Holy War, Holy Peace: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East / Edition 1

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The Intifada of 2000-2001 has demonstrated the end of an era of diplomacy in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The style of peacemaking of the Olso Accords has been called into question by the facts on the ground. Elite forms of peacemaking that do not embrace the basic needs of average people on all sides are bound to fail.
The complete neglect of deeper cultural and religious systems in the peace process is now apparent, as is the role that this neglect has played in the failure of the process. Building on his earlier book, Between Eden and Armageddon, Gopin provides a detailed blueprint of how the religious traditions in question can become a principal asset in the search for peace and justice. He demonstrates how religious people can be the critical missing link in peacemaking, and how the incorporation of their values and symbols can unleash a new dynamic that directly addresses basic issues of ethics, justice, and peace.
Gopin's analysis of the theoretical, theological, and political planes shows us what has been achieved thus far, as well as what must be done next in order to ensure effective final settlement negotiations and secure, sovereign, democratic countries for both peoples.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A helpful resource for all those sengaged in interfaith and intercultural relations, even apart from Middle East conflict. The book's greatest contribution is the graphic evidence that local peace and reconciliation efforts really do matter."— Pro Ecclesia

"Unique and brilliant."—CHOICE

"In the age when most proponents of conflict resolution would discount or even ignore the role religions can play in generating peaceful resolution of conflict, Marc Gopin has most convincingly argued for restoring religious and cultural analysis at the center of deliberations for resolving deadly conflicts. This book fills a critical gap in the study of conflict resolution in a region of the world plagued by an endless cycle of violence. It is essential reading for both Israelis and Palestinians to arrest further mutual incriminations and exclusions in order to usher the period of peace, at least, for the future generations of Jews and Arabs in the region." -Abulaziz Sachedina, author of The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism

"For twenty years Marc Gopin has stood in the gap between Israleis and Palestinians. He writes as one who has been there, on the ground, with people high and low, practicing a combination of courage, empathy, modesty, realism, and hope are rare among Middle East commentators. Diplomats, politicians, and educators who yearn for peace among the 'Abrahamic peoples' should read this book. It will show them how the Abrahamic religions can become a taproot of that peace." -Donald W. Shriver, Jr., author of An Ethnic for Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics

"An ambitious, visionary, and often inspiring book. It reveals possible avenues for peace building and reconciliation, grounded in three great Middle Eastern religious traditions. Gopin's work merits serious attention from all who lament past failures of the many official mediators who have struggled unsuccessfully to help achieve a durable Israeli-Palestinian peace." -Samuel W. Lewis, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, 1977-1985; President, United States Institute of Peace, 1987-1993

"This new book by an American rabbi with years of experience in grass-roots conflict resolution in the region offers such a fresh angle from which to view the struggle that it demands attention....his visionary analysis and imaginative proposals suggest there are human resources that haven't been called upon adequately....Gopin's prescriptions ring true as a legitimate, life-affirming, even hopeful complement to official negotiations. They may, in fact, be essential before negotiations can genuinely become fruitful."—Christian Science Monitor

"Marc Gopin specializes in conflict resolution. He has written extensively on the subject and practiced it in the Middle East for 20 years, facilitating peace initiatives between religious groups in Israel and Palestine. Where most observers might say religion was the cause of the problems in the Middle East, Gopin says religion is the route to peace. He cites the traditions and myths of the three major religions in the region, and adds his personal experiences, to demonstrate innovative approaches to peace. Gopin may be dismissed as naive, but he moves carefully from theory to practical application." -The Globe and Mail

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195181036
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/24/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,230,276
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Gopin, author of Holy War, Holy Peace (Oxford, 2002), is a Senior Associate in the Preventive Diplomacy Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C, Visiting Associate Professor of International Diplomacy at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Senior Researcher at its Institute for Human Security.

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Table of Contents

1 The interaction between religion and culture in peace and conflict 3
2 Family myths and cultural conflict 7
3 Political and mythic interdependencies 37
4 Patterns of Abrahamic incrimination 58
5 Conflict, injury, and transformation 92
6 Patterns of Abrahamic reconciliation : act, ritual, and symbol as transformation 103
7 The use of the word and its limits : dialogue as peacemaking 144
8 Ritual civility, moral practices of interpersonal exchange, and symbolic communication 160
9 De-escalation plans and general steps toward a new relationship 186
10 Specific steps toward a new relationship 198
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