Building tomorrow’s religious peacemakers today

Drew University launches Second Institute on Religion & Conflict Transformation

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Thirty-five emerging religious leaders from across the globe are coming together on the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ this month to learn about the latest techniques in conflict mediation and peacemaking.

MADISON, N.J. – July 5, 2016 – Drew University’s Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict (CRCC) will host the second Drew Institute on Religion and Conflict Transformation this July to train 35 Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders from around the world on the theory and practice of religious conflict transformation and peacemaking.

Through a series of seminars, workshops and other activities led by leading scholars and senior religious leaders with expertise in the field, this unique program allows emerging lay and clerical leaders to live and engage with each other as they study for three weeks on the Drew campus, located 25 miles west of New York City.

The Drew Institutes were created and are directed by Dr. Chris Taylor, professor of religion and dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Drew. Dr. Taylor explains: “Our daily news is filled with examples of how extremists manipulate religion to incite violence and inflame conflict. But religion also motivates visionary peacemakers who are equally inspired by their faith to transform conflicts in positive ways. The Drew Institutes equip and empower emerging religious leaders to use resources within their own faith traditions to challenge extremism with alternative visions that are ultimately more compelling and hopeful.”

Like the initial Drew Institute on Religion and Conflict Transformation, which ran in 2013, this institute will focus on training emerging Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders, both male and female, from Indonesia, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Nigeria. The participating countries were selected based on their significance as recurring centers of inter and intra-communal religious conflict.

The Drew Institutes are supported by generous grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Endeavor Foundation.

Drew’s Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict (CRCC), explains Dr. Jonathan Golden, the Center’s director, “focuses scholarly attention on the complex ways in which cultures and religions interact, especially in moments of crisis and conflict. The CRCC encourages and facilitates scholarly understanding of the most problematic and tragic intersections where religions and cultures meet.”

Photo caption: Imam Muhammad Ashafa (l), Rabbi Michael Melchoir and Pastor James Wuye participating in the first Drew Institute on Religion and Conflict Transformation.



Dr. Chris Taylor
(908) 294-0124

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