To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy

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Overview

To Make the Earth Whole studies the art of citizen diplomacy_a process that can address clashes of religion and culture across regional lines even when traditional negotiations between governments can fail. While faith and regional differences have been sources of division around the world in recent decades, millions of citizens are also creating bonds of friendship and collaboration that are forming the basis of a global community. Drawing on the experiences gleaned from years practicing citizen diplomacy in some of the world's most politically charged climates, scholar-practitioner of conflict resolution and rabbi Marc Gopin describes his work in Syria as a central case study of the book. The author outlines the strategic basis for creating community across lines of enmity, the social network theory to explain how this happens, and the long term vision required for a progressive but inclusive global community that respects religious communities even as it limits their coercive power over others. This powerful and practical book outlines an incremental and evolutionary strategy of positive change that stands a strong chance of success, even in today's most conservative and repressive religious and political contexts. To Make the Earth Whole also examines the ethical challenges of citizen diplomacy from the perspectives of both Western and Eastern philosophies and religions. The world's wisdom traditions are essential in devising a way for citizens to develop the foundations for global community.

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Editorial Reviews

The Christian Century
This is a case study in citizen diplomacy, defined as the attempt by private citizens to develop relationships with people in countries that are hostile toward one's own country.....It can in time help to humanize an enemy. Gopin writes out his own five-year experiment in bridge building with religious extremists in Syria.
Daniel Kurtzer
Marc Gopin—a veteran and seasoned practitioner of citizen diplomacy—has written an important book, that reminds policymakers and non-policymakers alike of the critical role that ordinary people can and do play in helping to resolve conflicts. By setting in motion, in his words, a 'constellation of relationships, cultural gestures and communications', citizen diplomats literally can bring walls of mistrust and hatred tumbling down. Gopin's book focuses on the most challenging arena of all, religious militancy, and brings forth lessons learned that are well worth assimilating in our current diplomacy.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
Rabbi Marc Gopin heartens peacemakers by showing how relationships forged across the fault lines of religion emphasize faith's power to be part of the solution when it is part of the problem, and create bonds of hope against the divisive demon of despair.
Richard E. Rubenstein
When Mark Gopin, a peacemaker and a rabbi, found himself speaking to 3,000 congregants at the great mosque in Aleppo with the Grand Mufti of Syria by his side, he knew that something very special was happening. To Make the Earth Whole is a profoundly moving and gripping account of one man's attempt to practice citizen diplomacy in an unlikely and dangerous environment. More than that, it is a brilliant brief for peacemaking by inspired practitioners able to heal shattered relationships by building new social and spiritual networks. Gopin's tone is wise and personal: the voice of a modern sage. His book makes one understand that there is no real conflict between worldly realism and radical hope.
March 2010 CHOICE
Gopin's effort to bring his religious work into conflict resolution makes an interesting read. . . . Recommended.
Kevin Avruch
To say this is a case-study of 'citizen diplomacy'—itself a far too bland description of what is going on here—is to miss the other virtues of this work. It is at once a study of the role in militant religion in intractable conflicts, a look inside the complexity of contemporary Syria and Syrian-U.S. and Israeli relations, a primer on social network theory, a sophisticated discussion of the ethics of third parties who are outsiders to other peoples' deadly conflicts and, like so much of Gopin's work, a deeply felt account of his life's journey in peacemaking and peacebuilding. Margaret Mead once wrote, 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.' In describing his own efforts and those of a remarkable group of individuals in the Middle East and elsewhere, Marc Gopin has written a book that shows both the truth of that statement and offers insight into how it is done.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742558632
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/15/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Gopin is the James H. Laue Professor of Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution, and the director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. He is also an ordained rabbi. His website is www.marcgopin.com.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Foundations of a Global Community through Citizen Diplomacy
Chapter 3 The State of Religion, Conflict, and Peace: Strategic Foundations for Building Community in a Militant Time
Chapter 4 Religious Power and the Future of Global Society
Chapter 5 Networks that Build a Peaceful Future: A New Approach to Incremental Change
Chapter 6 Citizen Diplomacy and Incremental Change: A New Approach to Peacemaking
Chapter 7 On the Road between Damascus and Jerusalem: A Case Study of Citizen Diplomacy
Chapter 8 Syria 2006-2008: The Transformation of a Relationship
Chapter 9 Diplomacy with a Conscience: The Search for Wisdom in Global Engagement
Chapter 10 Confronting Ethical Dilemmas of Citizen Diplomacy
Chapter 11 Insights from the World's Cultures and Religions on Building Diplomacy
Chapter 12 Conclusions about our Future
Chapter 13 The Future in our Hands: Citizens Building a Social Contract Across Civilizations

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