Embracing the Displaced: Shaping Theories and Practices for a Sustainable Peace
July 7-10, 2009 at the University of California, Los Angeles
There are no simple explanations for the causes, processes and results of international or regional conflicts: social, economic, territorial, political, ethnic and racial issues may all play a role. And religion is a contributing factor in many conflicts. Indeed, many see it as one of the most potent and dangerous ingredients.
Such conflicts not only lead to tragic loss of life (often on an unimaginable scale) but also to the displacement and forced migration of people. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates there are currently 32.9 million people worldwide who have been forced from their homes, some displaced within their own country, many forced to flee as refugees to another. Their sufferings do not end there. They are often treated with inhumanity or indifference by the global community and with hostility or suspicion locally.
For lasting and sustainable peace it is not only imperative that the conflicts cease; just and practical solutions have to be found for these displaced and wounded people.
What does religion have to offer? Instead of contributing to the problem, does it have anything positive to contribute to bringing about sustainable peace and reconciliation?
The aim of this conference is to discuss theoretical perspectives and practical methods suggested by theology and religious studies that can be used to enhance conventional approaches and suggest alternative responses to the problems. Can religions recover their roles as peace makers? The conference will investigate four main areas:
Enhancing theoretical frameworks from social, cultural, political, economical, religious and theological perspectives.
Evaluating the dynamics and resources of peace-building in the light of case studies from conflict zones including Korean Peninsula, Balkans, Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Facilitating engagement between theory and practice in dealing with refugees and displaced persons by bringing academics and practitioners together.
Suggesting practical, multi-disciplinary approaches for politicians, policy makers, community leaders, NGOs, national and international organisations.
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS -
Dr. Guido Ambroso: UNHCR Tanzania with responsibility for refugees from Burundi and Congo
Professor Mark Juergensmeyer: Director, Orfalea Centre for Global & International Studies University of California Santa Barbara
Dr. Elizabeth Ferris: Brookings Institute, Washington DC; Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy & Co-Director, Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement
Professor Yoon Young-Kwan: Department of International Relations, Seoul National University, South Korea
Revd. Lee Chul-Shin: Senior Pastor, Young Nak Presbyterian Church, Seoul, South Korea
Questions regarding the event can be emailed to email@example.com
Registrations for the conference can be made at http://www2.yorksj.ac.uk/default.asp?Page_ID=5548
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