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“Religion and foreign policy.”

Johnston Jr, Douglas M.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Forgiveness and reconciliation: Religion, public policy, & conflict transformation, ed. Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., and Rodney L. Petersen, 117-128. With a foreword by Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.

In an age of considerable violence, Johnston identifies two significant issues relating to religion and foreign policy: (1) diplomacy in the West (e.g., United States diplomacy) is ill-equipped to deal well with the dynamics of religion in conflicts; and (2) religion has often been an integral contributor to problems, not to solutions. With this as background, Johnston, one of the editors of the 1994 book Religion: The Missing Dimension of Statecraft, asserts that religious or spiritual factors can play a positive role in preventing or resolving conflict and promoting reconciliation. This chapter, then, includes the following: a sketch of the major findings of that book; an example of religion and diplomacy reinforcing each other in conflict resolution; a description of a conflict resolution team and other means being developed to aid in settling conflicts; and a summary of a conflict-resolution initiative in Sudan.


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