Interfaith Dialogue and Peacebuilding

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2002-06-01
  • Publisher: United States Inst of Peace Pr

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As the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish contributors to this volume have discovered firsthand, religion is better at fostering peace than at fueling war. Rarely, conclude the authors, is religion the principal cause of international conflict, even though some adversaries may argue differently. But religion can often be invaluable in promoting understanding and reconciliation-and the need to exploit that potential has never been greater.Drawing on their extensive experience in organizing interaction and cooperation across religious boundaries in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Northern Ireland, and the Balkans, the contributors explore the formidable potential of interfaith dialogue. The first part of the volume analyzes the concept and its varied application; the second focuses on its practice in specific zones of conflict; and the third assesses the experiences and approaches of particular organizations.When organized creatively, interfaith dialogue can nurture deep engagement at all levels of the religious hierarchy, including the community level. It draws strength from the peacemaking traditions shared by many faiths and from the power of religious ritual and symbolism. Yet, as the authors also make plain, it also has its limitations and carries great risks.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Richard Solomon
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 3(10)
David R. Smock
Part I Promises and Challenges of Interfaith Dialogue 13(48)
The Miracles of Transformation through Interfaith Dialogue: Are You a Believer?
Mohammed Abu-Nimer
The Use of the Word and Its Limits: A Critical Evaluation of Religious Dialogue as Peacemaking
Marc Gopin
Building Bridges for Interfaith Dialogue
Jaco Cilliers
Part II The Practice of Dialogue: Case Studies 61(42)
American Jews, Christians, and Muslims Working Together for Peace in the Middle East
Ronald Young
Contributions of Interfaith Dialogue to Peacebuilding in the Former Yugoslavia
David Steele
Mitigation in Northern Ireland: A Strategy for Living in Peace When Truth Claims Clash
Joseph Liechty
Part III Peacebuilding through Interfaith Organizations 103(24)
Religion and Interfaith Conflict: Appeal of Conscience Foundation
Arthur Schneier
The United Religions Initiative at Work
Charles Gibbs
Conclusion 127(6)
David R. Smock
Contributors 133(4)
Index 137

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