Bridge or Barrier

Religion, Violence and Visions for Peace


The book discusses the transformative role of religion in situations of violent conflict. It considers both the constructive and destructive sides of religious belief and particularly explores ways in which religion(s) may contribute to transforming conflict into peace.
This volume analyses the role of religion in its current manifestations and provides alternative views of it. It is concerned with the role of religion as a source of conflict that often takes violent forms, thus contributing significantly to current problems. Attention also focuses on questions of peace from the perspective of the religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. A number of essays actualize a vision for peace based on religion and situate visions for peace in the wider context of human security. All chapters consider the policy implications of the theoretical and practical perspectives offered on questions of conflict and peace.
The most important documents that have emerged from a variety of religious groups, notably those represented in the book, outlining their view on issues of peace and human rights are collected here, showing how religious believers have engaged with questions similar to those suggested by the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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Gerrie ter Haar Ph.D. (Utrecht), is Professor of Religion, Human Rights and Social Change at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague. She is the author of several books. Her latest work is Worlds of Power: Religious Thought and Political Practice in Africa (2004). She co-edited The Freedom to Do God’s Will:Religious Fundamentalism and Social Change(Routledge 2003). James Busuttil, D.Phil. (Oxford), J.D. (N.Y.U. School of Law), was Associate Professor of International Law and Organization at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. He is now Directorn of the University of London’s external Master of Laws Programme. He co-edited The Freedom to Do God’s Will: Religious Fundamentalism and Social Change (Routledge, 2003).
PART ONE: RELIGION, CONFLICT AND PEACE 1. Religion: Source of Conflict or Resource for Peace? (Gerrie ter Haar) 2. World Religions, Violence, and Myths of Peace in International Relations (Marc Gopin) 3. Religious Conflict in Asia: Probing the Causes, Seeking Solutions (Chandra Muzaffar) 4. From Open Violence to Symbolic Confrontation: Anthropological Observations of Latin America’s Southern Cone (Daniel Míguez) PART TWO: RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVES ON CONFLICT AND PEACE 5. The Promise of the Kingdom and the Reality of Sin: Christian Religion, Conflict and Visions for Peace (Jan van Butselaar) 6. The Christian Church as a Peacemaker in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities (Joseph Ngala) 7. Bitter Conflict: Can Judaism Bring Hope? (Yehiel Grenimann) 8. Human Rights and Islam: Cohesions and Conflicts - A Study of Pakistan (Ali Salman) PART THREE: VISIONS FOR PEACE 9. West Papua Peace Zone: The Role of the Church in West Papua and Local Initiatives in the Struggle for Human Rights (Benny Giay) 10. The Religious Sector Building Peace: Some Examples from the Philippines (Maria Lorenza Palm-Dalupan) 11. Reflections on Human Security: A Buddhist Contribution (Thanh-Dam Truong) PART FOUR: DOCUMENTARY RESOURCES ON RELIGION VIOLENCE AND VISIONS FOR PEACE 1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights 2. The Precepts of the Order of Interbeing 3. Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights 4. The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam 5. The Bangkok Declaration 6. Toward a Declaration of a Global Ethic 7. A Universal Declaration of a Global Ethic 8. Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions 9. United Religions Initiative Charter 10. World Council of Churches Statement on Religion and Violence 11. Rabbis for Human Rights Principles of Faith Bibliography Index