The RavenCast interviews challenge “us vs. them” thinking with new perspectives on the issues that divide us. Hear from knowledgeable guests and join live with your questions and comments. Can’t join live? Watch or listen to the recordings at your convenience.


Check back for our next RavenCast which will be announced soon.

Past Shows

Naked and Known: Danielle Kingstrom and Matthew Distefano – February 28, 2019

Adam Ericksen interviews Danielle Kingstrom and Matthew Distefano regarding their upcoming book, Naked and Known, where they explore ways to restore intimacy, appreciation, and sexiness to committed relationships.

The Wicked Truth about Love – Suzanne Ross – February 14, 2019

Adam Ericksen spoke with Suzanne Ross, the co-founder of the Raven Foundation, to discuss her book, The Wicked Truth about Love: The Tangles of Desire.

“transforming: The Bible & the Lives of Transgender Christians” with Austen Hartke – Thursday, January 24, 2019

Austen Hartke’s book, “transforming: The Bible & the Lives of Transgender Christians,” offers insights for congregations and the public regarding biblical passages about transgender individuals. Adam Ericksen led this lively interview.

“Preaching About Racism” with Carolyn Helsel – Friday, December 7, 2018

Adam Ericksen sat down with Carolyn Helsel to discuss her latest book Preaching about Racism.” They asked is preaching about racism helpful and determined some helpful ways to use the Bible to preach about racism.

Thanksgiving and Apocalypse with Adam Ericksen and Lindsey Paris-Lopez – Thursday, November 15, 2018

Natural and human-made disasters plague the world. Jesus warned that this would happen, and called it “birth pangs.” Could all of this suffering be hard labor ushering in an era of deeper compassion and cooperation? Could good news — the Kingdom of God, even — emerge from this chaos? Adam Ericksen and Lindsey Paris-Lopez will discussed the Gospel lectionary, Mark 13: 1-8, also known as the “Little Apocalypse.” They connected the text to current events then transitioned into the hope that may come from these troubling times by remembering what they are grateful for as Thanksgiving approaches.

Should Religion and Politics Mix? with Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen – Thursday, November 8, 2018

The results are in and Election Day is over. What role did religion play on Election Day? Should religion even play a role in politics? Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen discussed these questions and Adam’s latest sermon “The Gospel, Election Day, and the Risk of Love.

Politics and Apocalypse with Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen – Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen based their discussion on the New York Times article Bomb Scares and the Politics of the Apocalypse.”  then brought the wisdom of mimetic theory to bear on this timely topic.

Political Rhetoric: Trump, Truth, and Lies with Dr. Steven McKenna – Friday, October 19, 2018

Adam Ericksen talks with Dr. Steven McKenna about the Trump administration’s political rhetoric, truth, and mimetic theory. Dr. McKenna is Professor of Rhetoric and Communications at Catholic University in Washington, DC. Warning – the concept of “bullshit” is explored in this episode.

Who Do You Follow? – Mimetic Theory, Politics, and Taylor Swift – Thursday, October 11, 2018

Taylor Swift is usually apolitical, but she is in the news for endorsing Tennessee Democrats. Some have dismissed Swift, saying that her followers are all 14 years old. Others have defended her, saying that she has more followers than everyone who has criticized her, including President Trump. Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen discussed the Taylor Swift controversy and what mimetic theory says about being a follower.

Battling From The Beginning: From Columbus To Afghanistan – Friday, October 5, 2018

Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen discuss the violence connecting Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day and the War in Afghanistan through the lens of mimetic theory.

“Creating Communities of True Inclusion” with Brandan Robertson – Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Rene Girard explained the reasons we exclude one another from community. But how can we create communities of true inclusion? Adam Ericksen spoke with Brandan Robertson about his new book published by Chalice Press, “True Inclusion: Creating Communities of Radical Embrace.

