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.