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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes religious communities’ role in peacebuilding vis-à-vis dominant political and economic discourses of the colonial past and the postcolonial present. This comparison demonstrates that such dominant discourses—of colonial expansion for “civilizing” purposes in the past, and for neoliberal modes of economic structuring in the context of the global war on terror in the present—entangle both strategic peacebuilders and religious communities. It is critically necessary, therefore, for peacebuilders to practice reflexivity about their own assumptions, connections, and relationships with all actors and processes in the peacebuilding environment. They should constantly interrogate whether and how the experiences of the past shape problems, strategies, and/or attitudes toward societies in conflict in the present. Moreover, religious communities and strategic peacebuilders should reclaim the prophetic voice extant in all religious traditions to challenge more directly the unjust economic, political, and social structures that inhibit the advancement of justpeace.

Keywords: strategic peacebuilding, justpeace, reflexivity, colonialism, postcolonialism, religious communities, religion in Africa

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