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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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Live Chat with Brian McLaren

We invite you to join our upcoming live chat with Brian McLaren at 3:00 EDT on July 31st! Brian is a highly influential activist and author of many books, including his latest, We Make the Road by Walking: A Year Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation. This is a unique opportunity to engage with Brian – he has been an inspiration to many of us seeking to reimagine Christianity for ...

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God, Satan, and the Quran: Islam’s Answer to Violence

Questions about the relationship between religion and violence once again rears its ugly head. It must be stated that ISIS is a militant group and most Sunnis are horrified by their actions. But when Muslims battle Muslims in the name of God, declaring it to be a “holy responsibility,” we naturally ask theological questions about Islam. We want to know what Islam has to say about God, especially what Islam ...

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Myth, Monsters, and Gospel: Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Redemption

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Scoobie Newbies (or anyone compelled to find out what that means by watching the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series!) Any Joss Whedon fans in the house? It’s Throwback Thursday, and what better way for The Raven Foundation to show the ubiquitousness of mimesis than to jump on the bandwagon of this current social phenomenon with a blast-from-the past article analyzing an episode of a ...

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The Hellish Dream of a Parent: Why CS Lewis Was Wrong about Hell and Free Will

At five years old, my middle child has developed a defiant pattern. A typical day runs like this: It’s time to get dressed. No. It’s time to put on your shoes. No. It’s time to go to school. No. It’s time to eat dinner. No. It’s time to go to bed. No. His defiance has apparently nestled its way into my subconscious because I dreamt about it last night. We were visiting my childhood house. My son was in our ...

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The Resurrection Effect: Guns, God’s Sovereignty, and the Last Word

It seems like violence will never end. Portland. Seattle. Las Vegas. Isla Vista. Almost every day in Chicago. Not to mention Boko Haram, the conflict in Ukraine, and the continued war in Afghanistan. The Huffington Post just reported that “If it’s a school week in America, odds are there will be a shooting.” Since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, the United States has averaged 1.37 school shootings per week. ...

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A Science of Religion: Evolving Technologies for Peace

There is no society without religion because without religion society cannot exist. René Girard, Violence and the Sacred The science vs. religion debate seems here to stay. Since Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, the debate has revolved around which side holds the key to the truth about human origins. Equally contentious is the debate about the cause and cure of violence: is it religion or sec ...

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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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Dancing with Mimetic Theory

There are two related misconceptions about what mimetic theory says about being human: that (1) we are inherently violent and (2) unavoidably slavish imitators, incapable of individual or original expression. Mimetic theory, a theory of violence and imitation, says nothing of the sort, in fact it leads to the opposite conclusions. The problems arise because of misconceptions about violence and imitation tha ...

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