Reservation Process
Our online registration system requires payment in full at the time of registration. (To pay a portion now and the balance at the time of the event, please register by phone at 319-395-6700.) After submitting your registration request, you will receive a confirmation email. (If you do not receive this email within 24 hours, please call us.)
A 3% processing fee is added to all online registrations.
Refund Policy
Some of our events require a nonrefundable registration fee; the balance will be refunded to you if you cancel prior to the event start time. (See event notes for specific registration fees.)
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Whether you give us your contact information online or over the phone, it will never be sold or given to a third party. It will only be used to keep you updated about happenings around Prairiewoods.
September 2017 : Event Details
Fri, Sep 8 - 6:30pm
Sun, Sep 10 - 1:00pm
James Alison
Re-Raising Cain Retreat: Mimetic Desire & Wholeness
Learn to redirect your desires to build people up, rather than focusing on the negative
James Alison

What do you desire and how is your desire transformative? Culturally, you may find your desire to be distorted into rivalry and violence, a touch of Cain within all people. You may fall into a “scapegoat mentality,” where someone else is always responsible for blocking the manifestation of your desire. Societally, many people become fixated on someone who can be held responsible for the collapse of unity and order within a group, who then must be expelled in order for a new social unity to develop over and against the expelled person—creating even greater divide. In this weekend retreat at Prairiewoods (120 East Boyson Road in Hiawatha), we will attempt to come up with a more integrated approach. Human desire is mimetic; it has to do with imitation. You learn to desire according to the desire of another—for good or for ill. How can you learn to have your desire redirected toward building others up? What sort of new ways of being human together can you imagine as you discover yourself as a daughter or son of God?

Facilitator James Alison is a Catholic theologian, priest and author. He has studied, lived and worked in Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Spain and the United States, as well as his native England, and is a systematic theologian by training. His research and writing have brought the work of the great French thinker René Girard, particularly his focus on mimetic desire and its function in society, to a wider public. James works as an itinerant preacher, lecturer and retreat giver. He is the author of many books, including Raising Abel, Faith Beyond Resentment, On Being Liked and Undergoing God.

The cost of this weekend retreat is $230 and includes sessions, lodging and all meals. The commuter fee is $180 and includes sessions, Saturday lunch and dinner, and Sunday lunch. A non-refundable deposit of $25 is required at registration. (Full payment is required to register online. If you prefer to pay the $25 registration fee now and the balance when you arrive, please call 319-395-6700.) If you want to stay in a Hermitage, you also will need to register by phone. If you have dietary restrictions that affect your health, please call or send an email to

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Regular Registration Fees
$180.00 Commuter (None Available)
$230.00 Single w/ Shared Bath (None Available)
Program Code: 17PGR11545
Good place for a control!