Resist and Persist: Faith and the Fight for Equality – Thursday, June 28, 2018

Pastor and author Erin Wathen joined Adam Ericksen to discuss her book, Resist and Persist: Faith and the Fight for Equality. Enjoy their far-ranging conversation in video or a written transcript. Erin generously made available an excerpt of her book, “Other Women Are Not the Problem”.

The Supreme Court takes the Cake – Thursday, June 7, 2018

Recent news events have us asking: Is it ever okay to bake a wedding cake on the Sabbath for an immigrant gay wedding? Join us to discuss the collision of faith, personal expression and human dignity in the Supreme Court wedding cake decision and immigration policy. Adam opened the dialogue with his Monday post, “Immigration Policy, Sabbath Rest, and the Hope for a Better America”.

Rachael Keefe’s The Lifesaving Church – Friday, May 25, 2018

Every year millions of people engage in suicidal activities. Adam Ericksen and Rachael Keefe discuss how churches often remain silent on this issue, then explore what faith communities could they do to help as they discuss her book, The Life Saving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention.

Islam, Mimetic Theory, and Ramadan – Thursday, May 17, 2018

Muslims are about to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. But what is Ramadan and how can mimetic theory help us understand why it’s so important? And didn’t René Girard say some controversial things about Islam? Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen provide an enlightening discussion of Islam, mimetic theory, and Ramadan!

Seven Stories Book Review, Part 7: History to its end – Monday, May 14, 2018

Adam Ericksen and Lindsey Paris-Lopez conclude their discussion of Anthony Bartlett’s latest book, Seven Stories: How to Study and Teach the Nonviolent Bible with the final chapter, “History to its end”.  

Seven Stories Book Review, Part 6: The Temple and its Deconstruction – Monday, May 7, 2018

Adam Ericksen and Lindsey Paris-Lopez continue their discussion of Anthony Bartlett’s latest book, Seven Stories: How to Study and Teach the Nonviolent Bible by examining chapter six, “The Temple and its Deconstruction”.  

Seven Stories Book Review – An Interview with authors Linda and Anthony Bartlett – Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Adam Ericksen and Lindsey Paris-Lopez interview authors Linda and Anthony Bartlett on their recently published book, Seven Stories: How to Study and Teach the Nonviolent Bible .  

Facebook Rumors Fuel Revenge – Thursday, April 26, 2018

We all know how the algorithms work – posts that stoke anger or fear produce the highest engagement and so Facebook promotes them. In the US the result has been online outrage and partisan division. Not a pretty picture, but in the developing world, where institutions are weak, riots and lynchings have been linked to misinformation and hate speech. What’s a Facebook user to do? Adam Ericksen and Suzanne Ross discuss rumors, scapegoating and the need for belonging that motivates our online engagement. .

Seven Stories Book Review, Part 4: Wrath to Compassion – Monday, April 23, 2018

Adam Ericksen and Lindsey Paris-Lopez continue their discussion of Anthony Bartlett’s latest book, Seven Stories: How to Study and Teach the Nonviolent Bible by examining chapter four, “Wrath to Compassion”.  

Seven Stories Book Review, Part 3: The Land and Its Loss – April 16, 2018

Adam Ericksen and Lindsey Paris-Lopez continue their discussion of Anthony Bartlett’s latest book, Seven Stories: How to Study and Teach the Nonviolent Bible by examining chapter three, “The Land and Its Loss”.

Seven Stories Book Review, Part 2: From Violence to Forgiveness – April 9, 2018

Adam Ericksen and Lindsey Paris-Lopez continued their discussion of Anthony Bartlett’s latest book, Seven Stories: How to Study and Teach the Nonviolent Bible by examining chapter two, “Violence to Forgiveness”.  

Seven Stories Book Review, Part 1: From Oppression to Justice – April 3, 2018

Adam Ericksen and Lindsey Paris-Lopez discussed the first chapter of Anthony Bartlett’s latest book, Seven Stories: How to Study and Teach the Nonviolent Bible.

