Religion and Peacebuilding

Edited by Harold Coward & Gordon S. Smith

Subjects: Peace
Series: SUNY series in Religious Studies
Paperback : 9780791459348, 328 pages, January 2004
Hardcover : 9780791459331, 328 pages, January 2004

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Table of contents

Harold Coward and Gordon S. Smith

1. A Moment of Opportunity? The Promise of Religious Peacebuilding in an Era of Religious and Ethnic Conflict
David Little and Scott Appleby


2. In Search of the White Path: American Indian Peacebuilding
Michelene E. Pesantubbee

3. Hinduism and Peacebuilding
Rajmohan Gandhi

4. Missed Opportunities: Buddhism and the Ethnic Strife in Sri Lanka and Tibet
Eva K. Neumaier

5. Confucianism and Peacebuilding
Judith A. Berling

6. Judaism and Peacebuilding
Marc Gopin

7. Islam and Peacebuilding: Continuities and Transitions
Frederick M. Denny

8. Christianity and Peacebuilding
Andrea Bartoli


9. Creating Spaces: Interreligious Initiatives for Peace
Diane D’Souza

10. Case Studies in Religion and Peacebuilding: Cambodia
Catherine Morris

11. History Unrequited: Religion as Provocateur and Peacemaker in the Bosnian Conflict
Douglas M. Johnston and Jonathon Eastvold

12. Truth and Reconciliation: The South Africa Case
H. Russel Botman

13. Northern Ireland: Religion and the Peace Process
Patrick Grant

14. Religious Peacebuilding: From Potential to Action
Judy Carter and Gordon S. Smith

List of Contributors


Acknowledging that religion can motivate both violence and compassion, this book looks at how a variety of world religions can and do build peace.


In the wake of September 11, 2001 religion is often seen as the motivating force behind terrorism and other acts of violence. Religion and Peacebuilding looks beyond headlines concerning violence perpetrated in the name of religion to examine how world religions have also inspired social welfare and peacemaking activism. Leading scholars from the Aboriginal, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions provide detailed analyses of the spiritual resources for fostering peace within their respective religions. The contributors discuss the formidable obstacles to nonviolent conflict transformation found within sacred texts and living traditions. Case studies of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Cambodia, and South Africa are also examined as practical applications of spiritual resources for peace.

Harold Coward is with the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria and is the author and editor of many books, including most recently Yoga and Psychology: Language, Memory, and Mysticism, also published by SUNY Press. Gordon S. Smith is Director of the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria and the author and editor of many books, including (with Daniel Wolfish) Who Is Afraid of the State?: Canada in a World of Multiple Centres of Power.