“Teaching Religion, Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding”
A Consultation for Educators in Theology and Religion
August 9-11, 2010
- Thee Smith – Religion as a Source of Conflict and Resource for Peace: How do we prepare our students to understand and engage those aspects of religion that are a source of conflict and/or resource for peace?
- Phil Amerson– Curriculum: How can we transform our curriculum to prepare our students to be ministers of reconciliation?
- Marc Gopin – Pedagogy: How do we teach conflict transformation/reconciliation/peace-building?
- Jan Love – Difficult Conversations and Decisions: How do we prepare our students for difficult conversations and decision-making?
Phil Amerson is President of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University and Professor of Sociology of Religion. He believes that:
“We need more than good pastors and growing congregations. We need pastors and congregations that make a difference in our world. Our children and youth are asking questions about the environment, the role of science, about war and peace, about racial and ethnic differences, about why there is hunger and poverty. How will we live so that we provide answers that are more than words? How will we send out leaders who seek to make a difference in the world and not merely to make people happy on Sundays?”
Marc Gopin is the James H. Laue Professor of Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, and the Director of the new Center on Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. He is also a Senior Researcher at the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy’s Institute for Human Security.
Gopin has lectured on conflict resolution in Switzerland, Ireland, India, Italy, and Israel, as well as at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and numerous other academic institutions. Gopin has trained thousands of people worldwide in peacemaking strategies for complex conflicts in which religion and culture play a role. He conducts research on values dilemmas as they apply to international problems of globalization, clash of cultures, development, social justice and conflict.
Dr. Gopin is the creator and principal author of www.marcgopin.com, a daily weblog exploring the transformation of conflicts facing humanity.
Jan Love is Dean of Candler School of Theology at Emory University and Professor of Christianity and World Politics.
Dean Love is an internationally recognized leader in church and ecumenical arenas and a scholar of world politics, particularly issues of religion and politics, conflict transformation, globalization, and ecumenism. She is known for facilitating constructive relationships among people and groups with deeply held differences and for her work in racial justice.
Thee Smith has taught at Emory University’s undergraduate Department of Religion and Graduate Division of Religion since 1987. His academic and teaching specialties include philosophy of religion, African American religious studies, liberation theology, and religion and violence. In 2006 Thee was appointed the Education & Outreach Coordinator of Emory’s Strategic initiative on Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding.
From 2003-2006 he has been a founding director of Southern Truth and Reconciliation (STAR) Inc. STAR is a university-community partnership and consulting organization that assists local communities to address their legacy of racial violence through the application of truth and reconciliation practices and regional alliances.