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?
Prof. Dr Fernando Enns is the current holder of the Chair for Peace Theology and Ethics at the Mennonite Seminary of the VU University's Faculty of Theology and the director of the Amsterdam Centre for Religion and Peace & Justice Studies. He is, furthermore, involved in the World Council of Churches and the University of Hamburg.
Dr Christiane Karrer-Grube is a professor in Biblical Theology at the VU University in the Mennonite Seminary. She is, furthermore, preacher of the Evangelical-Lutheran Congregation in Utrecht. She worked as a professor in Old Testament Studies in Munich and Kiel.
Prof. Dr Erik Borgman is attached to the University of Tilburg as a professor in Theology. He is currently holding the position of visiting professor at the Mennonite Seminary in Amsterdam. He has written a notable number of publications concerning the public relevance of religion.
Prof. Dr Alfons Brüning studies Slavic Philollogy, East European History, and European History at the Universities of Münster and Freiburg. His special interest is devoted to the history of church and culture of the European Christian East since the Early Modern period, particularly of Russia and the borderland between Eastern and Western Christianity.
Drs Daniël Drost is investigating the congregation vision of John Howard Yoder, his PhD research entitled 'The Jewishness of the Free Church Vision'
Dr Yaser Ellethy has been the professor Quran and Hadith studies at the Centre for Islamic Theology since 2008. He studieD classical and authentical European culture and comparative studies with the Islamic tradition in Cairo and promoted on the field of Islamic theology in cooperation with the al-Azhar University (Cairo).