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.

Why Peace Studies in Rome?

One cannot emphasize enough the strength that our location gives to this program. Rome and the Mediterranean, with their historical significance and prominence in contemporary international affairs and conflicts, are central to the program. The proximity of other centers and areas relevant to contemporary global affairs in peace and conflict – the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe – is an additional advantage to our location.

Furthermore, Rome is home to a diverse range of multinational political, humanitarian, religious and research institutions. The city is not only the center of Roman Catholicism: it has a vibrant religious landscape, with historically important Jewish, Protestant and Islamic communities. As such, students have the opportunity to engage with the topics that this discipline exposes them to in the classroom in their daily life in Rome.