I had the chance to defend my graduate thesis last night and it was actually a lot of fun. The committee pressed me on a few points and I'm not sure I won them over completely (in fact I know I didn't) but they felt my interpretation was well argued and supported and they gave me the thumbs up. My advisor Dr. Beth Stovell was a huge help in getting me through to this point. Huge thanks to her.
Overall it was a fun project to work on in my spare time and even though I had to put it to the side for a couple years after Commons Church took off, I'm glad to have come back and finished it.
The thesis is linked below if you're interested, but be forewarned it's a long read.
René Girard's theories on the mimetic relationship between violence and religion and the genesis and maintenance of culture have had a profound impact on many disciplines. The Colloquium on Violence and Religion gathers scholars across a wide range of fields including theology and biblical studies to study Girard’s work. In the past, scholars have used Girard's ideas to interpret and reinterpret Old and New Testaments texts; however, the body of work using Girard as a critical lens to read Revelation is minimal. This thesis attempts to use biblical scholarship alongside Girard's theories to build a constructive reading of Revelation. A brief sketch of Girard's work is followed by an analysis of the structure and genre of Revelation. The body of the thesis interprets violent passages, selected to represent the structure of the Revelation, through Girard's work to develop a non-violent reading of the text.