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 : South Asia is a distinct geographical entity comprised of seven countries - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives (situated in the Indian Ocean). This book looks at these countries in a historical context, from inter-regional and international perspectives.
Description : Civil war and conflict within countries is the most prevalent threat to peace and security in the opening decades of the twenty-first century. A pivotal factor in the escalation of tensions to open conflict is the role of elites in exacerbating tensions along identity lines by giving the ideological justification, moral reasoning, and call to violence. Between Terror and Tolerance examines the varied roles of religious leaders in societies deeply divided by ethnic, racial, or religious conflict. The chapters in this book explore cases when religious leaders have justified or catalyzed violence along identity lines, and other instances when religious elites have played a critical role in easing tensions or even laying the foundation for peace and reconciliation. This volume features thematic chapters on the linkages between religion, nationalism, and intolerance, transnational intra-faith conflict in the Shi’a-Sunni divide, and country case studies of societal divisions or conflicts in Egypt, Israel and Palestine, Kashmir, Lebanon, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Tajikistan. The concluding chapter explores the findings and their implications for policies and programs of international non-governmental organizations that seek to encourage and enhance the capacity of religious leaders to play a constructive role in conflict resolution.
Description : Interdisciplinary in its approach, this book explores the dilemmas that Buddhism faces in relation to the continuing ethnic conflict and violence in modern Sri Lanka. Prominent scholars in the fields of anthropology, history, Buddhist studies and Pali examine multiple dimensions of the problem. Buddhist responses to the crisis are discussed in detail, along with how Buddhism can help to create peace in Sri Lanka. Evaluating the role of Buddhists and their institutions in bringing about an end to war and violence as well as possibly heightening the problem, this collection puts forward a critical analysis of the religious conditions contributing to continuing hostilities.
Description : Space is dynamic, political and a cause of conflict. It bears the weight of human dreams and fears. Conflict is caused not only by spatial exclusivism but also by an inclusivism that seeks harmony through subordinating the particularity of the Other to the world view of the majority. This book uses the lens of space to examine inter-religious and inter-communal conflict in colonial and post-colonial Sri Lanka, demonstrating that the colonial can shed light on the post-colonial, particularly on post-war developments, post-May 2009, when Buddhist symbolism was controversially developed in the former, largely non-Buddhist, war zones. Using the concepts of exclusivism and inclusivist subordination, the book analyses the different imaginaries or world views that were present in colonial and post-1948 Sri Lanka, with particular reference to the ethnic or religious Other, and how these were expressed in space, influenced one another and engendered conflict. The book’s use of insights from human geography, peace studies and secular iterations of the theology of religions breaks new ground, as does its narrative technique, which prioritizes voices from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the author’s fieldwork and personal observation in the twenty first. Through utilizing past and contemporary reflections on lived experience, informed by diverse religious world views, the book offers new insights into Sri Lanka’s past and present. It will be of interest to an interdisciplinary audience in the fields of colonial and postcolonial studies; war and peace studies; security studies; religious studies; the study of religion; Buddhist Studies, mission studies, South Asian and Sri Lankan studies.
Description : This Handbook explores the world of Asian Christianity and its manifold expressions, including worship, theology, spirituality, inter-religious relations, interventions in society, and mission. The volume's contributors' deconstruct many of the widespread misconceptions and interpretations of Christianity in Asia. The essays analyze how the spread of Christianity in Asia is linked with the socio-political and cultural processes of colonization, decolonization, modernization, democratization, identity construction of social groups, and various social movements. With a particular focus on inter-religious encounters and the theological and spiritual paradigms emerging in the continent, the volume provides alternative frames for understanding the phenomenon of conversion and shows how the scriptures of other religious traditions are used in the practice of Christianity in Asia. The Oxford Handbook of Christianity in Asia draws insightful conclusions on the historical, contemporary, and future trajectory of its subject by combining the contributions of scholars in a wide variety of disciplines, including theology, sociology, history, political science, and cultural studies.
Description : This volume provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary account of the scholarship on religion, conflict, and peacebuilding. Looking far beyond the traditional parameters of the field, the contributors engage deeply with the legacies of colonialism, missionary activism, secularism, orientalism, and liberalism as they relate to the discussion of religion, violence, and nonviolent transformation and resistance. Featuring numerous case studies from various contexts and traditions, the volume is organized thematically into five different parts. It begins with an up-to-date mapping of scholarship on religion and violence, and religion and peace. The second part explores the challenges related to developing secularist theories on peace and nationalism, broadening the discussion of violence to include an analysis of cultural and structural forms. In the third section, the chapters explore controversial topics such as religion and development, religious militancy, and the freedom of religion as a keystone of peacebuilding. The fourth part locates notions of peacebuilding in spiritual practice by focusing on constructive resources within various traditions, the transformative role of rituals, youth and interfaith activism in American university campuses, religion and solidarity activism, scriptural reasoning as a peacebuilding practice, and an extended reflection on the history and legacy of missionary peacebuilding. The volume concludes by looking to the future of peacebuilding scholarship and the possibilities for new growth and progress. Bringing together a diverse array of scholars, this innovative handbook grapples with the tension between theory and practice, cultural theory, and the legacy of the liberal peace paradigm, offering provocative, elastic, and context-specific insights for strategic peacebuilding processes.
Description : Sri Lanka, one of the most promising states in Asia following independence in 1948, has been torn apart for the past fifteen years by a vicious civil war. The majority Sinhala and minority Tamils have killed each other with increasing ferocity. The Tamils, who are primarily Hindu, fear losing their identity and being overwhelmed by the majority, who are Buddhist. The Sinhala, in turn, fear that the Tamils, with the backing of their ethnic kin in the Indian province of Tamil Nadu, will destabilize and take over control of the Sri Lankan government. Colonial-era rivalries and deep-rooted distrust fuel the tensions. What will bring about an end to this destructive conflict, and how will the island nation heal its physical and psychic wounds following a peace? How will a sustainable peace be arranged? Can mediation help? This book of essays by Sri Lankan and Western authors examines the causes of war and the possibilities for peace. Contributors are Chandra R. de Silva, Old Dominion University; Rohan Edrisinha, University of Colombo; Saman Kelegama, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka; David Little, United States Institute of Peace; Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, Columbia University; Teresita C. Schaffer, former U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka; David Scott, Johns Hopkins University; Donald R. Snodgrass, Harvard Institute for International Development; Jayadeva Uyangoda, Sri Lanka Foundation; William Weisberg and Donna Hicks, Harvard University. A World Peace Foundation Book
Description : This book brings together a variety of perspectives on how religion can be related to violence and war - both in a destructive and constructive way. Religion can justify and mobilize violence - even terrorism or guerilla wars - just like political ideology. But how is such a link between religion and violent behavior established in the first place? How can we go further in understanding this possible connection between religion and war?Is religious peace work just the flip side of religious support of war? Or can peace work be informed by knowing about how religion promotes violence and war? In the search for answers to the puzzle of religion and war, it is easy to focus on conflict and war situations, but maybe there is as much to learn from peace work as from war studies? Therefore, this book also analyses religious peace work from different contexts.The multifaceted presence of religion in conflict situations - whether justifying violence or promoting peace - is illustrated in this book using a variety of situations, in an enlightening panorama of one of today's must puzzling social connections: religion and armed conflict.