Michael Hardin on the Nonviolent Atonement, Mimetic Theory, and Science

Michael Hardin on the Nonviolent Atonement, Mimetic Theory, and Science July 24, 2014

Michael Hardin of Preaching Peace is one of the greatest teachers of mimetic theory and the nonviolent atonement. We were fortunate to have Michael with us on the Teaching Nonviolent Atonement Live Chat last October and are pleased to present Michael’s teaching to you now.

In the video, Michael discusses mimetic theory, nonviolent atonement, the sacrificial principle, and scientific research into human imitation.

Michael states that “Once you read Girard there’s no turning back.” He guides us through how René Girard’s mimetic theory causes us to rethink everything about God and humanity, including: sacrifice, sin, human desire, the death of Jesus, reconciliation, scripture, ethics, God’s “wrath”, and community.

Michael defines the nonviolent atonement as,

a way of perceiving the death of Jesus outside the framework of a sacrificial hermeneutic which places Jesus’ death back into a paradigm of archaic sacred violence. The Christianity that follows from this is one oriented to peace and justice – not a tit for tat justice, but a justice for the real world of fractured, fragile humans and their tenuous relationships: a justice whose care and concern for the victimized and marginalized in any society is a testimony to the Crucified.  

Throughout the discussion, Michael unpacks that statement and guides us through the practical implications of the nonviolent atonement for our lives. We hope you enjoy this engaging video!


Michael has a wealth of resources that I highly recommend. I’ll list them here in no particular order:

Michael’s Facebook Page: Michael posts frequently about all kinds of topics, including: theology, science, biblical hermeneutics, peace, violence, and politics. For an educational adventure, it doesn’t get any better than Michael’s Facebook updates.

The Preaching Peace Website: Here you will find countless articles, videos, lectionary commentaries, podcasts, worship resources, books and ebooks that are vital resources to discipleship.

Michael’s YouTube Channel: Provides hours of teaching on a nonviolent biblical hermeneutic and the nonviolent atonement. This is another invaluable resource for the future of Christianity. It including videos from Brian McLaren (Why I Support Preaching Peace) and Suzanne Ross (The Intersection of Mimetic Theory and the Montessori Method).

The Preaching Peace Store: Here you will find many books, DVDs and CDs for purchase and download. I can tell you that Michael’s free resources are excellent, but these resources are even better! They could easily be used for adult Christian education classes. To start, I would recommend his book The Jesus Driven Life and the DVDs How Jesus Read His Bible and The Nonviolent Atonement.

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