Religion as a Political Factor in a Globalizing World is the first Peace Studies graduate student conference.

Within the general framework of “Religion as a Political Factor,” graduate students will present their papers on a variety of topics, such as religious persecution, the othering of religious and ethnic minorities, religion as a geopolitical factor, and more. The papers are the result of students’ individual research within the course “Religions and Empires.”
The AUR’s M.A. program in Peace Studies: Religions in Times of Conflict addresses the critical societal need of promoting the resolution of conflicts, intercultural, and inter-religious dialogue. The mission of the program is to educate future professionals, scholars, and activists who will be able to contribute to peace-building initiatives and conflict management.

What causes conflicts and what contributes to peace? How can we understand the ever-changing landscape of global crises and tensions? How do the research and study of particular religious traditions and social and political ideas and institutions contribute to conflict resolution, promotion of peace, religious and cultural diversity, cross-cultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation in our increasingly interconnected world?

Tensions, conflicts, and crises are an ever-present reality in today's world, in some cases threatening both local and global societies. To try to reverse the course of these processes is not a simple task. Scholars and professionals who understand the sources and significance of the complex processes involved are vital in helping to address these challenges.

The mission of the program is to educate postgraduate students in both the theory and practice of understanding and resolving conflicts. The curriculum provides students with a distinct perspective vis-à-vis international conflicts and peacemaking by fostering an in-depth understanding of religion and religious institutions in relation to world conflicts. This course of study also promotes cultural sensitivity and enables students to understand diverse perspectives and narratives as important elements in the causes of conflict and the various approaches employed in the pursuit of peace.

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