The Promise of Reconciliation? explores the relationship between violence, nonviolence, and reconciliation in societal conflicts with questions such as: In what ways does violence impact the reconciliation process that necessarily follows a cessation of deadly conflict? Would an understanding of how conflict has been engaged, with violence or nonviolence, be conducive to how it could be prevented from sliding further into violence? The contributors examine international influences on the peace/reconciliation process in Indonesiaâs Aceh conflict, as well as the role of Muslim religious scholars in promoting peace. They also examine the effect of violence in southern Thailand, where insurgent violence has provided âleverage"during the fighting, but negatively affects post-conflict objectives. The chapter on Sri Lanka shows that âsuccessful"violence does not necessarily end conflictâSri Lankan society today is more polarized than it was before its civil war. The Vietnam chapter argues that the rise of nonviolent protest in Vietnam reflects a profound loss of state legitimacy, which cannot be resolved with force, while another chapter on Thailand examines âRed Sunday,"a Thai political movement engaged in nonviolent protest in the face of violent government suppression. The book ends with a look at Indonesian cities, sites of ethnic conflicts, as potential abodes of peace if violence can be curtailed.
Who is Daisaku Ikeda? At one level, he is the leader of a religious movement - Soka Gakkai - which began in Japan, where it still has its headquarters, but which now claims 12 million adherents around the world. At another level, he is a globetrotting figure whose formal conversations with diverse writers, thinkers and diplomats - including Arnold Toynbee, Joseph Rotblat and Mikhail Gorbachev - have garnered him an international profile, as well as academic recognition. Perhaps above all else, Daisaku Ikeda is viewed as a campaigner for peace. And it is Ikeda's specific contribution to peacebuilding, notably through the central emphasis he has placed on the significance of dialogue, that this book explores: the first to do so in a concerted way. Olivier Urbain shows that while Soka Gakkai (the 'value society') may stem from the medieval principles of Nichiren Buddhism, under Ikeda's leadership it has taken these classic wisdoms and transformed them. Now essentially classless and secularised, as well as adaptable and sensitive to modern challenges like resource shortages and climate change, this - argues the author - is a pragmatic approach to peace which has proved both popular and eminently transportable. ‘Fascinating.. learned.. pioneering.’ - Jan Øberg, Director, Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Lund, Sweden ‘A timely and penetrating assessment.’ - Joseph A. Camilleri, Professor of International Relations, LaTrobe University
The prominent Buddhist religious leader and advocate for peace, Daisaku Ikeda, has placed dialogue at the centre of his efforts towards securing global justice and conflict resolution. However, far from constituting abstract plans for the future of the world, Ikeda's dialogues represent very concrete and focused activity. He concentrates on one significant individual (such as Joseph Rotblat, Linus Pauling, Mikhail Gorbachev and Tu Weiming) at a time, or sometimes small groups, in order to attempt the transformation of thinking and society through intense discussion. This book offers detailed exploration of this crucial aspect of Ikeda's philosophy of peace. Contributors examine topics such as : the background to Ikeda's use of dialogue, specifically in the field of education; and dialogue in relation to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Ikeda's concept of dialogue emerges as a paradoxical movement towards common ground based on a deep respect for differences. This study will appeal to students of peace, politics and modern Buddhism.
This volume makes the case for global visioning: the collective process of looking at a larger picture and building common ground for the future. The contributors agree that only by such a process will people be able to address mounting problems like global warming, war, terrorism, and poverty, which threaten the Earthâs population. This latest volume in the Peace & Policy series addresses three main themes. “On Spirituality and Ethicsâ advocates an international culture of nonviolence. âInternational and Transnational Relationsâ makes a case for global fellowship. âOn Education and Cultureâ argues that educating children is the first step in reforming the world. The contributors seek solutions to the question of how people can start seeing issues from a global point of view, rather than from narrow national perspectives. In keeping with the global nature and scope of the worldâs problems, the contributions come from very diverse countries, including Japan, Morocco, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and the United States. This work will inspire participation in this much-needed exercise of collective global problem solving.
Using case studies from the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Basin, this book examines the global trend of violence against religious places and figures. The contributors believe attacks on sacred places to be particularly damaging to peace and harmony because of the centrality of religion in many Asian and Pacific countries. A diverse range of topics are covered, including an empirical exploration of the global trends of violence against sacred spaces; attacks against and policies toward holy sites in Israel and the Palestinian Territories; the fate of Indian Islamic monuments after India gained independence in 1947; the Christian communityâs response to the increasing Islamization of Malaysia, and the future of communalism in Malaysia. Africa and Australia are also referenced in the work. Taken together, this volume explores the importance of protecting sacred spaces, holy symbols, and religious people as a crucial element in fostering peace in the world, and especially the Asia-Pacific region. The contributors argue that much of the violence in the world is rooted in politics of religious identity.
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