Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Among the questions flying round about Christian peacemaking theology and tactics in the light of the current situation in Iraq is the question of appropriate realism - the need for an honest account of what is going on, unswayed by wishful thinking, upon which to ground further response. CPT are naturally and rightly keen to avoid too much idle speculation, which is an ever-present possibilkity in the absence of hard news. But in his article Still marching into hell?, Ron Kraybill (associate professor of conflict studies in the Conflict Transformation Programme, now called the Centre for Justice and Peacebuilding, at Eastern Mennonite University in the USA) writes:

A lifetime in peace negotiations has given me considerable exposure to insurgency movements. The past never fully predicts the future, but it often offers useful pointers. Here is what we can say about those fighting against the United States in Iraq and what patterns of the past suggest we can expect [continued in full].

Ron has lived in South Africa and India, and has been an advisor and trainer in peace processes throughout the world. He formerly served as training director at the Centre for Conflict Resolution in South Africa and as director of Mennonite Conciliation Service in the US. To get on a free listserve posting occasional essays by Dr Kraybill, send a note to him. More of his articles on Ekklesia: Towards repairing the ancient ruins - Jan 4, 2005; What to expect after Falluja - Nov 12, 2004]

CJP's philosophy: Open to people from all parts of the world and all religious traditions, the Centre for Justice and Peacebuilding builds upon EMU's Christian/Anabaptist faith commitments and strengths. The rigours of academic specialization are combined with practical preparation for a life of nonviolence, witness, service, and peacebuilding in the larger society and world. The program also builds upon Mennonite domestic and international service experience in disaster response, humanitarian relief, restorative justice and socioeconomic development.

EMU offers the soulspace resource online, for rooting a life of action in prayer and reflection based on the life, companionship, action and call of Jesus. See also Leonard L. Vander Zee's Prisoners of Hope.

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