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Religion and Peacemaking26:51

This article is more than 17 years old.

Conflicts like the Jewish-Muslim one in the Middle East, the Catholic-Protestant conflict in Northern Ireland or the Hindu-Buddhist conflict in Sri Lanka, attest to the negative impact religion can have. But history has shown that religion can also be a crucially important tool in resolving social and political conflicts. Can religion play both a divisive and a unifying role?

This week, we presented a lecture by Mark Gopin, who specializes in conflict analysis and resolution, and has worked personally with the PLO leader Yassir Arafat. This lecture was delivered as part of a lecture series on "Promise and Peril - The Paradox of Religion as Resource and Threat" at Boston University.

Professor Gopin believes that the leaders and third parties involved in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ought to integrate religion as a crucial part of the peacemaking process. In his lecture, he outlined the paradox of the conflict between Jews and Muslims and argued that religion can be a solution to the conflict. Afterwards, Harvard University professor David Little offered his comments to Gopin's critical analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace negotiations.

This program aired on February 3, 2002.

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