The smaller and "flatter" the world gets, the more we see conflict, fear, and issues of scarcity take the stage. From international conflicts over resources to geopolitical terror to crimes against individuals, violence and hatred seem to be in the news daily.
Is hatred—personal, national, religious—inevitable, or is there hope that we can move to a higher plane of conflict resolution? What can help us as a global community address the problem of hatred and its consequences? How do religious traditions both dispel and contribute to the miasma of hatred? What needs to change?
Kathleen Mulhern, Executive Editor, Patheos
It's a place where plurality thrives without reductionism, and where a myriad of beliefs can be explored, articulated, disputed, questioned, and, hopefully, understood.
Listen in on the conversation of some of the Patheos Channel Managers as they talk about how to engage a multifaith world.
Vincent Bacote, Associate Professor of Theology, Director of Center for Applied Ethics, Wheaton College
The question of how to be a person of strong convictions while creating a kind of Teflon veneer that resists the attachment of the "Hater" label is a significant challenge.
Sarah Morice-Brubaker, Assistant Professor of Theology, Phillips Theological Seminary
Can we come to church angry, and then talk? Can we be communities that coach each other on noticing and experiencing our anger, but not letting it turn into hate?
Sarah Cochran, President, oneblue.org
American Muslims must tackle issues that all Americans face and want solutions to, and take on leadership roles in politics without fearing the challenges and personal investments that come with it.
Robert Cohen, British Jewish Blogger, Writing from the Edge
If you talk about Israel/Palestine, you soon discover there are very few readers who are politically nuanced or emotionally detached.
Sami Elmansoury, Public Speaker, Executive Officer, Precision Learning
The necessary risk of upholding our absolute ability to coexist and respect another in the face of a barrage of voices and events telling us otherwise, must begin within. It must begin at home.
Rita M. Gross, Buddhist Scholar-Practitioner
To overcome negative, destructive social confrontations, it is not necessary that we all agree, that we find unanimity. Such a quest is inevitably bound to fail.
Harold Heie, Senior Fellow, The Colossian Forum
What is desperately needed is a "welcoming space" for public discourse that is conducive to listening to all perspectives as to the truth about the issues at hand.
Katharine Henderson, President, Auburn Seminary
We cannot afford to become numb by doing things as they've always been done.
Crystal St. Marie Lewis, Author, Pastor of Christian Unitarian
We cannot seek peace with our neighbors until we are willing to search for common ground. We cannot find common ground until we are unwilling to learn new things and build new relationships.
Paul Louis Metzger, Professor of Christian Theology
A little bit of religious knowledge in the hands of one not mindful of its power can be devastating.
Stephanie Niedringhaus, NETWORK Communications Advisor
There is no question that violence and divisions are rooted in hate and fear, with perhaps the worst examples being those that stem from hateful misinterpretation of religious teachings.
Joerg Rieger, Professor of Constructive Theology, Perkins School of Theology
The realization of a common wound might be the key to addressing conflict.
Brandan Robertson, Founder and Executive Director, Nomad Partnerships
When we fail to converse with a person who has a different perspective than our own, we inevitably end up misunderstanding them, or worse, demonizing them.
Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director, American Humanist Association
By promoting increased dialogue between conflicting parties and attempting to address their needs with the ultimate goal of a peaceful reconciliation, we can end much of the unnecessary violence that plagues our world and slows our development.
Terence Ward, Journalist, Hellenic Polytheist
Perhaps the most important thing we can do to defuse issues of conflict is to revive that concept of the stranger, someone who is neither friend nor enemy.
A few years ago I ran across Brene Brown’s TED talk on shame (me and about 6 million other people). The video provoked me to read Brown’s work, and I spent a few years working through her academic research, books, and articles. I think her best written work is in The Gifts of Imperfection, but honestly Brown’s strength is [Read More...]
One role of religion in human society is to continually affirm that the fears and anxieties about those outside a society are uniquely real, to use the expression of Clifford Geertz. I sit at the Parliament of the World’s Religions; a gathering of those dedicated in the name of religion to overcoming hatred among peoples. [Read More...]
Religion is a one of the greatest unifiers and dividers of humanity, yet in the context of hate, it only fuels a fraction of our propensity to abhor one another. History tells us that we don’t need much. Our selfish ideologies, desires, greed, and need for self-preservation, all feed the compulsion to take, at the [Read More...]