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“Religion and peacemaking.”

Montville, Joseph V
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Forgiveness and reconciliation: Religion, public policy, & conflict transformation, ed. Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., and Rodney L. Petersen, 97-116. With a foreword by Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.

In this chapter Montville focuses on the intersection of religion and mass psychology. How can sacred beliefs be used to intensify violence? Or, how can they be used to reduce violence and to foster reconciliation and peace? With these questions in mind, Montville seeks the possibility of a life-enhancing ascendancy over the demonic in the affairs of nations, with help from religion. His study begins with an examination of “psychological manâ€? to identify how we develop a deep-seated, perspectival dichotomy between “usâ€? and “themâ€? and the implications of that dichotomy. Then Montville discusses “religious manâ€? – certain voices in the three Abrahamic faiths increasingly emphasize the dignity and rights of the individual as central to all religion, and as the foundation for peace and justice. Montville details examples of these perspectives in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. He closes his chapter with working conclusions and guidelines for integrating religious values into the work of peacebuilding.


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