Exiting Violence: The Role of Religion(s)

"Exiting Violence: The Role of Religion" is a two-year research project led by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the Bruno Kessler Foundation, and Reset Dialogues On Civilization, aimed at examining how sacred texts and related theories shape political frames—either toward tolerance and pluralism or, on the contrary, to radicalism and violence. An initial conference, held in October 2017, focused on the hermeneutics of sacred texts used to legitimate and de-legitimate violence across all world religions.​

This second conference examined contemporary sociohistorical dynamics of religiously legitimated violence, as well as religious practices of nonviolent struggles for justice and peacebuilding within the Christian and Muslim traditions. Panelists engaged in conversation on the following topics: the political-theological debates for and against the use of “legitimate” violence and peacemaking within the Christian and Muslim traditions; the sociohistorical dynamics of state power and non-state armed struggles in specific Christian and Muslim settings; and the practices of grassroots religious actors committed to peacebuilding and dialogue in contexts of protracted violence.


Thursday, October 11

9:00 - 9:15 a.m. | Welcome Remarks
Giancarlo Bosetti, RESET DOC
José Casanova, Georgetown University

9:15-10:45 a.m. | Catholicism and Political Violence in Latin America
Ivan Garzón, Universidad de La Sabana
Steve Hege, United States Institute of Peace
Gustavo Morello, Boston College
José Casanova, Georgetown University (moderator)

10:45 - 11:00 a .m. | Coffee Break

11:00 - 12:30 p.m. | Religion, Violence, and the Moral Problem of Blackness
Lee Butler, Chicago Theological Seminary
Soyica Colbert, Georgetown University
Alphonso Saville, Georgetown University
Terrence Johnson, Georgetown University (moderator)

12:30-1:30 p.m. | Lunch Break

1:30-3:30 | Peacebuilding Lived Through Religious Communities
Charles Gardner, Community of Sant’Egidio
Wolfgang Palaver, University of Innsbruck
Antti Pentikäinen, Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers
Debora Tonelli, Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento
Katherine Marshall, Georgetown University (moderator)

3:30 - 4:00 p.m. | Coffee Break

4:00-5:30 p.m. | From Just War to Just Peace: The Shift of Catholic Social Teaching?
Marie Dennis, Pax Christi
David Hollenbach, S.J., Georgetown University
Gerald Schlabach, University of St. Thomas
Drew Christiansen, S.J., Georgetown University (moderator)

Friday October 12

9:00-11:00 a.m. | Contested Political, Theological, and Sociopolitical Issues Within Islam: Legitimate Violence and State Power 
Jocelyne Cesari, Georgetown University
Andrew MarchBelfer Center
Ebrahim Moosa, University of Notre Dame
Daniel Madigan, S.J., Georgetown University (moderator)

11:00 - 11:30 a.m. | Coffee Break

11:30-1:00 p.m. | Illuminating What's Unseen: Acknowledging and Engaging Religious Women and Youth in Peacebuilding
Irene Jillson, Georgetown University
Maryann Cusimano Love, Catholic University of America
Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana, Georgetown University
Susan Hayward, United States Institute of Peace (moderator)

1:00- 2:00 p.m. | Lunch Break

2:00-3:30 p.m. | Conflict and Peace in Northern Ireland: The Role of the Churches, Past, Present, Future
Paul Arthur, University of Ulster
Bruce Morrison, Former U.S. Congressman
David Tombs, University of Otago
Lisa Treacy, St. Brendan's in the City
Gerard Mannion, Georgetown University (moderator)

3:30 - 4:00 p.m. | Concluding Remarks
Gerard Mannion, Georgetown University
Marco Ventura, Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento

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