Faithful Brokers? Potentials and Pitfalls of Religion in Peacemaking

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Harpviken, Kristian Berg & Hanne Eggen Røislien (2008) Faithful Brokers? Potentials and Pitfalls of Religion in Peacemaking, Conflict Resolution Quarterly 25(3): 351–373.

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Recent years have seen increasing interest in the potential of religion for peacemaking. This article conceptualizes the role of religious actors in peacemaking, starting from a distinction among three facets of religion: its normative aspect, its relationship to identity, and its organizational function. Each may feed into the emergence or escalation of conflict, and each is in itself transformed through exposure to armed conflict. Similarly, each facet forms part of the peacemaking potential of religious actors in various ways. Focusing on the identity aspect of religion, along with the extent to which a given identity is shared by both the broker and conflictual parties, we suggest that religious brokers may be of three distinct types: the liaison, the coordinator, and the representative.

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