PEACE, TRAUMA, AND RELIGION
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Today, we witness the rise of national and regional conflicts - so called 'new wars' - often linked to religious and ethnic diversity or enmity, usually triggered by unjust living conditions - perceived or real. In a globalised world, every regional conflict affects and is affected by the larger international community. At the same time, we observe the devastating influence of violent conflicts on the individual level as well as on the relations within families and communities (trauma).
In the political and public arena these developments have created a growing interest in exploring and developing skills for peace making and peace keeping – locally, regional, and internationally – as well as for conflict prevention and post conflict care. This growing interest made us aware of the need for a master programme that would address those issues in relation to religion. In cooperation with the VU University’s Faculty of Theology we developed a master specialisation programme, entitled Peace, Trauma, and Religion, which saw its first year in the autumn of 2015.
The challenges are taken up in a variety of disciplines: Political Science, Law, The Humanities, Medicine, et al. In the field of Theology and Religious Studies, all of these insights are considered and critically reflected (in research, education, and praxis) from the perspective of different faith traditions. Religion is misused to incite violent conflicts as well as it is one of the strongest resources for conflict resolution and trauma healing – on the inter-personal level, the inter-groups level, as well as in reconciliation processes within whole societies.
This master program aims to communicate those insights and prepares professionals for this growing field of peace and conflict studies. For further information, please see the VU University’s website.