Dieting to Extremes: Anorexia, Mimetic Desire and the Death of Isabelle Caro

Are you on a diet now? Are you starting one tomorrow? Dieting is a preoccupation for most of us, the result of living in a land in which we are bombarded with two competing messages: advertisements of often irresistible foodstuffs and media idols celebrated for their svelte figures. Some of us manage to lose some [Read More…]

7 Questions Before C21: Phyllis Tickle

In just two months, 21 provocative religion thought-leaders will gather in Denver, CO to share their “big ideas” on the future of Christianity as part of the unique conference Christianity 21 (C21). The speakers are diverse: pastors (Nadia Bolz-Weber, Kent Dobson); authors (Tony Jones, Enuma Okoro, Bruce Reyes-Chow); CEOs (David Lee, Noel Castellanos); POTUS spiritual advisors [Read More…]

7 Questions Before C21: Sarah Cunningham

A few weeks ago, I posted about the upcoming Christianity 21 conference here in Denver, January 9-11. With so many great speakers lined up – including Spiritual Advisor to the POTUS, Joshua DuBois – C21 is shaping up to be a conference you don’t want to miss. (And today’s the last day to catch the Early [Read More…]

Hellbound? on Halloween: A Live Chat with Director Kevin Miller about Mimetic Theory and Hell

Who would you like to see bound to Hell to suffer eternal conscious torment? Okay, it’s a petty question, but we’ve all thought about our enemies suffering eternally in hell. There’s a particular, albeit vulgar, satisfaction in imagining certain people who have wronged us suffering the horrors of hell. Something in us yearns for justice [Read More…]

Clean Up After Your God

Religions, like puppy owners, often don’t do a good job of scooping up the messes they leave behind. But that’s not a compelling enough reason to give up on either your God or your dog. This is my conclusion after participating in some fascinating conversations in the past week. Last Friday, our Office of Religious [Read More…]

Loosely Christian: An Interview with Bruce Epperly

I believe that many Christians put Jesus in a straitjacket. I see Jesus as a lively, contemporary figure, uncontained by our theologies and churches and constantly doing new and creative things in our lives. As companions on the Way of Jesus, we can do great things and claim our vocation as God’s partners in healing [Read More…]

Ten Ways to Meet God

1. Watch your thoughts and feelings and urges. Close your eyes, stay quiet for 20 minutes, and observe what is going on in your mind and your body. What claims your attention? What emotions and bodily sensations do you feel? What ideas and plans and memories bubble up? Simply be present for your experiences, like [Read More…]

Bringing America Back to Life

Yesterday, I read about the 2-year old child who shot herself by accident in North Carolina over the weekend. Then I read about the horror of another school shooting in Nevada. Only hours later —  shots rang out again on our block in North Philadelphia, for the second time this week.  This time a bullet [Read More…]

Politics and Mimetic Theory: Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, and the Search for a Common Enemy

This morning on the Today Show, co-host Savannah Guthrie interviewed Dick Cheney about his heart condition, the Tea Party, and the Republican Party role in the government shut down. Cheney’s remarks on the government shutdown caught my attention, especially from the viewpoint of mimetic theory. Guthrie began the interview by stating that, “A lot of [Read More…]

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…]