Religion, in recent years, has gained prominence in the public domain contrary to the thinking that it will become irrelevant. However, its role in many societies has been both constructive and destructive. Religion has been manipulated to perpetrate violence leading to fear and suspicion among people of different faiths. Religion has also been used to promote reconciliation and social cohesion. The course is designed to promote joint action by faith actors, particularly those working in multi-religious contexts, in regions experiencing interreligious hostility and religious motivated violence.
This course will explore processes to engage religious actors and institutions to support peace in settings where religion is a key factor in conflict and where religion is already a driving force for communal cooperation. The course will further highlight religious teachings on justice and peace from different faith traditions and demonstrate how they can be applied to peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Through case studies, role plays, group discussions and exercises, participants will analyze religiously-motivated conflicts, map out religious resources for peacebuilding, and examine challenges and opportunities for interreligious action and cooperation. Participants will outline plans that will facilitate concrete applications of interreligious peacebuilding in their respective contexts.