Collaborators Conference

The Collaborators Conference for the Flourishing of Nonviolent Christianity was a one-time online event fostering learning, empowerment, and community in August of 2020. This conference was presented by The Raven Foundation and Theology & Peace.

Over the course of five days, the Collaborators Conference combined keynote presentations, panels, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities to empower participants with actionable tools and resources to help make positive changes in our communities and strengthen faith. Keynote speakers and panelists include members of the mimetic theory community and nonviolent Christianity movement who are actively enacting change in their spheres of influence.

We are excited to make these recordings from the conference available to the public!

Kevin Miller | Deconstructing Deconstruction

Are we living through unprecedented times? Or are we going through a cycle that has happened before? Drawing on Watchmen, Cold War history, Richard Rohr, René Girard, the musical Hamilton, and the Bible, Kevin offers insights into what it will take for real change to happen.

Welcome to the Collaborators Conference / Q&A with Kevin Miller

Suzanne Ross (Raven Foundation Co-Founder) and Preston Shipp (Head of Theology & Peace) welcome attendees and kick off the 2020 Collaborators Conference! The welcome is followed by a live Q&A with Kevin Miller, moderated by Shannon Mullen.

James Alison | Toward A Girardian Reading of the Book of Revelation

Girard himself never attempted a sustained reading of the Book of Revelation. Nevertheless his insights, furnished with the ever greater understanding we have of the “codes” (or “imaginary world” proper to those associated with the Jerusalem Temple in the years leading up to and surrounding its destruction in 70 AD) do give us a sense of how misleading it has been to read our sense of what is “apocalyptic” into the world of the “Apocalypse of St. John.” James Alison explores how the vision shared with John helps us read the violence of our own times.

Panel with James Alison & Kevin Miller

A live Zoom Panel with Kevin Miller and James Alison, moderated by Sue Wright.

Julia Robinson Moore | The Church Has Left the Building: Racism & Religion in the time of COVID-19

What does a Christ-centered conversation around structural inequality and systemic injustice look like? With the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic as its context, this keynote presents a model of non-violent Christianity for those in the Body of Christ who seek solutions to societal injustice and healing from abusive forms of Christianity.

Rebecca Adams | What is ‘Good’ or ‘Loving’ Mimesis? Understanding Different Models of Mimetic Desire for Creative Outcomes

Although René Girard is known primarily as a theorist of violence, his mimetic theory contains resources for imagining beneficial forms of mimesis. In this keynote, Rebecca Adams discusses Girard’s concept of mimetic desire – its history, controversies, and the implications around what Girard calls “positive” mimesis. Adams then poses further constructive models of mimetic desire that Griard does not explicitly discuss, but which actually strengthen the claims of his theory.

Panel with Rebecca Adams & Julia Robinson Moore

A live Zoom Panel with Julia Robinson Moore and Rebecca Adams, moderated by Lindsey Paris-Lopez.

Concert Performance: Audrey Assad

Due to copyright restrictions, the recording of this concert is not available for public viewing. Acclaimed musician and 2019 Raven Award Winner Audrey Assad performed an exclusive concert performance (“including “Your Peace Will Make Us Whole” and a brand new song), interspersed with her personal experiences and stories.

Panel with Audrey Assad & David Dark

A live Zoom Panel with Audrey Assad and David Dark, moderated by Preston Shipp.

David Dark | Beloved Community and Guilty Pleasures and Robot Soft Exorcism

David Dark uses story and humor to illuminate a path into beloved community. Taking on toxic images of God, David invites us to be more merciful to ourselves and to find the grace to extend that mercy to others, even those we consider obstacles to beloved community.

Adam Ericksen | Crashing Into the Future: The Church and Technology Beyond COVID-19

Worshiping not physically together is weird and hard for people. But this is part of the future of the Church. Adam walks us through how he uses Facebook for worship and to get the message of nonviolent Christianity out to the public. In a breakout session following the presentation, participants explore the following questions: Does your congregation use social media for worship? What has been most effective? What hasn’t worked? What might you do differently? How do you do communion?

Q&A with David Dark & Adam Ericksen | Closing Remarks

Q&A discussion with David Dark, moderated by Adam Ericksen, followed by closing remarks from Suzanne Ross and Preston Shipp.