Religion and Conflict Resolution

Christianity and South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission

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  • Megan Shore, King's University College at the University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • This book examines the ambiguous role that Christianity played in South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). It has two objectives: to analyse the role Christianity played in the TRC and to highlight certain consequences that may be instructive to future international conflict resolution processes. Religion and conflict resolution is an area of significant importance. Ongoing conflicts involving Palestinians and Israelis, Muslims and Hindus, and even radical Islamic jihadists and Western countries have heightened the awareness of the potential power of religion to fuel conflict. Yet these religious traditions also promote peace and respect for others as key components in doing justice. Examining the potential role religion can play in generating peace and justice, specifically Christianity in South Africa's TRC, is of utmost importance as religiously inspired violence continues to occur. This book highlights the importance of accounting for religion in international conflict resolution.

  • Contents: Foreword; Preface; Introduction; Part 1 Setting the Context of the Study: Religious conflict resolution and the case of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Apartheid and Christianity. Part 2 Evaluation of the Role Christianity Played in the TRC: The role of Christianity in the implementation of the TRC; Truth and truth-telling; Reconciliation; Justice; Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

  • About the Author: Megan Shore is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, as well as Social Justice and Peace Studies, at King's University College at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds, UK (June 2006), and a Master of Arts in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University, Canada. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies, with a specialization in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Waterloo, Canada. She has published in the area of religion and conflict resolution in Peace and Change: A Journal of Peace Research and the Journal of Political Theology. She is currently completing a book project with Dr Scott Kline of St Jerome's University in the University of Waterloo, Canada entitled Catholic Approaches to Just Peacemaking.

  • Reviews: 'A positive insight that emerges clearly from this study is the positive role of narrative which is crucial to reconciliation. A disturbing suggestion made by Gopin is that it is conservative interpretations of religion that tend to sponsor violence. This accords with recent interpretations of fundamentalism. Certainly, this book serves a useful purpose in exposing important issues that need to be addressed in any context of international conflict resolution in that there are few, if any, contexts where religion does not play a significant role.' Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

    ‘Megan Shore offers us a well-researched and balanced book on the value of religion in a conflict resolution process based on the South African experience. … Anyone involved in reconciliation or conflict resolution should read this book.’ Heythrop Journal

  • Megan Shore's profile page on the King's University College website.


    Extracts from this title are available to view:

    Full contents list

    Introduction

    Index