Catholic peacekeeping conference scheduled for 2008

.- An interdisciplinary group of scholars and peacebuilding practitioners from conflict-torn countries around the world will meet in April at the University of Notre Dame for a major international conference on peacemaking.

Attendees will reflect on the theological, ethical, and practical dimensions of the Church’s work in conflict prevention, conflict mediation, and post-conflict reconciliation.

The meeting is sponsored by the Catholic Peacebuilding Network (CPN), which describes itself as “a coalition of peacebuilding academics and practitioners, clergy and laity, which seeks to enhance the study and practice of Catholic peacebuilding.”

The CPN event has 17 co-sponsors, including institutes and departments from Boston College, Georgetown University, Catholic University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of San Diego.  The San’Eggido Community in the United States, Pax Christi International, and the Woodstock Theological Center are among the other sponsors.

Past CPN conferences have taken place over the past three years in the Philippines, Burundi, and Colombia.

"Twenty-five years after the US Catholic bishops issued their seminal pastoral letter on war and peace seems a fitting time to reflect on the future of Catholic peacebuilding," said Gerard F. Powers, CPN co-coordinator and director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. "This conference will deepen our understanding of the theoretical and practical dimensions of this mostly unheralded work of the Church around the world."

Conference topics will include: peacebuilding as vocation; peacebuilding in official Catholic social teaching; development, human rights, and peace; the Church and peace processes; ethics of political reconciliation; and inter-religious peacebuilding.

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