Doug Johnston of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy has a long track record of substantial reconciliation efforts on the ground in some of the most difficult environments today.
Here are his thoughts on present challenges to the pursuit of a peaceful world
With the 10th Anniversary of 9-11, comes the opportunity to
determine how it should be honored.
Beyond our military interventions, the U.S. response in
countering religious terrorism has thus far focused on addressing
symptoms rather than causal factors.
Despite the obvious need to address underlying cause, how to
do so remains a puzzle for most policymakers. Respectful engagement with
other cultures and countries only takes one part of the way, since that
has more to do with good manners than with religious faith. Its own
religiosity aside, America's proven inability to understand and deal
with the religious motives behind extremist violence has already led to
uninformed foreign policy choices in such places as Iran, Lebanon, and,
most recently, Iraq. To avoid similar mistakes in the future, we need to
move beyond the rational world view that has governed our practice of
international relations for most of the last century to a process that
includes religion and other so-called "irrational" factors. It will also
require that we broaden our basis for understanding the religious
dynamics at play and optimize our opportunities for responding
Read more at www.irfwp.org
An Anniversary Call to Arms
Douglas M. Johnston