Mimetic Mondays: Reflections on Syria

By Adam Ericksen and Suzanne Ross As the world wrestles with how to respond to the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, we thought we’d offer you some mimetic reflections on the use of violence. Mimetic theory is an anthropological theory of human violence that has theological implications. The reflections in this article are [Read More…]

Sinner and Saint: An Interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber

Pastrix, the much-anticipated spiritual memoir of one of progressive Christianity’s most talked-about and unconventional pastors, Nadia Bolz-Weber, hits the market this week from Jericho Books. The cover, featuring a gorgeous, backlit photo of a pensive Bolz-Weber baring her stunning shoulder-to-wrist spiritual tattoos, is worth the price of the book alone. But once you open the [Read More…]

Syria: Groupthink or Grouppray?

With morbid fascination, I’m watching the leaders of the United States groupthink their way into a counterproductive use of American military force.  It’s disturbing to observe otherwise intelligent and well-motivated public servants drift into a bad decision. If I’ve learned anything in my 60 years as a citizen of this country, it’s this:  I don’t [Read More…]

The Nonviolent Atonement: Brian McLaren and James Alison on Violence, God, and Mimetic Theory

[Editor’s Note: This post, by Adam Ericksen from The Raven Foundation, is the second in our new weekly series on Mimetic Theory.] I’ve been excited to tell you this ever since July…There has been much anticipated within mimetic theory circles for the conversation between Brian McLaren and James Alison and I can now tell you that it has been [Read More…]

Brian McLaren on Passing on the Faith

All month here at Patheos, we’ve been exploring the topic of Passing on the Faith to our children. How do we pass on this faith we cherish so much to our beloved children? A fantastic group of voices and perspectives from across the religious spectrum have weighed in on this important question, from Progressive Christians (Phyllis [Read More…]

Dying for a Drink

(an excerpt from SOULJOURN, my new novel)   We worked all day.  Dad and Rachel were on one team, Father Crespi and I were on another, refilling tanks, cleaning up trash around them, and placing new ones.  Five new blue flags, marking the new tanks, waved defiantly against the demon of thirst, and fluttered in [Read More…]

To Sing and Dance: Confessions of a Religious, but Not Spiritual

When I think about spiritual disciplines as something I need to do in order to be a “good” Christian, every fiber of my being rebels. But when I think about them as roadmaps, paths that a great cloud of witnesses have traversed for thousands of years before me, then there is a stirring in my soul. [Read more…]

Introducing Mimetic Mondays: Exploring God and Violence

Mimetic Theory. It’s a phrase that’s been popping up in conversations and blogposts about violence, and particularly the violence in the Bible, from the likes of Brian McLaren, Kevin Miller, Christian Piatt and other progressive Christian thinkers as of late. Being new to the concept myself, I decided we needed some experts to come and unpack [Read More…]

Itchy Intentions for a Messy World: A Tale of Two Festivals

A dozen bug bites and one gold intention bracelet. My arm, currently adorned with both, has become a living totem pole of sorts this week, a reminder of two different spiritual communities I entered into, and was gifted by, within a week of each other. From the hot, humid and muddy campground of the Wild [Read More…]

Matheomatics

St. John of the Cross, the Spanish mystical priest of the 16th century, drew a map of the soul’s journey, and entitled it The Ascent of Mt. Carmel.  The path up the mountain was marked with the words “nada nada nada nada”.  His was the “via negativa”, the way of negation that led to direct [Read More…]

Opening the Heart: an excerpt from my new Patheos Press novel, SOULJOURN

An excerpt from SOULJOURN, my new novel (Chapter 6): I went home, said goodnight to Dad, and went to bed. The moonlight bathed my bedroom. The silence seemed to beg to be filled. I opened the bedroom window and leaned out and looked up at Cobre Mountain, faintly glowing in the white light. I felt [Read More…]

Wild Goose Day Four: Ecosystems

My branch of mostly-white Protestant Christianity is obsessed with its own death. It frets about its demise constantly, asks itself how to prevent its decline, worries about its legacy, and, like a dying plant, apportions its resources in bare maintenance patterns, often in levels too low to really support life. But I think we sometimes miss the forest for the trees. [Read more…]


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