by Hope Stratman and Peacebuilding program staff at the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding
EDITOR’S NOTE: We were recently in touch with folks at Tanenbaum’s Peacebuilding Program and realized they have very similar aims and interests to ours at APRIL. We are constantly aiming to amplify the good work of others, and so invited them to contribute a write up for The Commons, letting our readers know about this exciting work.
Every day, brave individuals risk their lives to build peace and stop violence in religiously charged conflicts around the world. You may not know their names, but you should. The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding has spent years researching and upholding the work of these amazing individuals, whom Tanenbaum has named Peacemakers in Action.
The Peacemakers in Action are a group of peace activists whose religious beliefs move them to confront violence and seek stability in their conflict-ridden communities. These Peacemakers in Action sow the seeds of peace among violence; in the midst of conflict zones, they mediate seemingly intractable conflicts, champion the rights of marginalized populations, educate youth at risk for radicalization, build programs for humanitarian aid, and much more. For the Peacemakers, peace is not just a word, but the defining vision of their chosen vocation.
Tanenbaum leverages the unparalleled influence of these religious leaders for positive change by facilitating a network of Peacemakers in Action, providing them with opportunities for mutual exchanges and training, and bringing their untold stories to the public. Tanenbaum, together with Cambridge University Press, has published two volumes of case studies profiling these religiously motivated Peacemakers. Recently, advancing technologies have enabled a new format for these case studies: the Peacemakers in Action podcast. This podcast allows listeners to hear the stories of grassroots peace actors in their own voices, and to learn more through scholarly analysis in follow-up episodes.
The Peacemakers in Action podcast shares the stories of courageous people who are transforming conflicts and building peace globally. By analyzing the ways that religion motivates and becomes a resource for a distinct set of techniques, the case studies illustrate how others might follow in the Peacemakers’ footsteps. These case studies are critical to understanding how we can appropriately promote and replicate the efforts of the Peacemakers—and utilize key, often ignored, approaches to diplomacy by including these religiously motivated actors.
In each episode, host Rev. Mark Fowler shares the personal stories of these inspiring individuals, offering critical insights and skills for stopping violence in the world today. The first audio case study episode features Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action Dishani Jayaweera of Sri Lanka. In her own powerful words, we hear about Dishani’s journey to co-found the Centre for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation and the inspiration she draws from her Buddhist faith. The second case study focuses on Peacemaker in Action Rev. Jacky Manuputty of Indonesia. A Christian pastor who formerly sanctioned Christian-Muslim conflict, Jacky is now a peacebuilding pioneer and a force for reconciliation in his community. More case studies are forthcoming in season two.
This podcast seeks to illuminate the vocational nature of religious peacebuilding, elevate the stories of religiously motivated peace actors, and empower diplomats, students, scholars, and practitioners to engage with these peace activists. Ultimately, the podcast seeks to analyze and share a toolkit of peacebuilding techniques, so as to call listeners to action for peace.
All work at The Commons is published under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/