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Peacemakers in Action
Profiles in Religious Peacebuilding

Volume 2

2nd Edition

George Rupp, Staff members of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Marc Gopin, Thanos Gatsias, Clayton Maring, Kiersten Rooke, Hyunjin Deborah Kwak, Sana Rais, Pamela D. Couture, Joyce S. Dubensky
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  • Date Published: October 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316606728


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About the Authors
  • Every day, men and women risk their lives to stop violence in religiously charged conflicts around the world. You may not know their names - but you should. Peacemakers in Action, Volume 2 provides a window into the triumphs, risks, failures, and lessons learned of eight remarkable, religiously motivated peacemakers including: • A Methodist bishop in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who confronts armed warlords on his front lawn • A Christian who travels to Syria to coordinate medical aid and rebuild postwar communities • A Muslim woman, not knowing how Kabul's imams will react, arrives to train them on how to treat women – respectfully. Volume 2 offers students of religious and grassroots peacebuilding informative techniques and methods for organizing community action, establishing trust in conflict, and instilling hope amid turmoil. The book also features updates of case studies presented in Volume 1.

    • Offers updates to the first volume, showing where peacemakers are now and the power of the Peacemaker Network
    • The book shows the positive side of religious actors and how they work within their communities and in diplomacy to achieve sustainable and lasting peace
    • Offers glimpses into the growing scholarly field and future of religious peacebuilding and an analysis of techniques used by the featured peacemakers
    • Track II diplomacy is increasingly important as local communities in a conflict zone have higher trust in religious leaders because of the religiously motivated individual's ability to instill community trust and access
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Peacemakers in Action provides timely and exemplary stories of people who live fully into the belief that their religious faith can mobilize a creative and courageous response to violence. While our daily news broadcasts insist on loading us up with the sensational images of religiously motivated violence, division, and fear, this wonderful book portrays the hope for our mutual humanity and world. Understanding, love, compassion, and dialogue are not just remote ideals; they exist in flesh and bone, and give us practical examples of how religious imagination opens the way toward flourishing relationships and vibrant communities in the midst of diversity and historic division. I cannot imagine a timelier message!' John Paul Lederach, University of Notre Dame, author of The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace and Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies

    'Today, the average world citizen comes to know his Godly sisters and brothers through distorted sound bites and generalizations, packaged to sell shock. By and large, we don't hear the stories of courage, hope, and heroism found among people whose faiths are unlike our own. And that is dangerous, because it gives radicals the upper hand in the ideological battle to define the common values of our religions. But more thoughtful voices have emerged, like Tanenbaum's Peacemakers in Action: Profiles in Religious Peacebuilding – Volume II. By documenting religiously motivated individuals and their heroically selfless acts in the face of great personal risk, Tanenbaum brings to light the socially indispensable, shared values that women and men embrace in their various traditions…' Reza Aslan, internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, author of #1 New York Times bestseller, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    'The second volume of Peacemakers in Action provides graceful, yet very powerful portraits of religious leaders and religiously inspired actors who dedicate their life to advancing peace, security, and human rights worldwide. Their vibrant stories should inspire and enlighten the daily work of both religious and secular actors who are engaged in conflict prevention and management, peacebuilding, and the promotion of human rights and social cohesion. At a time in which we see religion being manipulated for political ends and over-simplistically associated with violence and suffering, this volume also contributes to broadening our horizons and increasing our understanding that religious leaders and religiously motivated actors can and must be part of the solution.' Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

    'This second volume of Tanenbaum's Peacemakers in Action, documenting the personal stories and strategies of an incredible group of religiously inspired and nonviolent warriors for peace, sates a thirst. Too often in the field of religious peacebuilding, we point to the same saints: Martin Luther King, Abdul Ghaffer Khan, the Dalai Lama. While these are certainly exemplars worthy of admiration and emulation, there are many other religious peacebuilders … whose stories have not been adequately heard, and strategies analyzed, to help … shape the peacebuilding field at large. [This volume] helps meet that need. In these pages are stories of personal and social transformation, and of the complex and sometimes hidden role of faith in motivating and shaping the work of peacebuilders. May we heed these stories, welcoming a new retinue to the religious peacebuilding canon.' Susan Hayward, director of Religion and Inclusive Societies at the U.S Institute of Peace

    'Peacemakers in Action is an inspiring, insight-filled collection of profiles in courage. Readers learn from seven prominent architects of interreligious peacebuilding, discovering ways to broker peace and stability at the local, national, regional, and global levels. Tanenbaum's commitment to diversity and inclusion shines through this volume with new accounts of women faith actors, leading community activists shaping the future. [This book] offers role models and pragmatic tools for transforming conflict through dialogue, and inspires its readers to follow in the footsteps of some of the best.' Jerry White, CEO of Global Impact Strategies Inc., and Executive Co-Chair of Global Covenant Partners, known for leading International Campaign to Ban Landmines (for which he was co-recipient of Nobel Peace Prize)

    'These previously untold stories of peacebuilders from different world regions are both riveting and heartening. Above all, their stories demonstrate that motivated individuals can have an impact - perhaps even a decisive impact - on some of the world's most intractable conflicts. In this book, Tanenbaum takes us through several journeys. It identifies the broad process of peacebuilding as distinct from the narrower action of peacemaking or conflict resolution. Tanenbaum's "Peacemakers in Action Network" is a mechanism that makes possible a continuous sharing of experience and inspiration, allowing peacebuilders to enhance their own work, learn from each other, and inspire others.' Katherine Marshall, Visiting Professor School of Foreign Service, Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and Public Affairs. Executive Director of World Faiths Development Dialogue

