About Adam Ericksen

Adam Ericksen is the Education Director for The Raven Foundation. He writes blogs and films vlogs on the Raven Foundation website that explore the intersections of mimetic theory, the news, religion, and popular culture. He is also a youth pastor where he engages young people with Christian tradition, mimetic theory, and youth culture.

What about the Canaanites?: On the Bible, Violence, and Genocide

Nicolas Poussin, The Victory of Joshua Over the Amalekites (Public Domain: Wikimedia Commons)

Suzanne and I recently delivered a workshop on the Bible and violence at the Faith Forward conference in Chicago. We highlighted the differences between the Roman myth of Romulus and Remus and the biblical story of Cain and Abel.You can read the description of our workshop here, but to summarize, in the Roman myth, Romulus kills his brother Remus, founds the city of Rome, and the god Mars vindicates Romulus by welcoming him to heaven and divinizing him as the god Quirinus. The biblical … [Read more...]

Tell Me About Eternity

photo credit: Eternity by Kenneth Freeman, via Flickr - license here

We sat there staring at her mother’s 92 year old lifeless body. After talking with the daughter for a few minutes, I took out my anointing oil and gently made the sign of the cross on the elderly woman’s forehead. Then I blessed her into the mystery of life after death with these words, “May God bless you and keep you. May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May God look upon you with kindness and bring you peace, this day and forevermore.”I then gave the oil to the daughter a … [Read more...]

How White People Corrupt Martin Luther King’s Message


 CNN’s Wolf Blitzer made a huge mistake in reporting on the events in Baltimore. And it is a mistake that many white people make when discussing violent protests, but especially black violent protests.I’m guilty of making the same mistake. That mistake is corrupting Martin Luther King’s message of nonviolence.Blitzer interviewed Deray McKesson, an educator and community activist. McKesson began the interview talking about his hopes for a peaceful protest, but apparently Blitz … [Read more...]

Bruce Jenner and God’s Response to Transgendered People


Caryn Riswold wrote a moving article about Bruce Jenner’s interview last night with Dianne Sawyer. In the interview, Bruce states, “For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman. People look at me differently. They see you as this macho male, but my heart and my soul and everything I do in life – it is part of me. That female side of me. That’s who I am.”Caryn's article is titled “How Should People of Faith Respond to Bruce Jenner?” It is a compassionate response to Jenner and all people who iden … [Read more...]

Why Biblical Violence is Good for Your Kids

Flilckr: Cain and Abel by AK Rockefeller

What’s all that violence doing in the Bible? Does it make you uncomfortable? How are we supposed to teach these stories to children?I mean, the first family was marked by violence. Cain killed his brother Abel. How’s that for a dysfunctional family system?Just two chapters later, God floods the earth, killing everyone and everything on the planet except for one family and two of every animal…And somehow we’ve made that a cute children’s story?A boy named David kills a mean, nasty gian … [Read more...]

Monica Lewinsky and Jesus Christ: How to Overcome the Place of Shame

monica 4

Monica Lewinsky and Jesus Christ had the same experience. Their shared experience could have defined their lives. It could have made them bitter. They could have sought revenge. But they didn’t. Instead, they invited us to change. They invited us to live into a better world.Monica Lewinski and the Place of ShameMonica and Jesus both occupied the place of shame. In 1998, Monica became a lightning rod for shame in American culture.  In her recent TED talk, The Price of Shame, she talks ab … [Read more...]

Top 10 Ways Mimetic Theory Can Help Create Interfaith Empathy – A Panel Discussion

adam empathy 2

was delighted to be invited to an international discussion about creating more empathy between people of different religions. The panel consisted of a Christian (that was me!), an atheist, and three Muslims.(You can watch the video by scrolling down.)The producer of the panel was Edwin Rusch, who is the founding director for the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. Edwin’s goal is to create “a worldwide culture of empathy and compassion.” Through articles and videos, the website expl … [Read more...]