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Book Feature Friday: Making Friends among the Taliban: A Peacemaker’s Journey in Afghanistan

The Taliban. Just the name evokes intense emotions of anger and hatred because, for many in the West, the Taliban is known for one thing: terrorism. How should Christians react to the Taliban? Sometimes the words of Jesus seem like too much to ask. But sometimes I think they are the only hope for our violent world: You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I sa ...

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The Water of Life

I’m thirsty. Indeed, I’m overwhelmed by thirst, thinking about those who lack access to clean water. I’m thirsty for a different world. “In Gaza, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lack water, including those living in hospitals and refugee camps,” Sarah Kendzior wrote in Al-Jazeera last week. “On July 15, citizens of Detroit held a rally in solidarity, holding signs that said ‘Water for all, from Detroi ...

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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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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 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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Investing In Peace: Israel, Palestine and the Presbyterian Church.

A couple weeks ago, I decided I would write in support of the Presbyterian Church USA’s decision, by a narrow vote of the 221st General Assembly, to divest from three particular businesses that facilitate the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel: Caterpillar, Inc., Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions. While I feel anxiety speaking up on such a controversial topic, I am proud of my childho ...

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Elliot Rodger and Boko Haram: Addressing and Correcting Violence in Religion and Building a Culture of Peace

In my most recent article, I let readers glimpse into my inner world of confusion and anger and my struggle to follow Jesus as I searched my heart and mind for a way that might help the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram that would not exacerbate the violence.* A post-script promised an upcoming article exploring ways to create a culture of peace. In the wake of the horrific mass killing by Elliot Rodge ...

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My Interview about Sacrificial Systems on Peace Paradigm Radio

I had the great pleasure of discussing the sacrificial system, mimetic desire, scapegoating and peacemaking with my wonderful friends at the Metta Center for Nonviolence, Stephanie Van Hook and Michael Nagler. The interview was broadcast on Peace Paradigm Radio on December 27 and I hope you enjoy our discussion of how René Girard’s insights enable us to take responsibility for our own complicity in the perp ...

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Finding God in the Mess

Despite years – and I mean YEARS – of therapy, I still run like a madwomen from my own feelings of sadness, especially during the holidays. Denial has always been my favorite coping mechanism. So this weekend, when my holiday spirits started to dip, instead of looking inside for the cause I made a mess of things by finding fault with everyone around me. My husband said the stupidest things; my kids seemed u ...

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