    'With so much attention given to the religious dimensions of war and conflict, it is inspiring to see examples of religion as a source for peace. Peacemakers in Action: Profiles in Religious Peacebuilding - Volume II, changes the frame on religion and conflict. It provides compelling examples of religiously inspired peace advocates as difference-makers in war-torn communities around the world. [This book] reminds us that the redemptive power of religion is accessible and practical. It may in fact be the key to making progress on so many of the seemingly intractable conflicts that beset us today.' Joel H. Rosenthal, President, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

    'By making available this second volume in its Peacemakers in Action series, Tanenbaum continues to lead the way in highlighting the experiences and accomplishments of religious 'practitioners of peace' around the world. Their inspiring lives and devotion remain an indispensable resource for learning how to make peace, and where religion fits in. A book like this brings discussions of 'religious peacebuilding' down to earth fast. It is an invaluable contribution.' David Little, editor of Volume I, Research Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University

    'The second volume of Peacemakers in Action honors the extraordinary work undertaken by remarkable people of faith, in some of the world's most challenging contexts. For those academics, human rights activists, and policymakers who continue to request evidence of religious 'good' - especially as they encounter gruesome images and rising body counts attributed to religion - I have two words to say: read this. For those in the international community who would seek any religious leader merely because they are representative of their institution, I would say: read this and register these voices of leadership too. And for those of us who are pained by the way our faiths are torn asunder to justify violence, I would say: read this, and be healed.' Azza Karam, Senior Adviser, Culture, UN Population Fund, and Coordinator of UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development

    'At a time when religion plays an important role in global politics, especially in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, dialogue between and about religions is imperative. One of the most successful groups that promotes such dialogue is the Tanenbaum Center, which is known for its ability to bring together Abrahamic and other faiths in a search for common ground. The center's second volume of its publication, Peacemakers in Action, is an extension of that mission, telling through seven thoughtful, absorbing case studies the stories of remarkable individuals who, motivated by faith, strive for peace and understanding in some of the most violent and fraught areas of the world.' Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York

    'The second volume of Peacemakers in Action: Profiles in Religious Peacebuilding comes in a timely manner and is a much-needed guide for practitioners and scholars of religion and peace. It has an inspiring set of stories and examples that we all need to learn about during these challenging times. This volume strongly illustrates the power of faith and the sacrifices that many peacemakers make to confront ignorance and exclusion in the name of religion.' Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Professor at School of International Service, American University in International Peace and Conflict, Senior Adviser to KAICIID, expert on conflict resolution and dialogue for peace, and cofounder and coeditor of Journal of Peacebuilding and Development

    This is a remarkable book. It tells and analyzes the stories of many religious peacemakers who are advancing the cause of peace in each of their regions. Since I know and have worked with most of these peacebuilders, I can vouch for the authenticity of these extraordinary accounts of peacebuilding under the most difficult circumstances. It is inspiring to read these stories both for their human interest and for their insights on peacebuilding. Hopefully, these stories will encourage others to follow their examples and become religious peacebuilders themselves. Tanenbaum is to be commended for recognizing these peacebuilders and sharing their stories with a wider audience.' David Smock, former Vice President and Director of Religion and Peacebuilding Program, United States Institute of Peace

    'This is more than a worthy successor to the first volume of Peacemakers in Action. It not only gives rich and moving new case studies (often grassroots and hitherto obscure) of religion-inspired peacemaking, while summarizing and updating those in the first volume; it also offers perceptive commentaries by some of the best thinkers and practitioners in the field, not least the experienced Tanenbaum Center staff. The result is a profound response to violence and extremism, and a distillation of practical and theoretical wisdom that cries out to be learnt from and acted upon in one conflict situation after another. Such religion-inspired peacemaking needs to become a widespread twenty-first century practice.' David F. Ford, Emeritus Regius Professor of Divinity, Co-Chair, Global Covenant Partners, University of Cambridge

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: October 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316606728
    • dimensions: 232 x 153 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.91kg
    • contains: 9 maps 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of maps
    List of contributors
    Foreword George Rupp
    Part I. Introduction:
    1. Peacemakers in action collectively written by staff members of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding
    Part II. Case Studies:
    2. The diplomat's daughter: persuing peace in Syria: Hind Kabawat Syria Marc Gopin and Thanos Gatsias
    3. War junkie for G-d: Andrew White Iraq Clayton Maring
    4. Sisters by choice: Osnat Aram-Daphna and Najeeba Sirhan Israel collectively written by staff members of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding
    5. Simple miracles: Ricado Esquivia Ballestas Colombia Clayton Maring and Kiersten Rooke
    6. Lighting a candle: Jamila Afghani Afghanistan Hyunjin Deborah Kwak and Sana Rais
    7. A Bishop for his people: Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda Demographic Republic of Congo Pamela D. Couture
    8. Pakistan's transformational trainer: Azhar Hussain Pakistan Kiersten Rooke
    9. Updates of case studies from Volume 1 collectively written by staff members of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding
    Part III. Conclusion:
    10. Understanding religious peacebuilding: resources for confronting violence and extremism Joyce S. Dubensky and Clayton Maring

  • Editor

    Joyce S. Dubensky, Tanenbaum Center for Religious Understanding
    Joyce S. Dubensky, Esq. is the CEO of Tanenbaum, a secular, nonsectarian nonprofit that systematically dismantles religious violence and hatred through peacemakers in armed conflicts and by tackling religious bullying of students, harassment in workplaces, and disparate health treatment for people based on their beliefs. Internationally in demand as a speaker, Dubensky has presented at the United Nations, the Interfaith Kosovo Second Annual Conference, the United States Institute of Peace, and Harvard University, among others.


    George Rupp, Staff members of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Marc Gopin, Thanos Gatsias, Clayton Maring, Kiersten Rooke, Hyunjin Deborah Kwak, Sana Rais, Pamela D. Couture, Joyce S. Dubensky

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