Pathways for Theology in Peacebuilding

Ecumenical Approaches to Just Peace


The ambivalent role of religions in contemporary conflicts has generated an increasing call for faith-based peacebuilding endeavours. In Pathways for Theology in Peacebuilding: Ecumenical Approaches to Just Peace, Sara Gehlin discusses the ways theology can provide essential resources for such peacebuilding pursuits. The pathways for theology in peacebuilding are investigated with regard to a recent faith-based peace endeavour, namely the creation of an international ecumenical declaration on just peace. In the book, Gehlin explores the meaning of a just peace from the perspectives of theological ethics, biblical interpretation, spirituality, and ecumenical vision. On the basis of this exploration, the book maps out theological resources for peace in our time.

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Sara Gehlin, Doctor of Theology (2016), is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. She has published many articles on ecumenism and religious peacebuilding, as well as the report Educating for Peace: A Theological Task in Contemporary Times (2017).

1 At the Intersection of Theology and Peacebuilding
 1 Theological Prospects for Just Peace
  1.1For a Peaceful Mind among Believers
  1.2Pathways for Peace-oriented Theology
  1.3Resources of Peace in Religious Life
 2 Theological Construction with a Peacebuilding Purpose
  2.1An Urgent Issue in a Wide Field of Study
  2.2Exploring the Meaning of Life-giving Faith
  2.3Theological Mapmaking
  2.4Particular Grounds of Common Visions
  2.5A Theological Map of Just Peace

2 A Faith-Based Endeavour for Peace
 1 The Ecumenical Movement – A Movement for Peace
  1.1Shaped by Periods of International Conflict
  1.2Justitia et Pax
  1.3Justice, Peace, and Creation
 2 The Peace Documents
  2.1Outset in the Decade to Overcome Violence
  2.2The Authors
  2.3The Textual Process
  2.4Groundwork for a Future Process
 3 A Possible Resource of Faith-based Peacebuilding
  3.2In the Arena of Faith-based Peacebuilding
  3.3Moral Imagination

3 Rethinking Theological Ethics on Peace and War
 1 What is the Meaning of Just Peace?
  1.1Fused Perspectives
  1.2An Umbrella-term
  1.3Justice and Peace – Coupled Concepts
  1.4Justice and Peace on a Collision Course
 2 A Responsibility to Protect
  2.1Principles of a Just War
  2.2Sanctioning and Correcting Political Authority
  2.3Entering into the Field of International Law
  2.4Parallel Perspectives on the Use of Force
 3 A Non-violent Way
  3.1Discipleship in Obedience and Compassion
  3.2An Active Nonviolent Approach
 4 Developing a New Position on Peace
  4.1A Common Pathway between Differing Peace Traditions
  4.2A Pastoral and Conditional Approach
  4.3A Third Stance
  4.4Building a Culture of Peace
 5 Constructing Just Peace Theologically – Perspectives of Theological Ethics

4 Rendering Shalomin Contemporary Terms
 1 Understanding Just Peace – A Hermeneutic Undertaking
 2 A Landscape of Meanings
 3 A Peaceful Interpretation
  3.1Encompassing the Wellness of Humanity and All Creation
  3.2The Dimension of Righteousness
  3.3Righteousness and Compassion
  3.4A Comprehensive Vision of the Order of Shalom
 4Shalom – A Key for Theological Construction
  4.1A Hermeneutical Clue
  4.2In View of God’s Kingdom
  4.3Guiding Perspectives in the Terrain of Interpretations
  4.4A Theological Map under Construction
  4.5A Holistic Outlook
  4.6Peace as Process
 5 Constructing Just Peace Theologically – Perspectives of Biblical Interpretation

5 A Spiritual Journey
 1 Engaging the Heart and Mind
  1.1Transforming the Society, the Believer, and the Faith Community
  1.2Conversion, Repentance, and Forgiveness
 2 Reflecting a Holistic Understanding of Spirituality
 3 Spiritual Formation
  3.2Spiritual Practice
  3.3Peace Education
  3.4Peace Spirituality – Deepening the Understanding of Shalom
  3.5A Transformative Way
 4 Receptive Ecumenical Learning
  4.1A Way of Spirituality
  4.2Searching for Christian Unity in a Conflict-ridden World
  4.3Learning from the Other – A Complex Undertaking
  4.4Fellow Travellers on the Peacemaking Journey
 5 Constructing Just Peace Theologically – Spiritual Perspectives

6 Reconsidering the Ecumenical Vision
 1 Unity and Peace – Cohabiting Concepts
  1.1A New Ecumenical Rallying Point
  1.2Modelling Unity, Modelling Peace
  1.3Catholicity – Envisioning Unity and Peace Together
 2 Envisioning the Oikoumene
  2.1The Household of God
  2.2Oikoumene of Solidarity and Domination
  2.3Reflecting the New Ecumenical Paradigm
  2.4Unity – An Instrument of Domination
  2.5Unity – Conveying Ecumenical Peacebuilding
 3 A Trinitarian Perspective
  3.1The God of Peace
  3.2Fostering Peaceful Relations
  3.3Heartening Christian Fellowship and Communion
  3.4Motivating to Action
  3.5A Request for an Authentic and Inclusive Vocabulary
  3.6Space for the Radically Different
 4 Negotiating in the Global Oikoumene
  4.1Resisting Homogeneous Unity
  4.2A Vital Concern in Faith-based Peacebuilding
 5 Constructing Just Peace Theologically – Ecumenical Visionary Perspectives

7 Discerning the Pathways for Theology in Peacebuilding
 1 Drawing the Theological Map of Just Peace
 2 Outlining Theological Resources for the Building of Peace

Appendices:Information on the Peace Documents

A Summaries of Drafts and Published Documents
 1 The First Draft
 2 The Second Draft
 3 An Ecumenical Call to Just Peace
 4 Just Peace Companion
B Members of the Drafting Groups
 1 The First Drafting Group
 2 The Second Drafting Group
C Affiliations of Draft Respondents
 1 Affiliations of First Draft Respondents
 2 Affiliations of Second Draft Respondents
D Archives of the Ecumenical Peace Declaration
E An Ecumenical Call to Just Peace

All interested in the issues of peace and violence in religious contexts, the role of theology in peacebuilding, and the meaning of a just peace.
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