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Making Peace with Faith: The Challenges of Religion and Peacebuilding

Sunday 04/November/2018 - 09:14 AM
Book cover
Book cover
Edited by: Yara Sameh
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.

Series: Peace and Security in the 21st Century
Authors Michelle Garred، and Mohammed Abu-Nimer
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (January 15، 2018)
Language: English
Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches

About the Author
Michelle Garred is an independent peace researcher and consultant، and a former senior staffer at CDA Collaborative Learning Projects and World Vision International.

Mohammed Abu-Nimer is director of the Peacebuilding and Development Institute at American University. In addition to his many articles and publications، Dr. Abu-Nimer is the co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.

Editorial Reviews
With the growing recognition of the role of religious leaders in building peace، this book is a much needed testimony of the enormous challenges facing religious peacemakers around the world. The personal and professional stories bring hope and inspiration in how to sustain interreligious peace initiatives in places where politicians failed. Policy makers can benefit from the lessons learned on how to best engage with faith based communities and leaders. (Adama Dieng، UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide)

This collection is a treasure house of knowledge and practical experience on the battle-fronts of inter-sectarian peacemaking. The authors provide detailed accounts of their faith-inspired efforts to ease and transform conflicts. Women are leaders. Christians، Jews، Muslims، Buddhists، and Hindus provide precious insights into the dynamics of inter-and intra-religious conflict resolution. A gift to the field. (Joseph V. Montville، School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution، George Mason University)

Making Peace with Faith dives deep into the complex roles religious actors play in working for peace. Would that it were true that ALL are taking religious roles more seriously: religion is still often ignored or demonized. This book explores the topic honestly، highlighting both the potential and the religious contradictions that faith-inspired peacebuilders experience. This work، it demonstrates، is not for the faint of heart but our hopes for peace have far better prospects if faith is part of the solution. (Katherine Marshall، Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion، Peace، and World Affairs)

Making Peace with Faith is an incredible resource for practitioners and researchers to better understand major challenges faced by inter-faith peacemakers. Not only do the authors vividly reflect upon their own foundational challenges in faith-based peace-making، but they provide insights into complex contexts to overcome these issues. We learn how faith in practice versus faith understood often does not complement critical approaches to faith-based peace-building. This book is a must read for all of those who want to gain insight and wisdom from the world of faith-based peace-building and conflict resolution. (Qamar-ul Huda، Former Senior Advisor، U.S. Dept of State Office of Religion & Global Affairs)

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