Suzanne and Keith had stumbled upon a field of research into something called “mimetic theory” and the more they learned the more they began to understand things that had seemed impossible to explain. Religious things like why it was necessary for Jesus to die for us to be saved; why ancient peoples believed in sacrifice and myths and why those things have faded away; and why every human culture has developed religions, rituals, and taboos. Even personal things began to make sense like why friends can become enemies; how love can turn to hate; why are we addicted to celebrity scandals; and what is the relationship between nature and nurture in human behavior. And then there were the global questions that suddenly seemed to have answers: why is it that everyone claims to want peace yet peace eludes us; can peace be achieved through violent means; how do we recognize evil and how do we defeat it?
As they learned, Suzanne and Keith found their faith and their personal relationships slowly being transformed. They became less easily caught up in political and religious arguments, more able to listen to different points of view, more able to spot self-serving stories in the media and especially in themselves. Mimetic theory opened up a journey of personal growth that they wanted to share with others. While much scholarly work had been done in the 60 years since René Girard first proposed his theory, little work had been done to spread the word outside of academia. So in January 2007, they began the Raven Foundation to do just that. Raven is a not-for-profit, fully funded 501 (c)(3) private foundation. Our primary outreach is through our website where we host a restorative community and invite people into deep, meaningful conversations about what matters most to them. The goal is not to raise money but to raise awareness about a theory of human behavior, violence, religion, war and peace that can change lives and make possible an authentic and enduring global peace.