Why We Hurt One Another

Communities That Don't Hurt

If Rene Girard was right in identifying that we are all mimetic, how can we channel our mimetic tendencies toward good? Is it possible to create communities that aren't ruled by rivalry and violence, but encourage collective flourishing? These are the kinds of questions Leah addresses in the last teaching in the series on Rene Girard, "Why We Hurt One Another".

Listen below and/or see her notes here.

Who Tells Your Story?

Bee County Courthouse Lady Justice

Jesus tells the story of a widow who kept going to an unjust judge, asking him to hear her case. And he kept ignoring her just case, again and again. 

What's a person to do in a time like that? This week, guest speaker Bianca Louie reflects on the widow's story in the context of her own story: 

"During those really rough two years... I didn't feel heard by the people around me. And as an Asian-American woman that feeling of being unheard is really familiar and fatiguing. I really wasn't sure if God heard me either.

And as I continued to face rejection and exclusion, yet continued to do what I sense the Holy Spirit was calling me to do, it all felt in vain a lot of the time. But what kept me going when I didn't feel heard..." 

Listen in below (or read the notes) to hear more of Bianca's thoughts on what kept the persistent widow going in Jesus' story... and what kept her going in the face of the setbacks in her own story:

Let's Talk About Jesus

Photo by Jonathan Weitz. Creative Commons License, 2010.

Photo by Jonathan Weitz. Creative Commons License, 2010.

The stories we tell matter. Stories communicate how we see the world, what we value, what we look to, where our hope is. But sometimes, as people of faith, we have a hard time telling our story, particularly when it comes to the crucifixion of Jesus. What does Jesus' death say about the character God? Why would God require the death of his own son to save communicate His love?

A number of us in the Blue Ocean network have found the work of Rene Girard particularly helpful for the lens it gives us in understanding the story of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. In this teaching, Leah explores how Girard helps Jesus followers better understand and tell the Jesus story.

Listen to the teaching below and/or check out Leah's notes here.

This Is All Your Fault


How does mimetic desire lead to rivalry and then to violence against a single victim? This is a pattern literary critic and anthropologist Rene Girard noticed throughout literature and ancient mythology, but interestingly in the Hebrew Bible, he saw something different beginning to unfold. Listen in this week as Leah describes Girard's theory of violence, how it manifests in ancient myths like the Oedipus story, and what clues God might be giving in the Hebrew Bible to address and undo the power of violence at work.

Listen to the teaching below and/or check out Leah's notes here.

Desire: It's Contagious


What motivates us to hurt each other? Actually... what motivates us at all?

This week, we look at Rene Girard's ideas on the origins of human violence, which he suggests come not juts from wanting what other people have--but also from seeing what they want and then wanting that thing ourselves. So we catch our friends posting about their vacation plans, desired purchase, or that new iPhone that they want, and pretty soon we're thinking... I want that too! 

So what do we do with all this wanting? And how do we channel it in positive directions, so that it doesn't lead to resentment or envy of others? For some ideas, listen to Leah's message below, or read her notes here