Source: (2000) In Reconciliation, Justice, and Coexistence: Theory & Practice, ed. Mohammed Abu-Nimer, pp. 145-161. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.

Schirch outlines three different approaches to understanding and responding to conflict: rational; relational; and symbolic. Symbolic approaches stem from the conception that people have a need to symbolically understand who they are and how they relate to their environment – worldviews shaped by personal experiences, cultural identities, and cosmological understandings. Pursuing conflict resolution toward reconciliation and coexistence depends at least in part on addressing divergent symbolic worldviews. Therefore, Schirch explores ritual as a tool for binging competing worldviews of justice and peace into converging visions of coexistence and reconciliation.