Major international conference on Catholic peacemaking announced

Major international conference on Catholic peacemaking announced

By staff writers
11 Jan 2008

A major international conference on Catholic peacemaking is to take place later this year, bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and peacebuilding practitioners from countries around the world that have been torn by conflict, it was announced yesterday.

The Catholic Peacebuilding Network (CPN), along with 17 co-sponsors, will convene the conference on the future of Catholic peacebuilding in April, at the University of Notre Dame.

This event will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and peacebuilding practitioners from countries torn by conflict to reflect on the theological, ethical and practical dimensions of the Church's work on conflict prevention, conflict mediation, and post-conflict reconciliation.

Topics will include: peacebuilding as vocation; peacebuilding in official Catholic social teaching; development, human rights, and peace; the Church and peace processes; ethics of political reconciliation; and inter-religious peacebuilding.

The conference is a capstone to CPN conferences in the Philippines, Burundi and Colombia over the past three years. It is the final part of a multi-year research project on the theology, ethics and praxis of Catholic peacebuilding, said Gerard F. Powers, CPN coordinator and director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

"Twenty-five years after the US Catholic bishops issued their seminal pastoral letter on war and peace seems a fitting time to reflect on the future of Catholic peacebuilding," Powers said. "This conference will deepen our understanding of the theoretical and practical dimensions of this mostly unheralded work of the Church around the world."

The CPN is a coalition of peacebuilding academics and practitioners, clergy and laity, which seeks to enhance the study and practice of Catholic peacebuilding.

In addition to the CPN, conference co-sponsors include the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Graduate School, and Program on Catholic Social Traditions; Boston College's Department of Theology and Center for Human Rights and International Justice; Catholic Relief Services; Catholic Theological Union's Bernardin Center for Theology and Ministry; The Catholic University of America's Office of the President and Life Cycle Institute; Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute; the University of San Diego's School of Peace Studies; Washington Theological Union; the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; Pax Christi International; the Sant' Egidio Community in the United States, and Woodstock Theological Center.

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