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Building Peace with Justice

In 2016, our annual series of lectures revolved around the international, seven-year pilgrimage of justice and peace that was initiated by the World Council of Churches. This Pilgrimage is a call to ‘all people of good will’ to participate in this timely common call to build peace with justice – in neighbourhoods, societies at large, our economies, with the environment, et cetera.

In our contemporary world, we see a lot of peace-building efforts in politics, civil society, and religious institutions – with and without military forces – and yet the world does not seem to become a better place. The wisdom of calling this fresh approach a ‘pilgrimage’ evolved from the deeper insight that a spiritual transformation seems to be a precondition to build peace with justice for all. If churches and other communities of faith could only start to become communities of just peace themselves, it might make a difference.

2016’s series of lectures analysed the political and societal crises in which we (still) find ourselves today, aiming to learn from examples of communities of faith that have chosen for an alternative presence in the midst of conflict: monastic and mystic traditions, historic peace churches, renewal movements within faith traditions, et cetera. What are their spiritual roots? What are their theological-ethical and societal backgrounds, and their motivations and potential goals? And what is, or was, their (potential) impact?

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