received. But when "Things Hidden" was published shortly after, the enthusiasm of secular academia soon cooled. But with any abandonment there are new converts (count me as one).
Of course Christians thought that they had a resolute champion of the faith when he entered the church. But what he brought with him was the scandalously unorthodox idea that Christ’s death was not about the Father killing the Son as an atoning sacrifice, but an act that defined the disease by cure. That is, the cross exposed the nature of sacrifice and at the same time disclosed for us a God who has nothing to do with sacrifice, has no desire for sacrifice, only mercy.
As it is, Girard has managed to unsettle both Christians and secularists, and so must be doing much that is right.