I am not one of the firsts on the Rene Girard bandwagon, in fact I was introduced to him in undergrad in one course for one reading and then I never read him again. Then in 2002 or 2003, my wife and I took a class which focused on Girardian thought and it was that course that changed my life and views of Jesus.
Girard helped me see something that Jesus originally pointed out and since then I have been teaching and writing and preaching about cycles of violence as much as I can. I have lead Bible studies at church helping Christians see the Bible and the world through "spirals, circles and cones" which, according to the feedback, has been very helpful for people.
I have been lucky to be have been at a Seminary that was forward thinking enough to offer such a class on Girard and I am forever indebted to Brite Divinity School and Dr. Charles Bellinger.
This morning I was hit in the face with a bit of news that I loved.
Brian McLaren is going to use Girardian thought in his next book!
Even if you disagree with McLaren, you have to admit that he is widely read and will get the Girardian thought out there in ways that Rene Girard as a Frenchman could not.
Here is a little video if you want to see a bit more of Girard (this is also posted on Mclaren's post):