Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding
Religion, which manifests in many forms such as scriptural references, rituals, symbols, sacred boundaries, actors and institution, often occurred in scenes of conflict and violence as a powerful element. This runs opposite to the reality that religion has provided abundant resources and examples of faith-based peacebuilding. What is it in religion that make more or less prone to violence and peace? This course examines the patterns and varied roles of religion in violence and peacebuilding. It transcends the diametrical views, which see religion as either inherently peaceful or violent. It rather explores keys aspects within religion (religious logic, norms, symbols/ metaphor, rituals, leadership and institution) and how they are interconnected with external factors (social transformation, political and economic change) that contribute to the contrasting roles of religion Learning from case studies of violence and peacebuilding in different religious and geographical settings, the course provides theoretical and practical foundations for conflict analysis and peacebuilding intervention with a particular attention to the roles of religion. The topics covered by the course include religious rhetoric or narrative in war/violence, enemy image, religious identity and ethno-nationalism, radicalization and de-radicalization among religious militants, religious resources for various dimensions of peace such as values or ethic of non-violent resistance, collective memory, leadership and civic engagement for peaceful relation between religious and ethnic communities.