Role Of Religion In Conflict Dynamics

James Patton

James Patton
Roundtable Chair

It has become evident in recent years that religious actors can play a crucial role in violent conflict contexts, either generating instability or in support of stability. Equally evident is the lack of clarity or nuance on the part of our institutions of state and non-governmental organizations on how precisely to constructively engage these actors.

Who speaks for a faith tradition; how does religious identity cross-over with other identities; how can religion be addressed through secular institutions; how do we deal with internal conflicts within faith traditions; how do faith-based organizations impact a context where religion is present and highly-relevant; and what to do with "friendly" influential religious actors that are engaged in destructive patterns of behavior? are all questions that might be confounding effective conflict mitigation programs.

This roundtable will deal with these questions and others in preparing students to understand how religion functions in conflict spaces, how to develop nuanced engagements, and how to do so while avoiding classic pitfalls and risks associated with this unique aspect of human identity and communities.


Student Assistant: TBA
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