The Spirituality of Pope Francis, Fake News, and Holy Week  – March 28, 2018

Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen discussed truth, Holy Week, and Pope Francis’ message, “Fake News and Journalism for Peace.

2018 winner of the Raven Award for Excellence in Arts and Entertainment, Christian Picciolini – March 19, 2018

Adam Ericksen and Christian Picciolini discussed the rise of white supremacy and how to respond.

Violence and the Sacred – first three chapters – March 8, 2018

Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen discussed the first three chapters of René Girard’s groundbreaking second book Violence and the Sacred.

Better Stories with Melvin Bray: The Black Panther Movie – March 1, 2018

Adam Ericksen and Melvin Bray discussed Melvin’s book Better: Waking Up to Who We Could Be and the hit movie Black Panther.

The Gun Debate: Telling the Difference Between a Mob and a Community – February 21, 2018

Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen discuss the current gun debate and how to tell the difference between a mob and a community.

Dr. Carolyn Helsel, Author of Anxious to Talk about It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism – February 9, 2018

Dr. Carolyn Helsel joined Adam Ericksen to discuss her book exploring  how white people can begin to talk about racism. Read Adam’s  review of this thoughtful and timely book.

Peace Journalism, Governing By Scapegoat, and the State of the Union with Robert Koehler and Adam Ericksen – February 1, 2018

Peace journalist Robert Koehler’s recent article “Governing By Scapegoat” provided the jumping off point for a discussion of the State of the Union, peace journalism and how to not scapegoat scapegoater.

Trump’s Tweets, Liberal Outrage, and Why Christian Picciolini Is Not a White Supremacist – January 25, 2018

Liberal outrage feels right, but Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen explain its ineffectiveness at changing people’s minds. They celebrate how the 2017 winner of the Raven Award for Excellence in Arts and Entertainment, Christian Picciolini, demonstrates the best way to change people’s minds.

Parenting, Free will and Temper Tantrums – January 19, 2018

Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen bring the wisdom of Maria Montessori and René Girard’s mimetic theory to parenting and grandparenting.

“Deceit, Desire and the Novel” by René Girard: Book Discussion Part 2: Privilege, Politics, and How to Be Happy – December 18, 2017

Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen conclude their discussion of René Girard’s first book Deceit, Desire and the Novel with a focus on privilege, politics and how to be happy.

“Deceit, Desire and the Novel” by René Girard: Discussion of Chapters 1-3: The Mystery of Human Relationships – November 20, 2017

Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen discussed the first three chapters of René Girard’s first book Deceit, Desire and the Novel which focus on human relationships.

Dr. Stephen McKenna: Political Rhetoric and Mimetic Trust  – October 5, 2017

Dr. Stephen McKenna, Associate Professor and Chair of Media Studies at The Catholic University of America, joins Adam Ericksen to discuss the current political climate and how mimetic theory can help us understand the notion of “trust.”

Charles Dickens: Hard Times (For Truth) with Suzanne Ross – September 29, 2017

Suzanne Ross, Co-founder of the Raven Foundation, spoke with Adam Ericksen about the ten year history of the Raven and how to navigate in a “post-truth world.”

“The Execution of God: Encountering the Death Penalty” with Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood – September 15, 2017

Adam Ericksen interviewed theologian and social activist, the Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood about his book, The Execution of God: Encountering the Death Penalty,  the theological reasons to end the death penalty, the spiritual consequences of the death penalty, and how we can move into the future of God’s love and nonviolence.

Niki Wadinger Discusses the Work of Raymund Schwager – September 8, 2017

Adam Ericksen and Niki Wadinger sat down to discuss the work of Raymund Schwager. They talked about Schwager’s friendship with Rene Girard, and the ways they influenced one another.

