On the Significance of Religion in Conflict and Conflict Resolution: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

On the Significance of Religion in Conflict and Conflict Resolution

1st Edition

By Christine Schliesser, S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana, Pauline Kollontai


136 pages

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pub: 2020-07-22
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In this ground-breaking volume 'The Significance of Religion in Conflict and Conflict Resolution', Kadayifci-Orellana, Kollontai and Schliesser analyze the role of religion in conflict and conflict resolution from the perspectives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and by bringing different disciplines into play, including peace and conflict studies, religious studies, theology and ethics. With much of current academic, political and public attention focusing on the conflictive dimensions of religion, this book also explores the constructive resources of religion for conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Analyzing the specific contributions of religious actors in this field, their potentials and possible problems connected with them, this book sheds light on the concrete contours of the oftentimes vague “religious factor” in processes of social change. Case studies in current and former settings of violent conflict such as Israel, post-genocide Rwanda and Pakistan provide “real life” contexts for their discussions. Combining cutting-edge research with case studies and concrete implications for academics, policy makers and practitioners, this concise and easily accessible volume helps to build bridges between these oftentimes separated spheres of engagement.


"This initial book in an exciting new series looks at one of the key global issues with which religion is intimately involved: the sustainable development goals. This punchy, thoughtful and comprehensive overview of the relevant issues is a must-read for scholars, practitioners and university students. It will help set the focus of debates on this issue. I warmly recommend it."

Jeffrey Haynes, London Metropolitan University, UK

"The Religion Matters series is a timely and accessible compendium contextualizing the role of religion within the critical issues of our time. The first volume, On the Significance of Religion in Conflict and Conflict Resolution, demonstrates through careful analysis and illustrative case studies around the three Abrahamic traditions the real yet complex impact of religion in the global sphere, showing clearly the need for collaboration and understanding across sectors and religious traditions in conflict resolution. Building upon the rich academic expertise and lived experiences of the authors, and situating itself within the broader religion and peacebuilding scholarship of recent decades, this volume raises to the forefront the "how" and "why" religion does indeed matter."

Melissa Nozell, United States Institute of Peace, USA

"Does religion matter" is a crucial question for billions of people around the world. Although in recent years, many governments and international organizations have begun considering the role of religion in policy, nevertheless these efforts remain in their initial phase. This edited volume creatively tackles this central issue in international politics. Combining several real and challenging cases, the Editors successfully dispel the myth that religion alone causes violent conflicts and is responsible for their solutions. The book also illustrates how the three Abrahamic traditions can be deployed effectively to positively contribute to conflict resolution and peacebuilding in Israeli Palestinian, Pakistan, and Rwanda settings. The edited volume adds an important voice to the field of interreligious peacebuilding. It also respond to the need for further engagement between policy makers and peacebuilding communities and practitioners."

Mohammed Abu-Nimer, American University School, USA

"This volume is an important contribution to efforts to bring religion back into the mainstream of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Analyzing religion’s role in conflict and peace by applying a simple framework to several rich case studies, the authors convincingly demonstrate that religion matters for anyone working in the field of conflict resolution today."

Owen Frazer, Center for Security Studies, Zurich, Switzerland

Table of Contents



List of Abbreviations

List of Contributors

Part 1: Summary

1. Summary and Implications for Academics, Policy Makers and Practitioners

Part 2: Why Religion Matters

2. Why Religion Matters: An Introduction

Part 3: Religion Matters in Conflict

3.1 Did Religion Do It?

3.2 Jewish Perspective: Religion in Israel’s Land Rights Conflicts

3.3 Christian Perspective: Religion in Pre-Genocide and Genocide Rwanda

3.4 Islamic Perspective: Religion in Pakistan’s Internal Conflicts

Part 4: Religion Matters in Conflict Resolution

4.1 Orientation: What Do They Have that Others Don’t?

4.2 Jewish Perspective: Religion in Israel’s Quest for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation in Its Land Rights Conflicts

4.3 Christian Perspective: Religion in Post-Genocide Rwanda’s Quest for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation

4.4 Islamic Perspective: Religion in Muslim Women's PeaceBuilding Initiatives in Pakistan

Part 5: Now What?

5. Now What? Implications for Academics, Policy Makers and Practitioners



About the Authors

Christine Schliesser is a Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology and Ethics at Zurich University, Switzerland, and a Research Fellow at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana is an Affiliate Researcher at Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Policy, USA.

Pauline Kollontai is Professor of Higher Education in Theology and Religious Studies at York St John University, UK.

About the Series

Religion Matters

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
RELIGION / Religious Intolerance, Persecution & Conflict