When we speak of the role of faith in cross-cultural conflict resolution, our challenge is to honor the diversity of the world’s humanistic and spiritual traditions while seeking common ground among them. What we aspire towards, in other words, is an agenda for research, dialogue and activism that is global in conception and responsive to common challenges of peacemaking and coexistence within and among the world’s many traditions. It is no longer sufficient for transnational peace agendas to be defined primarily by the cultural experiences and perceived security threats of a particular nation or culture. We need new frameworks for organizing knowledge about religion, culture and spirituality – frameworks that recognize the powerful role that faith and belief play in conflict and conflict resolution, and that do not privilege one culture as ‘normal’ and label another as ‘exceptional’.
Abdul Aziz Said is Mohammed Said Farsi Professor of Islamic Peace and Director of the Center for Global Peace. Dr. Said was a member of the White House Commission on the Islamic World during the Carter Administration, has served as a consultant to the U.S. Information Agency and Department of State, and has played an active role in Arab-Israeli dialogues. His publications in the field of international relations have covered a wide range of topics, including human rights, ethnicity, multi-national corporations, American foreign policy, peace and conflict resolution, and Islamic-Western relations. His work, Concepts of International Politics in Global Perspective, is now in its fourth edition.
Elise Boulding is Professor Emerita of Sociology, Dartmouth College, and former Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association. A scholaractivist, she has undertaken numerous transnational and comparative cross-national studies on conflict and peace, development, family life, women in society as well as writing on the future. Her books include: The Underside of History: A View of Women through Time (1992); Building a Global Civic Culture, (1990); One Small Plot of Heaven: Reflections of a Quaker Sociologist on Family Life, (1989); The Future Images and Processes with Kenneth Boulding (1995); and Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History, (2000).
Said, Abdul Aziz and Funk, Nathan C.
"The Role of Faith in Cross-Cultural Conflict Resolution,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 9:
1, Article 3.