Between Eden and Armageddon: The Future of World Religions, by Marc Gopin

By Marc Gopin

Fresh years have obvious a meteoric upward push within the energy and value of equipped faith in lots of components of the realm. whilst, there was an important raise in violence perpetrated within the identify of faith. whereas a lot has been written at the courting among violence and non secular militancy, background exhibits that spiritual humans have additionally performed a severe position in peacemaking inside quite a few cultures. within the new century, will faith deliver upon extra catastrophes? Or will it offer human civilization with tools of care, therapeutic, and the construction of peaceable and simply societies?
In this groundbreaking ebook, Marc Gopin integrates the examine of faith with the examine of clash solution. He argues that faith can play a severe function in developing a world group of shared ethical commitments and vision--a group which can restrict clash to its nonviolent, confident type. If we study non secular myths and ethical traditions, Gopin argues, we will be able to comprehend why and while spiritual humans come to violence, and why and once they turn into staunch peacemakers. He indicates that it's the conservative expression of such a lot spiritual traditions that offers the biggest problem by way of peace and clash. Gopin considers how you can build conventional paradigms which are devoted to peacemaking on a deep point and provides this type of paradigm for the case of Judaism. all through, Gopin emphasizes that constructing the opportunity of the world's religions for dealing with clash calls for a awake approach at the a part of peacemakers and theologians. His leading edge and punctiliously argued research additionally deals a vast set of ideas for coverage planners either inside and out of presidency.

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Furthermore, only if peace is, and is perceived to be, a part of a principled and meaningful fulfillment of religious experience, rather than a shady compromise with an unredeemed world, will this commitment take hold in the broadest spectrum of those who are now zealously religious. Methods of peacemaking that continue to focus only on political and intellectual elites or that fail to address the broadest possible range of religious believers are leading to systematic and potentially catastrophic diplomatic failures in key areas of the world, such as the Middle East.

As religion becomes more important in the lives of hundreds of millions of people, the political power generated by this commitment will either lead to a more peaceful world or to a more violent world, depending on how that power is utilized. Only through understanding the nature of this growing enthusiasm for religion can we hope to steer the religious world in the direction of peacemaking and coexistence. Furthermore, only if peace is, and is perceived to be, a part of a principled and meaningful fulfillment of religious experience, rather than a shady compromise with an unredeemed world, will this commitment take hold in the broadest spectrum of those who are now zealously religious.

8 Alternatively, some consensus-driven process of the faith group would have to come to a new perception of the enemy before the individual felt permitted to do so. I have been working with many people, mostly Christian peace activists, in conflict resolution training that is specifically geared to religious problems. In my most recent training, I was struck by the forthcoming and bold nature of my Catholic students' presentations. They were unusually honest about the past crimes of the church against many groups and about how those crimes may have been rooted in old church doctrines.

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