INTERNATIONAL PEACE RESEARCH ASSOCIATION (IPRA)
26th IPRA International General Conference on
‘AGENDA FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT:
FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE
November 27th -1st December, 2016
Theme of the Conference: AGENDA FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster and Sustainable Development Debate
Religion, Spirituality, and Peace Commission
Religion is a set of beliefs, methods of worship, including social and cultural values defined by a community for peaceful functioning of society. As human beings diversified and settled in different parts of the world, they developed their own religious beliefs and methods of worship based on their local environments and customs. The world has consequently many religions and faiths – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and other smaller faiths. Religion plays a dominant role in the lives of most people whether at birth, death or marriage. The fervour shown by ordinary devotees on special occasions like Christmas, Id-ul-fitr, Krishna janamashtmi (Lord Krishna’s birth), when hundreds of thousands if not millions of people congregate is an amazing and unforgettable phenomenon.
Sometimes a person may not have belief in a specific faith and yet have qualities like amity, brotherhood and respect for and harmony with not only all human beings but also for the rich biodiversity that we see around us. Such a person would be called a spiritual person. Spiritual values or spirituality guide individuals with love and respect for all creation, and allow a person to be a sublime part of the whole universe. This spirituality is what may determine the inner transformation of an individual.
Despite religious diversity, followers of different religions and faiths have by and large learnt to co-exist peacefully with each other. They show understanding and even respect for many qualities of other religions while maintaining faith in their own religion.
However, there are occasional clashes and conflict at the level of organization of these religions and at the level of their leaders who succumb to narrow and self-centred interests on the basis of sectarian issues, egoism and power politics rather than at the level of philosophy of religions themselves which have common core values of love, compassion and unity.
Religion, Spirituality and Peace Commission Call for papers
When conflicts and occasional violence arise the question of a peace builder is how to reduce or prevent conflict and how to maintain peace and harmony between people and institutions of differing religious faiths.
The term "Peacebuilding" first emerged in 1970s through the work of Johan Galtung who called for the creation of peacebuilding structures to promote sustainable peace by addressing the root causes of violent conflict and supporting indigenous capacities for peace management and conflict resolution. Since then, the term peacebuilding has covered a multidimensional exercise and tasks ranging from the disarming of warring factions to the rebuilding of political, economic, judicial and civil society institutions through discussion, dialogue and reconciliation.
The concept of peace has several features – religious, economic, social and political. Peace is not just the absence of conflict or violence. Peace is a positive aspect that is a reflection of friendship, amity, religious harmony and well-being.
An important aspect of peace is the presence of a clean and healthy environment. A healthy environment that gives us joy, tranquillity; that allows religious leaders and ordinary persons to meditate, to be kind, to seek spiritual union with the Almighty – whatever God one has faith in.
If the environment is polluted as happens in many parts of the world today, climate change, manmade disasters, migration of people and loss of food security is inevitable. To avoid this unfortunate situation the UN has set up sustainable development goals for its member nations and it is hoped that these will mitigate the situation somewhat.
In order to contribute to the above debate on the peace and sustainable development nexus, which is the broad theme of the conference, the Religion, Spirituality, and Peace (RSP) Commission is inviting scholars and practitioners to send individual papers, panel discussions or paper sessions for the IPRA 2016 Conference . The Commission is looking for theoretical or empirical works focused on research and practice on the Commission’s core areas of Religion, Peace and Spirituality.
All scholarly methodological approaches and theoretical orientations applied to maintenance of religion and peace and resolution of conflicts based on theoretical or empirical approaches to peace building and spirituality are welcome. If the paper is empirical, the methodology followed needs to be underlined.
Three types of submissions will be considered: abstracts, individual papers, and panel discussions. Where appropriate, submissions should be written according to a scholarly style manual. The same submission should not be submitted to more than one Commission. Any double submission will be automatically removed from the system. In order to accommodate audio-visual needs, please indicate specific equipment needs during the submission process. Please make the request only if necessary. Student papers should be clearly identified in the header. All submissions should be completed by uploading your completed form into the central submission database on the IPRA 2016 Conference web site. Abstracts or panel proposals should be included in the Application Form but completed papers should be sent as attachments at least two months before the conference. To ensure blind review, ALL NAMES MUST BE REMOVED from the abstracts or panel proposals before they are uploaded in the application form. Any abstract or panel proposal with names or affiliations of the author(s) will be removed from the review process.
For specific details regarding types of submissions see below:
Abstract should include a title and should be between 300 and 500 words addressing the purpose of the research, the goals, methods, and the type of data.
Proposals for panel discussions should include the title of the submission, description of the panel and how it will be conducted, presenters’ names and institutional affiliations, and a 1-2 page panel rationale which explains the justification for the panel. Please also include abstracts from the individual contributors to the panel. Preference will be given to proposals featuring participants from different institutions.
Completed paper submissions due two months before the conference should include a title and a 100-150 word abstract.
IPRA 2016 CONFERENCE SECRETARIAT
- Senthan Selvarajah -- (Northumbria University, UK)
- Di Luo --(Northumbria University, UK)
- Brima Bah, University of Sierra Leone, SL
IPRA 2016 CONFERENCE BROCHURE EDITORIAL COMMITTEE
- Ibrahim Seaga Shaw—Northumbria University, UK
- Senthan Selvarajah—Northumbria University, UK