Civic integration for religious community leaders new to Australia : a multifaith peacebuilding approach
conference contributionposted on 01.01.2006, 00:00 authored by Anna HalafoffAnna Halafoff
We inhabit a mobile world. Globalisation has resulted in the rise of the movement of religion and therefore an increase in religiously diverse societies. A heightened awareness of global risks has also produced an unprecedented interest in global peace and security initiatives. Multifaith peacebuilding is an example of this phenomenon as it has gained increasing prominence on the global agenda since September 11. The role of religious leaders in promoting violence and peace is being examined by scholars, as is the growing multifaith peacebuilding movement. This paper will discuss a recent Australian pilot study, which applied a multifaith peacebuilding approach to civic integration training for religious community leaders. It argues that the peacebuilding potential of religious community leaders must be recognised and that integration strategies that are inclusive and promote the building of networks between multiple function systems, can contribute to security and social cohesion in diverse societies. Alternately, assimilationist, exclusionist strategies can exacerbate security risks. In an increasingly mobile world, religious diversity has become the norm and multifaith peacebuilding strategies require further research and state support.