Peace, Trauma and Religion 1: Just Peace


Course Objective

The student can name the different dimensions and the theological,
ethical, and spiritual foundations of Peace and Justice from a broad
ecumenical and interreligious perspective. The role of Peace and
Justice within the different religious traditions will be tested as well
as the (historical and political) obstacles and challenges to Ethics.
Through this knowledge the student will be able to contribute to the
ongoing discussion in the field of Peace & Justice Studies by taking
part in the discussions in class.
The student analyses a variety of ethical and theological questions
arising from today´s political and societal challenges to conflict
resolution – in manifold dimensions. Non-violent approaches to civil
conflict management, “good practices”, as well as new trends in
peace-building will be explored by the students.
The student will transfer this knowledge to new or unknown circumstances
of different contexts in order to test the potential of different
models. The student will integrate the knowledge and cope with the
political, societal, and ethical complexities of each given context by
comparing case studies.
The student formulates judgments on the basis of the given information,
by taking part in the discussions during class as well as in writing
smaller essays or reading reports on very specific topics and texts,
taking into account the societal and ethical responsibilities involved.
The student communicates conclusions growing out of the knowledge,
motives and arguments in a clear manner to the other participants of the
class as well as writing a small article for the public on a specific
topic of the field.
The student is able to analyse ethical “dilemmas” and develops the
ability to
argue for and against different ethical approaches and their respective
implications by writing a paper at the end of the course.
The student will be able to perform independently and autonomous follow
up studies.

Course Content

The ongoing ecumenical and interreligious debate on “Just Peace” will be
presented and discussed. This includes a theological understanding and
different approaches to peace as well as different models of justice
(retributive vs. restorative and transitional justice).
From this different “testing fields” will be approached: The
“Responsibility to Protect”, “Just Policing”, conflict transformation
and reconciliation models as well as interreligious peace-building

Teaching Methods

Seminar-style, with input, presentations by the students, and
A Summer-School (27-31 August) is scheduled as part of this course,
which reduces the sessions during period one to one per week (6
Attendance is mandatory (80%)

Method of Assessment

Paper on a specific research question at the end of the course


David Whitten Smith, Elizabeth Geraldine Burr, Understanding World
Religions. A Road Map for Justice and Peace, London: Rowman &
Littlefield 2015
Harold Coward, Gordon S. Smith (eds.), Religion and Peacebuilding. New
York: State University of New York Press 2004.
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Interfaith Just Peacemaking. Jewish,
Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on the New Paradigm of Peace and War,
New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2012.
Erica Chenoweth, Maria J, Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works. New York:
Columbia University Press 2011.
John Paul Lederach, Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in
Divided Societies, Washington D.C.: United States Institute of Peace
Press 1997.
John Paul Lederach, The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building
Peace, Oxford ( University Press 2005.

Explanation Canvas

The course starts with a Summer-School for Peace-building (Topic:
BELONGING - individual and societal dimensions) - together with students
from the University of Hamburg.
Location: VU
Date: 27.-31. August 2018

General Information

Course Code G_PTR1
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Religion and Theology
Course Coordinator prof. dr. F. Enns
Examiner prof. dr. F. Enns
Teaching Staff prof. dr. F. Enns

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

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