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Graduate School

Graduate School

During the ‘Mennonite Graduate School’ from 26-28th of January a group of 20 researchers – PhD students, professor, and students – came together for a weekend.

We discussed the different research projects, learned from each other, and inspired each other. We were especially grateful to have two participants from LCC International University in Lithuania with us this time.

Research in Western academia can built forth on a false ideal of objectivity of the researcher.

During this weekend, we discussed different forms of decolonial methodologies. Questions such as ‘who holds the knowledge?’ ‘what counts as knowledge?’ and ‘whose voices are (not) represented?’ show that doing research is never detached from relations of power. During this weekend, I was again remained how ‘visiblity’ needs to be taken into account in peace-making processes. Political representatives spend days, months, and sometimes years to define the conditions for ‘peace’ in their context. At the same time, grassroots organizations are working for and living peace on the ground. For example, in Colombia woman peace-makers are working in communities to fight hostilities and promote a way of living peace.

This ‘living peace’ goes far beyond peace-agreements set up in governmental bodies. It is of great importance to make these stories visible. These grassroots organizations give hope and teach us to not give up on peace, even in desperate times of conflict.

We started and ended each day with a vesper in which we stood still for a moment, and reflected on what is going on in our lifes, in our societies – and how we can respond in light of our faith. We were gratefull for the sun, and the companionship we can offer to each other.

Together we struggled with our questions and research methods, as well as learned again to appreciate the contribution from different perspectives and disciplines. Everyone had something to offer.

– Looking forward to meet again next year in January 24-26!


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