Cesáreo Bandera Interview: Friendship with René Girard, the Origins of Humanity, and the Hope of Christ – August 29, 2017

In this interview recorded at the Colloquium on Violence and Religion, Adam Ericksen and Caesáreo Bandera discuss Bandera’s long term friendship with René Girard, the father of mimetic theory.

The Prophet Jeremiah Seeks Social Justice with Adam Ericksen – July 10, 2017

What wisdom do the ancient prophets provide for us today? Adam Ericksen tells the story of the prophet Jeremiah and his search for social justice.

Wonder Woman and the Myth of Redemptive Violence with Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen – June 23, 2017

The hit movie Wonder Woman is not simply a violent movie. It’s a movie about the dangers of violence. Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen explain why Wonder Woman is asking all the right questions about violence.

Chelsea Manning Is Not a Traitor. She’s a Christ-Like Figure with Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen – May 26, 2017

Is Chelsea Manning a traitor or a hero? Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen discuss this question.

Mother’s Day, Power Struggles, and Protesting War with Suzanne Ross, Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen – May 11, 2017

The Raven Flock gathered to discuss the surprising origins of Mother’s Day. Suzanne, Lindsey, and Adam also discussed mimetic theory’s wisdom that helps in navigating the power struggles often infecting our families.

Confronting Evil in the Book of Revelation and Star Wars: The RavenCast with Dr. Ryan Hansen – May 4, 2017

The Book of Revelation and the Star Wars saga are stories of mystery, violence, good, and evil. Listen to Rev. Adam Ericksen and Dr. Ryan Hansen as they discuss the lessons to be learned from these two stories that have greatly impacted our world.

Playwright Christopher Shinn joins Reverend Adam Ericksen to Reveal Truth in the Theatre – April 27, 2017

Playwright Christopher Shinn and Adam Ericksen discussed how theatre unmasks lies and reveals the truth about human relationships.

Dr. Benjamin L Corey and Reverend Adam Ericksen Discuss the Resurrection – April 20, 2017

Dr. Benjamin L. Corey and Reverend Adam Ericksen discussed the radical implications of the Resurrection.

Suzanne Ross and Reverend Adam Ericksen on Making a Fool of Satan: Wisdom From the Cross April 13, 2017

Suzanne Ross and the Reverend Adam Ericksen engage in a Holy Week exploration of how Jesus defeated Satan on the Cross.

Dr. Martha Reineke on Disgust, Outrage and Donald Trump – April 6, 2017

Martie Reineke explains the psychology of disgust and outrage to help us navigate these emotions. She also provides suggestions for how to neutralize disgust in ways that can foster better politics in our nation and in the world.

Sue Wright Discusses Mimetic Theory, Theology and Peace – March 31, 2017

Sue Wright, President of Theology and Peace, celebrates the explanatory power of mimetic theory. She explains why mimetic theory is our best tool for understanding human nature, theology, and the rivalry that often infects our relationships.

Vanessa Avery on Judaism, Atonement, and God’s Nonviolence – March 24, 2017

Adam Ericksen talks with Vanessa Avery, a Hebrew Scripture Scholar and Diversity and Organizational Consultant. They discussed how to overcome scapegoating in the workplace and the antidote to violence found in the Bible.

Lectionary Edition – Jesus, Women, and Water – March 17, 2017

What does the Bible have to do with Standing Rock? How can it heal the deep divides that threaten our country and our world? Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen wade into this topic.

Matthew Distefano – Love, Justice, and “From the Blood of Abel” – March 10, 2017

Adam Ericksen talks with Matthew Distefano about his latest book, From the Blood of Abel: Humanity’s Root Causes of Violence and the Bible’s Theological-Anthropological Solution.

The Complicated Case of Dr. Seuss – March 7, 2017

Dr. Seuss is loved throughout the world for his children’s books. But did you know that racism motivated his early cartoons? Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen discuss the author and his legacy.

Paul Dumouchel on Democracy, Violence, and the Risks of Tyranny – March 3, 2017

Is Democracy under siege? Suzanne Ross and Paul Dumouchel discuss this provocative question.

