Religious cooperation and peace

30 November 2009: In many conflicts around the world, groups are divided along religious lines - Catholic and Protestants in Northern Ireland, Muslims, Animists and Christians in Sudan, Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox Christians in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But have these conflicts been motivated by religion, or have other divides happened to fall along religious lines? What has been the role of religious beliefs? And how can religious groups work together for peace?

In many conflicts around the world, groups are divided along religious lines - Catholic and Protestants in Northern Ireland, Muslims, Animists and Christians in Sudan, Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox Christians in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But have these conflicts been motivated by religion, or have other divides happened to fall along religious lines? What has been the role of religious beliefs? And how can religious groups work together for peace?

A new publication promises some interesting new perspectives on these issues. The Interreligious Dialogue website is host to the Journal of Inter-religious Dialogue, a new electronic publication with peer-reviewed articles that looks at social issues affecting religious communities around the world. Of particular interest to Insight on Conflict readers, the scheduled forth edition of the Journal will be entitled In Face of Conflict: Multi-Religious Cooperation for Peace. They have announced a Call from Submissions, looking for articles that 'seek to examine where and why religious conflicts take place – and how conflicts carried out in the name of religion can be mitigated or transformed.' The deadline for submission is January 2010, and the journal will no doubt be well worth reading for those interested in peacebuilding by religious groups.

Aside from the in-depth peer reviewed articles in the Journal, the Interreligious Dialogue website also includes some shorter, more accessible articles in their interViews section, with some good video interviews.

Posted by Ruairi Nolan, Insight on Conflict, 30 November 2009

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