Academic peace study programs frequently ignore religion as a partner in pursuit of conflict resolution. These 24 essays advocate religion as a vital, if partial, participant in any serious pursuit of lasting peace. Religion's absence in peace studies--and peacemaking--is a crippling lack. Contributors to this volume present casebook studies of religious groups involved in recent conflict resolution--successes and failures alike. Brief but nuanced accounts of several religious traditions, with their ambivalent histories of war and peace efforts, are excellent summaries of those traditions, and also show how they have fallen short of their ideals. Some religious groups, only rarely at the table, present the unique witness they have maintained, often in the face of persecution or marginalization because of their relative size or beliefs and practices at odds with dominant religions. The essay on military chaplains stands out, as it discusses going beyond the unarmed morale officer for war-weary troops, to becoming a middle-range actor in affirming that those outside the military unit are not 'other.' The essays demonstrate in diverse ways that religion can be the source of conflict, but also a source of peace building, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers.
Thomas Matyók is associate professor in the Program in Conflict and Peace Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is a co-editor of Critical Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies: Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy.
Maureen Flaherty is assistant professor in peace and conflict studies at the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba. She is the author of Peacebuilding with Women in Ukraine: Using Narrative to Envision a Common Future.
Hamdesa Tuso is a faculty member at the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies of the University of Manitoba. He is the founder of the Oromo Studies Association, and founder and director of the Africa Working Group.
Jessica Senehi is associate professor of peace and conflict studies, and associate director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College at University of Manitoba. She co-authored with Sean Byrne, Violence: Analysis, Intervention, and Prevention, and coedited the Handbook of Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
Sean Byrne is professor of peace and conflict studies, and founding head of the Ph.D. and joint MA programs in peace and conflict studies at University of Manitoba, and founding director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice housed in St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba. He is author, co-author, and co-editor of numerous books, journal articles and book chapters.