Article from Fall 2011 Chronicles of Quaker Education
Teaching upper schoolers about the peace testimony in the 21st century requires not only knowledge of Quaker thinking, but also resources in three areas:
- information on the current and sophisticated body of knowledge about what creates “the occasion” for war and “the occasion” of peace;
- examples that show religion as the cause or source of peacebuilding rather than war mongering; and
- stories of ordinary people who serve as examples of peace builders.
There are a number of resources that I find particularly useful. For example, the book Peacemakers in Action: Profiles of Religion in Conflict Resolution, edited by David Little with the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (Cambridge University Press 2007), demonstrates that ordinary people can be inspired to create the circumstances of peace based on religious conviction.
David Little is also associated with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), a source of up-to-date, research-based information. In addition, I like the Center for Innovation’s text Religion and Peacemaking, Lisa Schirch’s The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding, and the films The Imam and the Pastor and Bringing Down a Dictator.
Priscilla Taylor-Williams is the Chester Reagan Chair of Religious Studies at Moorestown Friends School (Moorestown, NJ).