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Religious Leaders and Conflict Transformation

Northern Ireland and Beyond

Nukhet A. Sandal (Ohio University)



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Cambridge University Press
16 February 2017
Religious groups: social & cultural aspects; Human rights; Religious freedom & freedom of worship; Peacekeeping operations
Religious dimension of contemporary conflicts and the rise of faith-based movements worldwide require policymakers to identify the channels through which religious leaders can play a constructive role. While religious fundamentalisms are in the news every day, we do not hear about the potential and actual role of religious actors in creating a peaceful and just society. Countering this trend, Sandal draws attention to how religious actors helped prepare the ground for stabilizing political initiatives, ranging from abolition of apartheid (South Africa), to the signing of the Lome Peace Agreement (Sierra Leone). Taking Northern Ireland as a basis and using declarations and speeches of more than forty years, this book builds a new perspective that recognizes the religious actors' agency, showing how religious actors can have an impact on public opinion and policymaking in today's world.
By:   Nukhet A. Sandal (Ohio University)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 13mm
Weight:   450g
ISBN:   9781107161719
ISBN 10:   1107161711
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   16 February 2017
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Acknowledgements; 1. Religious actors and conflict transformation: theory and practice; 2. Situating religious actors in Irish history; 3. Churches in 'troubles': leaders, institutions and political involvement; 4. From diagnosis to treatment: devising an inclusive public theology of citizenship; 5. Public theology of inclusive governance: peace deals and political agreements; 6. Religious epistemic communities in a post-conflict setting; 7. Beyond Northern Ireland: religious expertise and conflict transformation; Endnotes; Bibliography; Index.

Nukhet A. Sandal is the Director of War and Peace Studies, and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ohio University. Her work on religion, foreign policy and divided societies has appeared in the European Journal of International Relations, International Politics, Review of International Studies, Alternatives, Political Studies, West European Politics, Human Rights Quarterly, and the Canadian Journal of Political Science. She is co-author of Religion in International Relations Theory: Interactions and Possibilities (2013).

Reviews for Religious Leaders and Conflict Transformation: Northern Ireland and Beyond

'The complexities of the Troubles have long been a source of concern for scholars. Sandal's in depth and nuanced inquiry into the role of religious actors in helping to end the conflict in Northern Ireland is a ground-breaking work which takes our knowledge significantly forward. It should be read by all with an interest in conflict, conflict resolution and peace-making.' Jeffrey Haynes, Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion, Conflict and Cooperation, London Metropolitan University 'Demonstrating that religious communities were indispensable for bringing about peace in Northern Ireland, Nukhet A. Sandal's book is innovative at two levels. Unlike most political scientists and peace scholars, she shows that religion is indispensable for political processes. Unlike many of the political scientists who do study religious actors, she shows that the influence of these actors lies in their very religious convictions. Carefully argued and thoroughly evidenced, including through extensive conversations with these very actors, Sandal's study promises to change the conversation about religion, politics, and peace.' Daniel Philpott, University of Notre Dame and author of Just and Unjust Peace 'How do religious leaders promote ideas about peace? Sandal shows that they are knowledge producers, engaged in public theology capable of transforming conflicts. Her research is empirically rich, compelling, and exciting, a fascinating contribution to the study of religion and current affairs.' Ron Hassner, University of California, Berkeley and author of Religion on the Battlefield

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