Rene Girard is a brilliant French philosopher and anthropologist and professor (later in life at Stanford). He became fascinated with the fact that in modern times a “marginalized” person assumes a moral authority, that we root for underdogs, that we celebrate victims. His fascination grew out of the fact that he could find nothing comparable in his readings of ancient literature.
As he continued his research, he traced this relatively new phenomena to … Jesus. He realized that Jesus’ story cut across the grain of every heroic story from its time. That Jesus took the side of, and even lived the life of, the marginalized, the poor, the underdogs. Girard concluded that Jesus introduced an entirely new plot line into history.
And as Girard continued his studies, to the dismay of his colleagues, he decided he wanted to spend his life following Jesus.