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Eid: A Promise of Hope

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Eid Mubarak from the Raven Foundation to all of our dear Muslim sisters and brothers! The holy month has drawn to a close, and all around the world, the ummah, or Islamic community, is celebrating the culmination of 30 days of fasting. Long daylight hours, at least in the northern hemisphere, have made this Ramadan among the most challenging in decades, with ...

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Never Again To Us

“Israel regrets every injury to civilians. I call on the residents of Gaza: Don’t stay there. Hamas wants you to die, we want you to be safe.” This is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as quoted in the Jewish Daily Forward, cleansing the nation’s collective conscience. Is it really that easy to sweep away the moral sting of violent action? A captive population is being pummeled with missiles. Well ...

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Book Feature Friday (BFF): “We Make the Road by Walking” by Brian McLaren

(This is the first post in our series Book Feature Friday #BFF. Come back next week for another book review that expounds on mimetic theory.) On Thursday, July 31 at 3:00 Eastern, we will interview the highly influential activist, author, and public theologian Brian McLaren about his latest book We Make the Road by Walking. This will be a live open chat, which means you can join the discussion with your com ...

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Michael Hardin on the Nonviolent Atonement, Mimetic Theory, and Science

Michael Hardin of Preaching Peace is one of the greatest teachers of mimetic theory and the nonviolent atonement. We were fortunate to have Michael with us on the Teaching Nonviolent Atonement Live Chat last October and are pleased to present Michael’s teaching to you now. In the video, Michael discusses mimetic theory, nonviolent atonement, the sacrificial principle, and scientific research into human imit ...

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Why Rewards Backfire with Children: Advice for Teachers and Parents

What impact does grading or rewarding our children for their school work have on their motivation to learn? There’s a wide range of thought on whether or not external rewards motivate kids to do well. But I am a Montessori pre-school directress, and so I am firmly in the camp of those against using external rewards. Here are my reasons. According to Dr. Maria Montessori, children are born with an intrinsic ...

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The Oxymoron of Peace

“At the same time, values and ideas which were considered universal, such as cooperation, mutual aid, international social justice and peace as an encompassing paradigm are also becoming irrelevant.” Maybe this piercing observation by Roberto Savio, founder of the news agency Inter Press Service, is the cruelest cut of all. Geopolitically speaking, hope — the official kind, represented, say, by the United N ...

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Battling to the End in Israel/ Palestine

Sometimes a blog just writes itself. I’m preparing to attend the annual academic conference on mimetic theory being held near Munich, Germany July 21-24, 2014. We will be focusing on René Girard’s book on war called Battling to the End in the context of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Girard’s analysis of war centers on his reading of another famous treatise written in the aftermath o ...

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Why I Hope Ann Coulter is Right: Soccer and the Moral Decay of the United States

In the midst the World Cup, conservative columnist Ann Coulter wrote a scathing article about soccer. She denounced the sport for infecting the United States with moral deterioration. She wrote, “Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.” Coulter is a shock journalist who specializes in scandal. She garners attention by shaming and demonizing liberals, in this case for o ...

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Fr. Richard Schenk on Mimetic Theory, World War 1, and “Battling to the End”

The annual conference of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion begins next week! This conference will be especially interesting as it commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War 1 and relates that war to mimetic theory. The conference is titled, "Battling to the End 1914-2014: The Escalation of Violence and Victimization: Rene Girard and Jean-Luc Marion." Suzanne and I had the opportunity to interview ...

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Democracy: No Longer For Sale?

Ah, 1961. The year -- certain aspects of it, anyway -- are almost impossible to remember. "Whites only" bathrooms, for instance. U.S. Rep. John Lewis, legendary civil rights leader and crosser of lines, recently tweeted an ancient mugshot memorializing his arrest that year for using a "whites only" bathroom in Mississippi and, in the process, amping up outrage against Jim Crow segregation in the South and i ...

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