The Amsterdam Centre for Religion and Peace & Justice Studies is an academic centre to exchange ideas on peace and justice at the intersection of religion. The centre seeks to "create space for peace and justice" through the mutual exchange of ideas from insider and outsider perspectives. It also seeks to share these insights through education, various publications, and public lectures.
We are an academic research and education centre focusing on issues of peace and justice at the intersection of religion. Our mission is to bring together perspectives from various disciplines and (religious) outlooks on these matters, to gain insight in them, and to communicate our knowledge to the academic community as well as the broader society.
The means by which we strive to achieve our mission is by organising conferences, summerschools, and public lectures. Gathered insights have been published in books. We initiated a master's specialisation that started in the autumn of 2015, and with these students we will go to Colombia in March 2016 for a seminar on reconciliation theology in the Colombian context.
An inside perspective (identity of a faith community) is essential to establish a meaningful and authentic dialogue between religious actors. An outsider perspective (science) is essential to enlarge the Centre’s circle of researchers, as it allows for critical questions on religious beliefs and behaviour. The Centre embraces both perspectives in order to understand religion’s contribution and potential for peace building as well as its ambivalent dimension in regard to conflict.
Some conflicts play out along the lines of religious identities. In most conflicts, religion is a strong orienting factor in people´s judgements and actions. Ignoring that the values hold originate from religious dimensions is ignoring the history of cultures in general.
Our understanding of justice extends the boundaries of the individual. The leading questions for a “restorative justice” approach is, how to reintegrate those who threaten the peace of a community and how to heal the harms done to victims in order to liberate and heal them, in order to allow a community of right relations to flourish.