7th Annual Conference & Summer Program
Duke University, July 3 - 7, 2023
INIRE 2023: In the Name of God: A Voice for War, a Call for Peace
An interdisciplinary workshop, exploring the role of religion in political and social disputes over war and peace. Workshop is organized by INIRE – the International Network for Interreligious Research and Education: https://sites.duke.edu/inire/
Many think of religion as a major cause of global conflicts while others see religion as promoting harmony. Holy texts provide support for both war and peace. In recent decades especially, religion has been viewed as contributing to global strife. The war between Russia and Ukraine has become also a battle between Ukraine’s claim for spiritual independence and Russia’s vision of salvation for ethnic Russians. In fragile states, such as Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sri Lanka, religious divisions exacerbate strife. Yet, religion has also played a major role in peace-making and conflict resolution.
Our conference will look at the question of religion and conflict. We are cognizant of the gravity of the moment: Religious voices compete in supporting peace and war. Religion is at the heart of political decision.
Topics of the conference:
- Why and how do religious activists deploy belief to harm and heal?
- Why do so many perpetrators think their actions are just and holy?
- How should religious communities remember their violent past or confront their violent present?
- What, if anything, separates scholars of religious violence from perpetrators?
- Is secularism the solution to religious violence or part of the problem?
- How can religious extremism best be met – religious critique or secular argument?
- Is a commitment to religious pluralism a requirement for a peaceful interpretation of religion?
- How might believers be equipped to respond to religious violence harder?
Call for Papers
This conference is being cosponsored by Bar-Ilan University (and especially the Judaism and Society Chair), Duke University (the Duke Center for Jewish Studies, Duke Islamic Studies Center, Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke Divinity School, and Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics).