Sari Cureton (SFS‘21) is an undergraduate student in the School of Foreign Service majoring in international politics with a concentration in international law. She is also earning minors in Spanish, as well as religion, ethics, and world affairs (REWA). The Problem of God course inspired Cureton to pursue her REWA minor. The class also helped her discover an interest in religious studies, especially the role that religion plays in the arena of international politics.
The Rwandan genocide tragically represents humanity’s capacity for violence among one another. It also highlights the shortcomings of the international community's dedication to protecting the innocent, including how the institutions that purport to value human life can be corrupted. The Catholic Church is one such institution. The Church not only failed to protect human life but witnessed its members playing an active role in the killing of the Tutsi people. This project seeks to answer the three core questions: What was the role of the Catholic Church in the Rwandan genocide? How has its role affected the Church's post-genocide reconciliation efforts? What can be learned from this case about the influence of religious institutions in both conflict and conflict resolution?
Carney, J. J. “A Generation After Genocide: Catholic Reconciliation in Rwanda.” Theological Studies 76, no. 4 (December 2015): 785–812.
Carney, J. J. Rwanda before the Genocide: Catholic Politics and Ethnic Discourse in the Late Colonial Era. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Court, Anthony. “Can the Rwandan Catholic Church Overcome Its History of Politicization? A Reply to Philippe Denis.” Journal for the Study of Religion 32, no. 2 (2019): 1–37.
Denis, Philippe. “Christian Gacaca and Official Gacaca in Post-Genocide Rwanda.” Journal for the Study of Religion 32, no. 1 (2019): 1–27.
Longman, Timothy Paul. Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Rittner, Carol, Hubert Locke, and John K. Roth, eds. Genocide in Rwanda: Complicity of the Churches? Minneapolis, MN: Paragon House, 2004.
Seah, Audrey. “Reconciliation after Betrayal and Violence: Lessons from the Church in Post-Genocide Rwanda.” Liturgy 34, no. 1 (January 2019): 48–57.
Van Hoyweghen, Saskia. “The Disintegration of the Catholic Church of Rwanda: A Study of the Fragmentation of Political and Religious Authority.” African Affairs 95, no. 380 (1996): 379–401.