Virtual prayers and real violence: Religion as a resource in challenging times

Peace &Change, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 14-33, January 2024.


This article examines how to better understand and respond to conflicts with religious dimensions in times of social upheaval. Through different lenses, we highlight the dynamism and multidimensionality of religions, and how conflict transformation scholar/practitioners need to respond. We argue for applying analytical, practical, and arts-based tools that acknowledge the lived experiences of parties, and the various ways that religion and conflict intertwine. These tools prime analysts and negotiators for imagining a wider range of intervention resources, and for de-escalating often-inflammatory media coverage. Using examples of restrictions and reactions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we demonstrate the application of an inclusive worldview approach featuring arts tools to improve interventions in conflicts with religious dimensions.

This was originally published on Wiley: Peace & Change: Table of Contents.