Source: (2000) Perlmutter Lecture on Ethnic Conflict, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 6.

In this lecture David Smock discusses both the impact that religion has on international conflict and the contribution that religion can make to international peacemaking. That is, he looks at both the negative and the positive roles of religion in international conflict. With respect to ways in which religion fuels conflict, he contends that this causal role is subtle and complex, more so than many analysts recognize. To illustrate the subtle and complex interplay of religion and conflict, he cites instances from, for example, Sudan, the Ivory Cost, and Nigeria. From these situations, he turns to actual and potential contributions religious actors and faith-based organizations can make to international peacemaking. Again, he presents examples, including the work of Sant’Egidio (a lay Catholic organization), the Inter Religious Council in Bosnia, and Mennonite peacemaking ideas and practices.