Also, religious peacemaking is becoming much more common, and the number of cases cited is growing at an increasing pace. The field of religious peacemaking is also maturing. With more sophisticated reflections of its growing experience, a body of knowledge is developing. Some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field, including Marc Gopin, Mohammed Abu-Nimer, and David Steele, contributed chapters to that volume. The book contains an analysis of the keys of success in interfaith dialogue as a mechanism for resolving violent conflicts. It lifts up the unique elements of religious peacebuilding, with a particular focus on apology and forgiveness.
It also emphasizes the importance of keeping issues of social justice front and center, so that religious peacebuilding does not merely make the participants feel better. There are a number of other important contributions to this literature. When communal identities, particularly religious identities, are key causal factors in violent conflict, traditional diplomacy may be of little value in seeking peace or conflict management.
Douglas Johnston, president of the International Center on Religion and Diplomacy, has identified conditions in several conflict situations that lend themselves to faith-based intervention:. Johnston also identifies the attributes that religious leaders and institutions can offer in promoting peace and reconciliation, including:. By way of example, African peacemaker Hizkias Assefa, emphasizes the commendable role of religious leaders as an asset in peacemaking.
Such religious leaders are particularly effective in working together for peace when they are from different faith communities. When the faiths explore and practice common values, such as justice and compassion, in public life, religious leaders can be an inspiration to others. Gerrie ter Haar summarizes Assefa's contention as:.
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People's conflict behavior is often based on more emotional considerations and thus may not be changed simply by rational negotiation processes and subsequent agreements. Cognitive decisions and commitments, he argues, do not necessarily translate into feelings and actions. Religious resources are contained in the four main elements of which religions consist. Haar identifies these elements as: religious ideas content of belief , religious practices ritual behavior , social organization religious community , and religious--or spiritual--experiences.
Views On Science And Religion Philosophy Essay
These dimensions can all be used in the service of peacemaking. Two critical elements in religious life that are centrally important to peacemaking are empathy and compassion, and the value of tapping into these attributes is readily apparent in effective religious peacemaking. The development of studies and practice relating to the connection between religion, conflict, and peace is paralleled by United States Institute of Peace USIP program development on religious peacemaking. That program focused on compiling case studies on the sources and nature of religious conflict in such countries as Sudan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine.
Several publications resulted from these case studies, including books on Sri Lanka and Ukraine regarding conflict between the faith communities. Overall, these studies viewed religion principally in terms of creating conflict. After David Little retired from USIP in , the Institute decided to continue prioritizing religion in relation to international conflict and peace, but decided to shift the emphasis from religion as a source of conflict to peacemaking.
This shift fully acknowledged the contribution of religion to conflict, but lifted up the peacemaking potential of religious leaders and institutions.
The emphasis is on peacemaking when two or more Abrahamic faiths are in conflict. In some cases, USIP's efforts have focused on helping believers reinterpret their religious principles in ways that contribute to peaceful coexistence with adherents of other faiths. This Peaceworks builds upon and goes well beyond the book, Interfaith Dialogue and Peacebuilding , which presented general principles to guide effective interfaith dialogue as well as profiles of some of the leading organizations in the field.
This report provides a series of case studies addressing specific religious conflicts through a variety of methodologies. Some of the cases describe dramatic successes, like the Inter Faith Mediation Center mediating peace between Christians and Muslims in some of the most strife-torn regions of Nigeria. Others tackle some of the most intractable conflicts in the world, such as the Alexandria process among Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders working to establish a religious peace track in Israel and Palestine.
The analysis of the Iraqi Institute of Peace shows how the organization has grappled with the most critical issues currently facing a religiously fragmented Iraq. Not all the cases presented here describe dramatic success stories, but even the less decisive cases provide experiences and lessons that are instructive for future religious peacemaking in other places. Two of the cases Kashmir and Sudan describe projects undertaken prior to the Institute providing financial assistance, but all the other projects have been collaborative efforts with USIP. Presenting these case studies describes some of the richest material on this topic and also illuminates the Institute's involvement in this field.
This is not an analysis about interfaith dialogue in the traditional sense of members of different faith communities meeting to simply tell their stories, share their religious convictions with each other, or seek common religious understanding. Rather, the cases presented here are stories of religious communities and leaders joining together to resolve religious conflicts that are at least partially rooted in religious conflict.
Religion in many parts of the world is contributing to violent conflict, although exaggerated in many cases. This is well documented and broadly accepted.
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Usually disregarded, however, are opportunities to employ the assets of religious leaders and religious institutions to promote peace. He has done extensive work using popular culture to explain and illustrate philosophical ideas and arguments. Blackwell, Instead of giving up on Newton, they hypothesized another planet that was gravitationally affecting Uranus. This was not ad-hoc, because it was testable — and that is how we found Neptune.
If you make a prediction based on a hypothesis, but the prediction fails, to save the hypothesis you can always frame it within a different set of background assumptions that alters what it predicts. For example, Flat Earthers can challenge assumptions about the way light travels to defend the flat earth theory. This is one reason that falsifiability is often challenged as a criterion for determining what counts as a scientific hypothesis. Technically, nothing is falsifiable.
This is why it is important to realize that making ad-hoc non-testable excuses to save your theory as it were, capitalizing on the non-falsifiablity of a theory to save it is unscientific. With respect to whether Judaism is monotheistic or not, the view actually changes over the course of the Hebrew Bible. What you describe is true of the earlier forms but not the mid- to later forms.
Science and religion: a history of conflict?
Finally, with respect to Jews being an outlier on the subject at hand, I did say that I believe that what I have said about Reform and Reconstructionist Jews could also be said of many liberal and progressive Protestant denominations. Like Like. I can see how it makes sense to call non-supernatural reform Judaism a religion in this sense.
I would also say that sometimes concepts do have defining characteristics, even post-Wittgenstein, e. You are simply not the target of the piece. Of course not, nor did I say they were. But I would think most of these people believe in God, which is in itself a supernatural belief. This belief is unscientific, though a person who believes so may be scientific in all other respects.
Non-overlapping-magisteria is popular enough to make it clear that the conclusion is not trivial. Many people feel that they can be scientific about the natural world in general while also believing that miracles happen in exceptional cases They think that science is the study of the natural and that religion is the domain of the supernatural.
We observe that there are strings of repetitions in the world. These strings could of course come to an end. But, pick a string where the number of repetitions is already known to be large compared to the number of end points at most two. Thus induction is justified probabilistically. Thus you are unlikely to hit on a true statement at random, and need to be guided to them by empirical evidence. Thus discard statements not so supported.
Astronomers have pursued both possibilities e. MOND, on the other hand, has needed to be re-jigged in an ad hoc way every time better observations comes along.
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Thus, nowadays, cosmologists prefer the dark-matter explanation. The rest — it comes down to a matter of definition. In my experience, that is true. And I will deal with scientists who claim to be religious in the last post.
I will deal with this objection in the last post—part III. And that is what I am trying to do—I am not proclaiming that all religion is unscientific. I am clarifying the conflict—making it clear where it lies. I have clarified where the conflict lies. But I am not strawmanning—you have to realize, you are in the vast minority—just look up the statistics about religion and supernatural belief. Most religious people believe the things I am criticizing here.
I deal with such objections is Part III.