By Brian Cox, February 2, 2007
- This paradigm is informed by my active involvement in party politics in the U.S. from 1962 to 1972.
- I reentered politics in 1985, but from a different perspective, of bringing faith and politics together.
- This paradigm is informed by my theological training at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I am an ordained Anglican pastor and have been for over thirty years.
- This paradigm is informed by my training as a professional in conflict resolution. I teach as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University Law School in Malibu, California.
- This paradigm is informed by seventeen years of faith-based reconciliation work in the field in such places as East Central Europe, Kashmir, Sudan and the Middle East. Hence, I speak as a practitioner and not so much as a scholar.
B. Faith-Based Reconciliation In Context
- From seventeen years of experience in the field I came to realize that traditional diplomacy and conflict resolution models were inadequate to address intractable identity-based conflict. Hence, I developed faith-based reconciliation as an alternative paradigm.
- In a post 9/11 world we are faced with the growing problem of religious extremism and militancy in all three Abrahamic traditions.
- From the experience in Kashmir I learned from former militant leaders that it is not enough to take the gun out of a man’s hand. You have to deal with the ideology that causes him to pick up the gun in the first place.
- To deal with the ideology one must present a more compelling alternative.
- I was told by former militants that faith-based reconciliation represented that compelling alternative because it focused on transformation; changing the heart.
- From my study of the sacred texts in all three Abrahamic traditions I am absolutely convinced that faith-based reconciliation is the heart of the Abrahamic tradition. It represents a more ancient and accurate understanding of the religion of Abraham.
C. Faith-Based Reconciliation: Eight Core Values…
These are the notes from a presentation given at the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, Virginia on February 2, 2007.