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Kumarian Press, Inc.
Ritual and Symbol in Peacebuilding / Edition 1

Ritual and Symbol in Peacebuilding / Edition 1

by Lisa Schirch
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* Serves as a guide to using ritual acts in peacebuilding efforts
* Abundant with examples of symbolic acts that aided the peace process

Conflict is dramatic. In theater, literature, story telling, and news reporting, it is a powerful mechanism that draws attention, heightens the senses and evokes emotion. Schirch argues that peacebuilding has the potential to do just the same.

Examples of peacebuilding often center on the serious, rational negotiations and formal problem-solving efforts in conflict situations. Schirch argues, though, that what truly bonds adversaries and helps achieve peace are the symbolic, non-verbal ritual acts—shaking hands, sharing a meal, showing a photograph of a loved one. Yet these are often overlooked as deliberate components of peace negotiations.

Ritual and Symbol in Peacebuilding underscores the importance of incorporating symbolic tools, including ritual, into traditional approaches to conflict. Ritual assists in solving complex, deep-rooted conflicts, and helps to confirm and transform worldviews, identities, and relationships. With theories and language to explain the symbolic dimensions of conflict, this text will be useful to scholars and practitioners active in the diverse field of peacebuilding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565491946
Publisher: Kumarian Press, Inc.
Publication date: 11/28/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

Lisa Schirch is an associate professor of peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University’s Conflict Transformation Program. She received her doctorate in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University. A former Fulbright fellow, Schirch has fifteen years of experience consulting with a network of strategic partner organizations around the world. Her peacebuilding experience includes facilitating interethnic dialogues, designing training programs for women in peacebuilding, creating alternative security strategies, and working as a mediator and trainer.

Table of Contents

1) Setting the Stage for Peace; 2) Understanding Ritual; 3) Material, Social, and Symbolic Dimensions of Conflict; 4) Finding Ritual on a Map of Peacebuilding; 5) Designing the Stage: Peacebuilding Spaces; 6) Peacebuilding Pantomime: Negotiating without Words; 7) Forming and Transforming Worldviews; 8) Forming and Transforming Identities; 9) Forming and Transforming Relationships; 10) Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws: Designing Peacebuilding Rituals

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