Tony Jones on Public Square Theology, Passionate Metaphors and Christianity 21: A Video Q&A

21 Big Ideas from 21 Leaders in 21 Minutes Each. That’s the enticing tagline for the upcoming Christianity 21 Conference taking place January 9-11, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. Produced by emergent Christian leaders and event gurus Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, and Sarah Cunningham, the conference brings together 21 exciting and diverse voices of faith to share [Read More…]

Video Interview with Author David Dawson: Violence, Atonement, and the Scapegoat: The History of an Idea

René Girard has said that his entire mimetic theory “has existed silently in common language”, hidden in plain sight we might say, in the modern usage of the word scapegoat. First coined by William Tyndale to refer to the goat who escapes being sacrificed in the atonement liturgy recounted in Leviticus 16, the (es)caped goat has figured prominently [Read More…]

When Life Sucks: A Raw Look at Real Faith in Hard Times

Far too many churches are places where people are expected to show up with the rough edges planed off or hidden, minds clear, and hearts aligned. We need to find new ways to welcome people who are struggling. [Read more…]

Circling the World in Prayer: An Interview with Shalem’s Tilden Edwards and Leah Rampy

For the past four decades, the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, D.C. has been a leading light in the Christian contemplative movement in this country and around the world, serving clergy, spiritual directors, lay people, and individuals seeking to open themselves more fully to God’s presence and call in their work and lives. Now, [Read More…]

Converting Jesus: Anger and the Pharisees

One of the big hurdles when it comes to teaching nonviolent Atonement is the anger, or wrath, of God. Those of us who promote mimetic theory and the nonviolent view of Atonement claim that there is no wrath within God. Which means that when it comes to the Atonement on the cross, it’s not God’s wrath that [Read More…]

Remembering Francis: From 12th Century Rebel to 21st Century Pope

Today (October 4), Christians around the world remember one of the great heroes of our faith, and the Pope’s namesake – Francis of Assisi. But Francesco Bernadone (Francis of Assisi), who died on October 3, 1226 must be laughing at the irony of it all. He was one of the first critics of capitalism, one [Read More…]

Book Review: The Jesus Driven Life: Reconnecting Humanity with Jesus by Michael Hardin

[Join our live chat with Michael Hardin of Preaching Peace on Patheos’s premium content channel Teaching Nonviolent Atonement this Thursday at 11:00 central. We will discuss mimetic theory and the upcoming second edition of Michael’s book The Jesus Drive Life: Reconnecting Humanity with Jesus, with a special emphasis on two new chapters, one on the [Read More…]


Fear keeps no track of the statistical likelihoodThat the boogeyman’ll getcha.It doesn’t listen to arguments against itself.It mortifies with mights,It incarcerates with coulds,It what-ifs you till you’re stiffTill you’re droned by don’tsRemote-controlled with can’tsSecurity-fenced with fright.Fear’s a fever of the imagination,Extra heartbeats of anticipationLeading to anti-participation.Fear makes you crazier than safer,Not worth the protection you [Read More…]

SFTS Student Starts Street Ministry in San Francisco

[Editor’s Note: Before coming to Patheos, I spent a decade of my life and career at the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) in Northern California. I’m deeply grateful for the ways it changed my life and deepened my faith. This press release from the PC(USA) Presbyterian News Service about an SFTS student who is ministering to the homeless touched [Read More…]

Give (The Department of) Peace a Chance

The time is upon us to recognize that peace is not merely a destination, but a journey, and not merely a noun, but a verb, for we can be people of peace even in the midst of a violent world. [Read more…]

There Will Soon Be No More Priests: A Review of Occupy Spirituality

Matthew Fox’s new book “Occupy Spirituality” is at least as much about “occupying” religion in order to break it open as it is about “occupying” Wall Street in order to reveal alternatives to its assumptions. [Read more…]

Mimetic Theory and American Exceptionalism

By Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen The Raven Foundation So out of the entire op-ed piece published by President Putin in the New York Times on September 12, his challenge to American exceptionalism is what has everyone up in arms. At the very end of the piece, he takes exception to Obama’s assertion of our [Read More…]