religion and peace

 

This article was originally published on January 18th here.

At the beginning of December 2011, the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University convened a meeting of over twenty world famous Islamic scholars and dignitaries together with over one hundred and twenty clerics from every province of Afghanistan. The event was unprecedented in the history of Afghan conflict resolution. Never before had anyone brought together the beleaguered Imams of the Afghan provinces, men who had stood up for peace and risked their lives to fight against the misuse of their religion. These men stood witness as colleagues, who dared stand up at Friday prayer and advocate for Islam’s commitment to nonviolence, for women’s rights, and for tolerance, were assassinated by radical forces in the region and neighboring states whose only purpose was to keep the war going and Afghanistan divided. Nevertheless, these men …

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I love Radiohead for their profound lyrics and powerful music. Earlier this month, Radiohead made available a track that’s a tribute to the late Harry Patch, who was believed to be the last living survivor of World War I. Patch, pictured below, died on July 25 of this year.

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke was inspired to write the song — titled “Harry Patch (In Memory Of)” — after he heard a 2005 BBC interview with Patch. Yorke, quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about the song, said: “The way he talked about war had a profound effect on me…It became the inspiration for a song that we happened to record a few weeks before his death.”

Yorke used some of Patch’s words from that 2005 interview in the lyrics of the song:

I am the only one that got through
The others died where ever they fell
It was

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Ross Aden, an Associate Professor of Religious studies has the following detailed review of the book:

In my investigation of religious violence, I discovered a religious peacemaker whose work exemplifies a constructive religious response to the religious aggression of our century. Rabbi Marc Gopin has shared his peacekeeping vision and methods in a new book, TO MAKE THE EARTH WHOLE: THE ART OF CITIZEN DIPLOMACY IN AN AGE OF RELIGIOUS MILTANCY (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009). This is a book of practical wisdom about the critical role of religion in the politics of war and peace in our time. Gopin shows how the theory and practice of religious peacemaking can be integrated and how that integration can contribute to a more just and peaceful world.

Gopin’s is book contains sections on
• Foundations of a Global Community through Citizen Diplomacy
• Global Diplomacy and Incremental Change…
• Diplomacy with a Conscience…

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