Holy War, Holy Peace

Marc Gopin

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195146509
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834235 | DOI:
Holy War, Holy Peace

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In 1993, when Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin sealed the Oslo peace agreement, it was heralded as the beginning of a new era in the Middle East peace process. Instead, violence on both sides has continued to plague the region. The brutal facts on the ground have called into question the style of diplomacy that saw its greatest triumph with the Oslo Accords. This book asserts that the failure of the peace process stems in large part from its complete neglect of cultural and religious factors; attempted solutions have ignored the basic needs and values of average people. The author argues for a far greater integration of the religious communities of the region into peace‐building efforts. Drawing on his own personal experience with religion‐based peace initiatives in Israel and Palestine, he writes of the individuals and groups that are already attempting such reconciliations. He offers a detailed prescription for future negotiations using methods specifically designed to undermine the appeal of religious extremists by subtly incorporating religious values and symbols into the procedures of official and unofficial diplomacy, believing that a combination of secular and religious methods of peacemaking will yield a rich and creative model for conflict resolution. Any effort at peacemaking that fails to take into account the deep religious feelings of Muslims, Jews, and Christians is destined to fail. Only by including religion in the peace process can we move past fragile and superficial agreements and toward a deep and lasting solution. The book is arranged in two parts – Analysis, and Practical applications.

Keywords: Christianity; Christians; conflict; culture; diplomacy; Islam; Israel; Jews; Judaism; Middle East; Muslims; negotiations; Oslo Accords; Palestine; peace; peacemaking; religion; religious communities; religious conflict; religious history

Book.  290 pages. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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