As of January 2018, Making Peace with Faith is officially launched! Hooray! You can find a properly serious synopsis on Amazon but here, on my site, I offer the inside scoop on why I love this book so much.
In this book, peace gets personal. There is, of course, a conceptual introduction to set the stage… but the real action starts when twelve amazing Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish peacebuilders tell their personal stories. They share why they became peacebuilders, where the journey has taken them, and what they have learned along the way.
In this book, peace gets real. Each story is framed around a challenge or problem. There are problems that arise in spite of one’s faith – and also problems that seem to arise because of religion, including exclusion and violence. There are dilemmas that arise when trying to be true to one’s own faith convictions in very complicated world.
In this book, faith overcomes. This doesn’t mean every problem is miraculously fixed. It means that the peacebuilders draw on their faith experience as a source of guidance and courage, and they keep going despite the hardships. Their belief systems are very different, yet there are striking commonalities in the way that these peacebuilders rely on their faith to help them overcome obstacles along the way.
I love this book because frankly I need all that stuff. I need these real-life stories to help me make sense of the daily news and to complement the more analytical conflict mitigation approaches that I’m immersed in all day long. I need these stories to reassure me that I’m not alone as I ‘make peace’ with the frustrating aspects of my own religious experience.
With the growing recognition of the role of religious leaders in building peace, this book is a much needed testimony of the enormous challenges facing religious peacemakers around the world. The personal and professional stories bring hope and inspiration in how to sustain interreligious peace initiatives in places where politicians failed. Policy makers can benefit from the lessons learned on how to best engage with faith based communities and leaders.
— Adama Dieng, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide
This collection is a treasure house of knowledge and practical experience on the battle-fronts of inter-sectarian peacemaking. The authors provide detailed accounts of their faith-inspired efforts to ease and transform conflicts. Women are leaders. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus provide precious insights into the dynamics of inter-and intra-religious conflict resolution. A gift to the field.
— Joseph V. Montville, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
Making Peace with Faith dives deep into the complex roles religious actors play in working for peace. Would that it were true that ALL are taking religious roles more seriously: religion is still often ignored or demonized. This book explores the topic honestly, highlighting both the potential and the religious contradictions that faith-inspired peacebuilders experience. This work, it demonstrates, is not for the faint of heart but our hopes for peace have far better prospects if faith is part of the solution.
— Katherine Marshall, Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
Making Peace with Faith is an incredible resource for practitioners and researchers to better understand major challenges faced by inter-faith peacemakers. Not only do the authors vividly reflect upon their own foundational challenges in faith-based peace-making, but they provide insights into complex contexts to overcome these issues. We learn how faith in practice versus faith understood often does not complement critical approaches to faith-based peace-building. This book is a must read for all of those who want to gain insight and wisdom from the world of faith-based peace-building and conflict resolution.
— Qamar-ul Huda, Former Senior Advisor, U.S. Dept. of State Office of Religion & Global Affairs
Making Peace with Faith: The Challenges of Religion and Peacebuilding, edited by Michelle Garred and Mohammed Abu-Nimer. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, Maryland, 2018.