Carrying Forward Drew Christiansen’s Legacy

November 30, 2022

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When Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J., passed away in April 2022, he left behind a significant legacy of service, scholarship, and advocacy. A dedicated Jesuit priest, scholar, advocate, and community member, he devoted his life to applying the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching to issues of peacebuilding, just war, nuclear disarmament and deterrence, and environmental justice. In one of his last articles, “Waiting for Armageddon: Theological and Ethical Aspects of Nuclear Deterrence,” Christiansen discussed the entanglement of religion and politics in the context of nuclear weapons and just war principles. Also, in “A Cyclone of Hope: The Globalization of Hope and the Culture of Peace,” Christiansen argued that fostering peacebuilding efforts is essential to enhance global solidarity and humanity.

On November 14 and 15, 2022, the Berkley Center co-sponsored a conference gathering influential scholars and practitioners—many of whom worked for decades with Fr. Christiansen—to honor his contributions and explore current and future challenges related to these topics. Panels addressed interreligious peacebuilding, with a focus on the Middle East; just war, peacebuilding, and non-violence; current challenges in nuclear arms control and disarmament deterrence; and fostering environmental justice.

This week, the Berkley Forum asks: How has Fr. Christiansen’s work on peacebuilding, just war, nuclear disarmament and deterrence, and environmental justice influenced your scholarship and advocacy work? In what ways might interreligious cooperation help to advance international peacebuilding and nonviolence? What contributions can Catholic social teaching make when it comes to addressing just war? What challenges and possibilities are affecting the current landscape of nuclear disarmament and deterrence? Where is priority action needed on the part of faith leaders and communities on issues of environmental justice?

Related | Explore our digital tribute wall honoring Drew Christiansen's legacy

Editor's Note: This series is ongoing and will be updated as additional submissions are received.

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