Immigration, Water Protectors, and Hope – February 24, 2017

Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen discuss some major news stories of the last few days – the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and the events at Standing Rock.

Is the Truth Out There? Grant Kaplan, René Girard, and Fundamental Theology – February 17, 2017

“The truth is out there.” So believed Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully of the X-Files. But can we still believe in truth? Join Suzanne Ross and theologian Grant Kaplan in their journey to find the truth.

Erik Buys – Christian Provocation – Jesus, Donald Trump, and You – February 10, 2017

Erik Buys discusses his upcoming book, Not Peace but the Sword: A Christian Provocation in Times of Facebook, ISIS, and Refugee Crises.

Abortion, Choice, and the Interdependence of Life – February 3, 2017

Lindsey Paris-Lopez participated in the Women’s March on January 21st. It was one day after the Inauguration, and one day before the 44th anniversary of Roe versus Wade.

Alternative Facts and Mimetic Truth – January 27, 2017

Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen discuss the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency. A scandal brewed early in the week concerning the size of the crowds attending the inauguration.

The Mimetics of Protesting the Inauguration – January 20, 2017

In just a few hours, Donald Trump will officially become the President of the United States. His inauguration is scheduled for 12:00 ET. Many civilians and politicians are protesting.

Mimetic Theory, Post-Truth, and Trump’s Cabinet – January 13, 2017

How can we tell the truth from a lie in a “post-truth” world? Have we always lived in a post-truth world? Join Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen as they explore politics, religion, and pop-culture.

Epiphany, Fear, and the Journey to God – January 5, 2017

Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen discuss the season of Epiphany. Epiphany means “manifestation” and is the season after Christianity that celebrates the manifestation of the Christ child to the Magi.

Neill Franklin on Police Reform, Orlando and the War on Drugs – June 17, 2016

Major Neill Franklin of the Baltimore police was on the front line in the war on drugs for thirty-four years. He put hundreds of users and dealers behind bars. But…

Preston Shipp – From Prosecutor to Criminal Justice Reform Advocate – June 10, 2016

Adam Ericksen sits down with Preston Shipp to discuss his transformation from being a prosecutor to being an advocate for criminal justice reform.

God Is Gender Queer – A Conversation with Rev. Amber Churchill – May 25, 2016

Adam Ericksen talks with the Rev. Amber Churchill, ordained pastor in the Disciples of Christ. Amber identifies as gender queer and they talk about gender queer theology, creating safe places for conversations about gender, and avoiding rivalry by receiving our validation from God, as opposed to other people.

Remembering René Girard with Eric Gans, Andrew McKenna, and Sandor Goodhart – December 22, 2015

Adam Ericksen talks with three of René Girard’s first students: Eric Gans, Andrew McKenna, and Sandor Goodhart. Sandor sums up their relationship with René well when he says, “Why did we want to work with him? To soak up everything we could about what he was saying and what he was thinking.”

Advent as Holy Political Protest

Adam Ericksen claims that when Christians use the term Advent, they subvert the violent ways of Caesar by proclaiming that Jesus, and his way of nonviolent love, is the true savior of the world.

Sheima Salam Sumer on True Islam, Peace, and God’s Mercy – December 8, 2015

What is true Islam? In the face of acts of terrorism by ISIS and Donald Trump’s politics of fear channeled against Muslims, this is one of the most important questions of our time. Adam Ericksen discusses it with Sheima Salam Sumer in the latest episode of the RavenCast.

Dr. Jason Okrzynski on the Saints and Friendship with God – December 1, 2015

Dr. Jason Okrzynski and Adam Ericksen discuss how the saints can help us find friendship with God.

Paul Nuechterlein: Thankful for Rene Girard and Creating a Better Future – November 24, 2015

Reverend Paul Neuchterlein gives thanks for the life of René Girard, crediting Girard for changing everything about the way he thinks about life, relationships, faith, and the Bible. Paul explores the mimetic principle of human inter-dividuality and why the concept is so important in our work for justice and peace.

