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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the role of religious ritual in the process of peacebuilding. It looks at the role of ritual in traditional religions and then examines how specific religious leaders use rituals and even develop new ones in order to foster reconciliation or transformation to support peace. Peacebuilding requires both ritual and rational approaches. Drawing on a wide set of interdisciplinary research on ritual, the chapter identifies distinct types and characteristics of ritual that support peacebuilding. Ritual does not offer a simple method for categorizing and analyzing conflict. Its symbolism and reliance on nonverbal methods of communication make it useful to peacebuilding precisely because there are so many irrational elements of conflict.

Keywords: ritual, religious rituals, peacebuilding, trauma, reconciliation, conflict transformation

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