Conflict Resolution, Culture, and Religion : Toward a Training Model of Interreligious Peacebuilding

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Abu-Nimer, Mohammed (2001) Conflict Resolution, Culture, and Religion : Toward a Training Model of Interreligious Peacebuilding , Journal of Peace Research 38(6): 685–704.

Abstract

Recently, conflict resolution practitioners and scholars have begun exploring the application and compatibility of theory and practice to different religious and cultural contexts and conflicts. This article is aimed at, first, bridging conflict resolution and intercultural training concepts through the presentation of a training model in interreligious peacebuilding; second, examining the dynamics and participants' responses in an interreligious context to the intercultural sensitivity model, which is used in an intercultural communication training setting. The data and analysis are based on a series of workshops and interviews conducted between 1996 and 1999 with participants from diverse religious backgrounds. The narrative and stories illustrate the dynamics of the proposed training model and its impact on the participants. The analysis indicates that, with the exception of responses to the last two stages, participants in interreligious settings have similar types of responses to the Intercultural Sensitivity Model. Adaptation and integration responses not only did not exist, but were rejected by all participants on the grounds that moral, ethical, and spiritual religious dimensions would often prevent individuals from adopting integration or adaptation responses. Finally, the article proposes several questions and hypotheses to advance the research in this field.