The Politics of Terrorism and the Politics of Jesus – November 17, 2015

Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen discuss how should we respond to terrorist attacks in Paris.

Matthew Distefano – All Set Free – November 10, 2015

Adam Ericksen and Matthew Distefano discuss Matt’s book “All Set Free.” What does Jesus reveal about God? How do we interpret the violence in scripture? What about Atonement? These are just a few of the topics they explore.

Suzanne Ross on Mimetic Theory and Maria Montessori – November 3, 2015

Adam Ericksen interviews Suzanne Ross about how mimetic theory and Maria Montessori’s teaching methods provide practical ways of transforming cultures of violence into cultures of peace.

Mimetic Theory, Cancer and Jesus – October 27, 2015

Adam Ericksen introduces the RavenCast and mimetic theory by telling the story of his mother as a model of faith. Through her experience with cancer, she taught Adam how to live. When death is so close, we begin to discover what really matters in life. Our cultural models often tell us the things that matter are success, wealth, buying bigger house or more expensive car.

The 2016 Presidential election season was controversial, historic, and polarizing. Superficial conversations elbowed out in depth analysis of the big issues we face as a nation. To counter the lack of serious coverage in mainstream media, we chose six crucial topics and invited our favorite thinkers to join us for reasoned, thoughtful conversations that remain relevant long after the polls have closed.

We invite you to watch, listen to, or read the notes from these discussions. The recordings work well as discussion starters with small groups or to spark personal reflection.

At the Raven ReView our motto is, “Change your view. Change the world.” We believe that these conversations demonstrate fully how positive change begins with a change of perception. As Paul Dumouchel pointed out, the path of true freedom and authentic goodness “is not so much a question of what we believe or think. What matters is more how we see things. Seeing the effects of the actions of the United States at home and abroad is seeing, not thinking. See then ask yourself questions.

We invite you to engage with these issues as we allow ourselves to see who and what we have been blind to, and to ask the questions we have avoided for too long.

Lessons from Hitler’s Rise to Power with Robert Ericksen

“…all of the Christians who supported Hitler believed that God wanted them to be patriotic Germans and work for the strengthening of Germany within the world… they believed that the two most important things for a Christian are God and country.”

Am I a Racist? Confronting Our Blind Spots with Melvin Bray

“If you are a part of the (racist) system, and you participate in the privileging of yourself, or the unprivileging of others, whether intentionally or unintentionally, then that makes you a part of the system.”

Democracy, Violence and the Risk of Tyranny with Paul Dumouchel

“The solidarity we have is a solidarity of enmity, not a solidarity of friendship. The implosion of the Republican party under Trump is a very good example of the instant solidarity of enmity. It’s very interesting for someone in another country, but as an American it’s more that interesting in the context of the next president. But whoever the next president is has implications throughout the world. It’s an issue that concerns us all.”

Voting Christian Values: Seeking a Better Way with Brian McLaren

“How do we love people, especially out enemies, while calling out injustice? … Some activism in the past has tended to demonize our opponents and ascribe the worst possible motives to their actions. What would happen if we did the opposite? If we ascribed the best motives to those we disagree with? We give them every benefit of the doubt?”

Islam and Violence: Debunking the Myths with Asma Afsaruddin

“Trump is afraid of Muslims coming in who do not share Americans values. But how well does Donald Trump represent basic American values? His extreme misogyny, regarding women as play things on recent tapes shows he has very little respect for women.”

Truth, Lies, and Political Scapegoating with Hanna Mäkelä

“So, this good thing of listening to the voice of the victim can be abused by ‘playing the victim card.’ But there are real victims. The danger is that we can play the victim card in a way that seeks revenge, not justice. We do this by projecting guilt upon another person or institution.”

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