Do you want to learn how to honor and engage other faiths from a Christian perspective and a posture of interreligious hospitality? Then this course is for you.
By drawing on sacred texts and experiences of the major world religions and the available studies on religious violence and peace, this course examines how religion can intersect with other political, economic, social and cultural forces to justify violent conflict and explores the many ways in which interfaith peacebuilders may appeal to religious values, teachings, rituals, and myths as resources for interreligious peacebuilding. This course also explores components and strategies of peacebuilding that are best suited to transforming sectarian conflict.
This course seeks to answer such questions as, What is the role of religion in both peace and violence? What other factors does religion mix with to produce the desperation that views violence as an attractive option? How do religion and these other factors combine and play off of each other? What religious resources are available to help us build peace and transform conflict? How do we draw out these resources from religious traditions and make practical use of them?
- Lecture 1: Introductory Comments on Religion, Peace and Conflict (1:05:58)
- Video Clip — Miroslav Volf: "Honor Everyone" (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Stephen Prothero: "Islam" (World Religions Background Information)
- Supplemental Reading — "The Changing Global Religious Landscape" (Pew Research Center)
- Supplemental Reading — Robert Pape: "It's the Occupation, Stupid" (Foreign Policy)
- Supplemental Reading — "Religion in Conflict and Peacebuilding Analysis Guide" (USIP)
- Lecture 2 – Interreligious Peacebuilding between Christians and Muslims: Eastern Christianity, Mennonites, and Muslims (48:54)
- Video Clip — Walter Brueggemann: “Honoring Our Particularities” (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Stephen Prothero: "Christianity" (World Religions Background Information)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew P. Klager: "Mennonite Religious Values as a Resource for Peacebuilding between Orthodox Christians and Muslims" (Peace Research)
- Supplemental Reading — Fr. John McGuckin: "Nonviolence and Peace Traditions in Early and Eastern Christianity" (In Communion)
- Supplemental Reading — Wolfgang Palavar: "Mimetic Theories of Religion and Violence"
- Lecture 3 – Lisa Schirch: “Ritual, Religion, and Peacebuilding” (13:21)
- Lecture 4 – Ron Dart: “Judaism, Justice and Shalom: The Prophetic Tradition — Then and Now” (21:09)
- Video Clip – Marc Gopin and Hind Kabawat: "Unusual Pairs" (ZejMedia)
- Video Clip — Stephen Prothero: "Judaism" (World Religions Background Information)
- Supplemental Reading — "Shalom: Peace in Hebrew" (My Jewish Learning)
- Supplemental Reading — Michael Walzer: "War and Peace in the Jewish Tradition"
- Lecture 5 – Interreligious Hospitality and the Gift of Pessimism: A Case Study of Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt (53:13)
- Video Clip — Scott Alexander: "Hospitality In A Multifaith World" (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Brian McLaren: "Toward the Other” (The Work of the People)
- Supplemental Reading — Thomas E. Reynolds: "Toward a Wider Hospitality: Rethinking Love of Neighbour in Religions of the Book" (Irish Theological Quarterly)
- Supplemental Reading — "Planning Dialogue" (Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue)
- Lecture 6 – Ron Dart: “The Buddhist Tradition of Justice and Peace” (25:49)
- Video Clip — Scott Alexander: "Knowing and Loving Our Neighbors of Other Faiths" (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Rt. Rev. Mano Rumalshah: "Religious Sacred Space" (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Dalai Lama: "Nonviolence and Ethical Values"
- Video Clip — Stephen Prothero: "Buddhism" (World Religions Background Information)
- Supplemental Reading — Michael Philips-Anderson: "Writing a love letter to your (perceived) enemy: Thích Nhất Hạnh and the rhetoric of nonviolence" (ESSACHESS: Journal for Communication Studies)
- Lecture 7 – Ron Dart: “Hinduism and Thoughts on Interfaith Dialogue” (31:52)
- Video Clip — Scott Alexander: "Holy Envy" (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Rt. Rev. Mano Rumalshah: "The Ultimate Embrace" (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Stephen Prothero: "Hinduism" (World Religions Background Information)
- Supplemental Reading — Vinay Lal: "Gandhi’s Religion: Politics, Faith, and Hermeneutics" (Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "Us Versus Them: The Myth that Underlies Our Violence Against the Other" (Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice)
Instructor: Andrew Klager is the Director of the Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice (St. Stephen's University). He earned a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Glasgow with a focus on Anabaptist history and theology, including the 16th-c. Anabaptist peace tradition(s) and has completed continuing studies in Interfaith Conflict Resolution and Conflict Analysis from the United States Institute of Peace.
Over fourteen years, Andrew has taught 23 different courses (8 of them online) at seven different universities and colleges in BC and Alberta and was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria.
In addition to many presentations, published peer-review articles, and book chapters, Andrew writes regularly for the Huffington Post and Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice. He is also the editor of the book, From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding (Pickwick, 2015), about which Noam Chomsky wrote, "Andrew Klager's fine collection on the Mennonite way of proceeding 'from suffering to solidarity' provides a most enlightening and instructive guide to these impressive contributions, and what we can learn from them."
Frequently Asked Questions
What should you expect to get out of this course?
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- recognize and apply the various theories, strategies, and exercises of peacebuilding in a religious context;
- identify religious teachings, practices, and experiences that can effectively change attitudes and encourage peaceful ways of transforming conflict;
- understand the strengths and limitations of relationship- and trust-building with the religious Other through storytelling, myth-recollection, role-playing, and placatory gestures;
- gain an understanding of the broader spectrum of political, economic, social, and cultural forces that act on religious groups and people to shape / distort their values;
- evaluate specific case studies that successfully incorporated religious values to transform conflict;
- understand models for interpreting the causes of violent conflict and evaluate the effectiveness of religious teachings, practices, and experiences at preventing and reducing hostilities;
- identify the various stages of conflict and the ways in which religion is useful in each stage as a force for encouraging peaceful coexistence.
What is the format and length of the course?
This course has six modules with a total of 3.5+ hours of lecture material, plus other additional video and written content. Each section contains an exclusive and substantial detailed video lecture that's synchronized with a Keynote presentation ranging from over a half an hour to one full hour long and supplemental video clips from IRPJ's partner and friend, The Work of the People, that are hand-picked by the instructor. This course also includes exclusive guest lectures from Ron Dart and Lisa Schirch, as well as supplemental readings provided as PDFs. The course is a completely self-paced, online course.
What materials will I need and will I have access to the lecturers?
All you will need is a computer with internet access and access to the recommended textbooks books (optional). Students can access all exclusive recorded video lectures once enroled. Unfortunately, the instructor is not available to interact or answer questions. Our suggestion would be to dialogue with a group of people going through the course, and to seek out a local practitioner.
How long do I have access to the course?
A lifetime. After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like — across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.