Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies

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New article by Martin Leiner

Black Lives Matter - Activism for Reconciliation in a Divided Country

Since a policeman killed Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, the United States has experienced a new phase of dealing with the legacy of slavery, police violence, mass incarceration, and other forms of violence and discrimination against African Americans.[1] “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) became the general term for the social movement which created, supported, and inspired manifold activities that are all advocating for different forms of justice for people of color. Parts of the Republican party are building legal cases and making statements during electoral campaigns to stop the changes BLM is struggling for. Such strategies have resonated with voters, most recently in the Virginia gubernatorial election on November 3, 2021. The result of those struggles is that due to a lack of racial reconciliation, in 2021, America is a deeply divided society.



Reconciliation Studies in Jena

The Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS) was founded in July 2013, aiming to achieve theoretical understanding of the processes, measurements and practices relevant to fostering best-possible relationships in contexts affected by violence, atrocities, genocides, wars, dictatorships, segregation, enslavement and other crimes against humanity. Reconciliation Studies is a transdisciplinary and multiscale scientific field that focuses on individual, group, inter-group and political dynamics.

The JCRS looks at the dynamics of reconciliation processes for societies in conflict or transition, based on comparative international case studies. It addresses academic institutions and programs, as well as experts and scholars in the field of conflict transformation and peace studies. 

The JCRS promotes a trans-disciplinary approach that integrates the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Religious science, Ethics, Psychology, Sociology, Political science, Economics, Law, Media studies, Art, Social geography and History. The JCRS also focuses on the role played in reconciliatory processes by practices like Trauma therapy, Public policy, Collective memory. The JCRS is based at Theological faculty of the FSU Jena.

The JCRS involves four areas of expertise:

  1. Research, through the Graduate Programme "Religion Conflict Reconciliation" (RCR) and the DFG Project "Hearts of Flesh - Not Stone";
  2. International and transdisciplinary Networks, including universities and NGOs from all over the world;
  3. Manifold Events: Workshops, Conferences and the International Summer Schools "Societies in Transition";
  4. Scientific Publications, including the series "Research in Peace and Reconciliation" (RIPAR).

Activities and Projects

Oberseminar, 2019
Graduate Programme "Religion Conflict Reconciliation"​ (RCR)
Doctoral school on reconciliation studies at the FSU Jena
Meeting DFG Project HOF, 2018
DFG Project "Hearts of Flesh - Not Stone"
Reconciliation in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
This letter to Hermann Hesse was written on 16 September 1945, the day after Yom Kippur.
Buber-Korrespondenzen Digital (BKD)
Approximately 40,000 letters from Martin Buber’s correspondence...
Networks_International Cooperations
JCRS Networks are developed on multiple levels
III Colombian Day, 2019
Events Archive
From the establishment of the JCRS till the current semester
Opening lecture at JCRS, 2013
»Research in Peace and Reconciliation« and other books from JCRS
Schwarz-weiß Foto von Paul Ricœur
Ricœur in Jena
Paul Ricœur
What is Reconciliation about
Reconciliation Studies deal with processes of creating "normal" and if possible "good" relationships after grave incidents...

Our Staff

The JCRS is based at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Directors and Scientific Board
Learn more about JCRS Directors and Scientific Board
00_AARMENA Network 2018 Group Picture
Advisory Board
Learn more about JCRS Advisory Board
Learn more about JCRS Team

The International Association for Reconciliation Studies ​(IARS)

Prof Asano's Guest Lecture, 2019
Learn more about the IARS
International Association for Reconciliation Studies

Gallery from selected events

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Conference Ecclesiological Inverstigations 2017
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Conference on Dan Bar-On, 2019
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Dr. Zucconi in Jena, 2017
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Establishment of the IARS 2020
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IV Colombian Days, 2020
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JCRS Team, 2015
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JCRS Team, 2018
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Lunch at JCRS, 2019
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Meeting DFG Project HOF, 2018
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Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS)
JenTower, Room 15N03
Leutragraben 1
07743 Jena
Postal address:
Fürstengraben 6
07743 Jena
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