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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that without explicit, theoretically robust, and practically grounded theological reflection, scholarship and practice tend to neglect significant dimensions of existing—and potential—peacebuilding. First, it explicates how theological method can help peacebuilders to counter positivist and secularist assumptions that often eclipse religious, spiritual, existential, psychic, and emotional experiences that are relevant to naming and healing violence. Second, it uses theological analysis to explore ways in which the Mennonite sociolinguistic community of peacebuilder John Paul Lederach contributes to social theory he developed in contradistinction to the liberal peace. Specifically, the chapter identifies eschatological influences in Lederach’s signature notions of “expansive time” and the “beckoning horizon.” Harnessing the strategic peacebuilding paradigm’s inclusion of multiple sociolinguistic communities, the chapter encourages more extensive conversation between peacebuilding and the discipline of theology.

Keywords: peacebuilding, Christian theology, strategic peacebuilding, religious peacebuilding, John Paul Lederach, eschatology, liberal peace, justpeace

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