Description : The connections between religion and violence are complex and multifaceted. From the conflicts in Middle East and the Balkans to those in Southeast Asia and beyond, religion frames and legitimates political violence. Moreover, in international relations since 9/11, religious language and metaphors have acquired a new significance. In this context the emerging consensus appears to be not only that violence is intrinsic to religion, but also that religions incite, legitimate, and intensify political violence. However, such an unambiguous indictment of religions is incomplete in that it fails both to appreciate significant counter examples and to recognize the diversity that exists within religions on the issue of violence, particularly the religious roots of pacifism and the ethics of non-violence. This collection explores aspects of this ambivalence between religion and violence. It focuses on traditions of legitimation and pacifism within the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and concludes with an examination of this ambivalence as it unfolds in each tradition's engagement with the politics of gender.
Description : This book offers a collection of texts by Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker (1912-2007), a major German universal scientist who was a pioneer in physics, philosophy, religion, politics and peace research. He started as an assistant to the physicist, Werner Heisenberg, held professorships in theoretical physics (Strasbourg), physics (Goettingen) and philosophy (Hamburg) and was a co-director (with Juergen Habermas) of a Max Planck Institute for Research into living conditions in a world of science and technology in Starnberg. This unique anthology spans the wide scope of his innovative thinking including his philosophical self-reflections, on peace, nuclear strategy, security and defensive defense, on nuclear energy, on the conditions of freedom, on his experience of religion, including poetry from his early youth. Most texts appear in English for the first time and are selected for use in seminars on physics, philosophy, religion, politics and peace research.
Description : Terrorists and peacemakers may grow up in the same community and adhere to the same religious tradition. The killing carried out by one and the reconciliation fostered by the other indicate the range of dramatic and contradictory responses to human suffering by religious actors. This book explains what religious terrorists and religious peacemakers share in common, what causes them to take different paths in fighting injustice, and how a deeper understanding of religious extremism can and must be integrated more effectively into our thinking about tribal, regional, and international conflict.
Description : Until surprisingly recently the history of the Irish Catholic Church during the Northern Irish Troubles was written by Irish priests and bishops and was commemorative, rather than analytical. This study uses the Troubles as a case study to evaluate the role of the Catholic Church in mediating conflict. During the Troubles, these priests and bishops often worked behind the scenes, acting as go-betweens for the British government and republican paramilitaries, to bring about a peaceful solution. However, this study also looks more broadly at the actions of the American, Irish and English Catholic Churches, as well as that of the Vatican, to uncover the full impact of the Church on the conflict. This critical analysis of previously neglected state, Irish, and English Catholic Church archival material changes our perspective on the role of a religious institution in a modern conflict.
Description : "A detailed and original work on a specific conflict....A useful platform for wider insights into the requirements of conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes more generally." -- Dr. Iain Atack, International Peace Studies, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity Coll., Dublin *** "A very valuable contribution to the history and the sociology of Sri Lanka and also to the search for a just solution for the Tamils." -- Francois Houtart, Professor Emeritus, Catholic U. of Louvain *** "The author's mastery of Sinhala, Tamil and English has given him a special cultural competence to analyse the Sri Lankan conflict within a geopolitical setting." -- Peter Schalk, Professor Emeritus, Uppsala U. *** "A challenging contribution to an ongoing critical examination of the connection between state and religion." -- Prof. Dr. Lieve Troch, Cultural and Religious Sciences, UMESP, Sao Paulo (Series: Theology, Ethics and Interreligious Relations. Studies in Ecumenics - Vol. 2)
Description : Religion posits one characteristic as an absolute: faith. Compared to faith, all other social distinctions and sources of conflict are insignificant. The New Testament says: We are all equal in the sight of God′. To be sure, this equality applies only to those who acknowledge God′s existence. What this means is that alongside the abolition of class and nation within the community of believers, religion introduces a new fundamental distinction into the world the distinction between the right kind of believers and the wrong kind. Thus overtly or tacitly, religion brings with it the demonization of believers in other faiths. The central question that will decide the continued existence of humanity is this: How can we conceive of a type of inter–religious tolerance in which loving one′s neighbor does not imply war to the death, a type of tolerance whose goal is not truth but peace? Is what we are experiencing at present a regression of monotheistic religion to a polytheism of the religious spirit under the heading of a God of one′s own′? In Western societies, where the autonomy of the individual has been internalized, individual human beings tend to feel increasingly at liberty to tell themselves little faith stories that fit their own lives to appoint Gods of their own′. However, this God of their own is no longer the one and only God who presides over salvation by seizing control of history and empowering his followers to be intolerant and use naked force.
Description : Although religion is almost never a root cause, it often gets pulled into conflict as a powerful element, especially where conflicting parties have different religious identities. Every faith tradition offers resources for peace, and secular policy makers are more and more acknowledging the influence of faith-based actors, even though there remains a tendency to associate religion more with conflict than peace. In this text, practitioners from different faiths relate and explore the many challenges they face in their peacebuilding work, which their secular partners may be unaware of. The contributors are all practitioners whose faith or religious experience motivates their work for peace and justice in such a way that it influences their actions. Their roles are diverse, as some work for faith-based institutions, while others engage in secular contexts. The multiple perspectives featured represent multiple faiths (Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish), diverse scopes of practice, different geographic regions. Each chapter follows a similar template to address specific challenges, such as dealing with extremist views, addressing negative stereotypes about one’s faith, endorsing violence, developing relations with other faith-based or secular groups, confronting gender-based violence, and working with people who hold different beliefs. In this text, practitioners from different faiths relate and explore the many challenges they face in their peacebuilding work, which their secular partners may be unaware of. They provide a comprehensive view of the practice of peacebuilding in its many challenging aspects, for both professionals and those studying religion and peacebuilding alike.
Description : This anthology explores the dynamics of shared religious sites in Turkey, the Balkans, Palestine/Israel, Cyprus, and Algeria, indicating where local and national stakeholders maneuver between competition and cooperation, coexistence and conflict. Contributors probe the notion of coexistence and the logic that underlies centuries of "sharing," exploring when and why sharing gets interrupted—or not—by conflict, and the policy consequences. These essays map the choreographies of shared sacred spaces within the framework of state-society relations, juxtaposing a site's political and religious features and exploring whether sharing or contestation is primarily religious or politically motivated. Although religion and politics are intertwined phenomena, the contributors to this volume understand the category of "religion" and the "political" as devices meant to distinguish between the theological and confessional aspects of religion and the political goals of groups. Their comparative approach better represents the transition in some cases of sites into places of hatred and violence, while in other instances they remain noncontroversial. The essays clearly delineate the religious and political factors that contribute to the context and causality of conflict at these sites and draw on history and anthropology to shed light on the often rapid switch from relative tolerance to distress to peace and calm.
Description : This book tackles the assumptions behind common understandings of religious nationalism, exploring the complex connections between religion, nationalism, conflict, and conflict transformation. * Speeches of political and religious leaders * Chronologies of conflicts in such places as Israel-Palestine, Sri Lanka, and the former Yugoslavia