Peace and Religion

Several members of the Visualising Peace team have been exploring the complex relationships that have evolved over time between different religious movements and belief systems and ideas of peace and approaches to peace-building. This research has helped us to think more about discourses of peace and metaphors for peace-building – for example, what impact appeals to fraternity/sisterhood/common humanity can have, when they come directly from religious leaders, and what difference it can make to frame a peace-building process as a form of pilgrimage. Research into philosophies of non-violence and the persecution of pacifists (sometimes driven by religious belief) has got us thinking about the role played by idealism – compared with pragmatism – in conceptualising and working for peace. Our work in this space has also helped us to explore the complex relationships (real and imagined) between inner peace and geopolitical peace. And we have been lucky enough to speak directly with faith leaders, as we have examined what their particular positionality and authority can offer at local, national and International levels, compared with, e.g., secular mediators, politicians and international organisations working in the peace-building space.

You can sample some of our research on peace and religion through the following museum entries and podcasts:

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