2017 Education and Research, Peace, Security and Conflict Other

Educating for Peace – A Theological Task in Contemporary Times

Sara Gehlin

In situations of conflict, religions appear with different faces. The same religion that motivates destruction and violence can motivate peace, forgiveness, tolerance, and hope. The dissertation brings light to the way theology can provide resources for faith-based peacebuilding pursuits.

The thesis summary was presented during the seminar Fred.

Main findings

  • As a theological concept, just peace is rooted in the ecumenical commitment to build communities where differences are respected and valued.
  • Knowledge of dimensions such as ethics, scriptural interpretation, spirituality, and inter-faith relations are of significance for understanding and finding constructive solutions to religiously framed conflicts.
  • The contributions to peacemaking which result from the engagement with theological concepts and traditions need to be seen both in view of their resourcefulness and limitations.
  • To educate for peace is a critical task in faith communities as well as in schools and faculties of theology and religious studies.
  • In a time when theological legitimisations of violence need to be resisted by peaceful theological means, there is every reason to consider deeply the relevance as well as the possible ways of sustaining the peaceful impact it might have in society.

Sara Gehlin defended her doctoral thesis Prospects for Thelogy in Peacebuilding: A Theological Analysis of the Just Peace Concept in the Textual Process towards an International Ecumenical Peace Declaration, World Council of Churches 2008- 2011 in 2016, at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University.