III Colombian Day, 2019

Event Archive

III Colombian Day, 2019
Image: jcrs

JCRS addresses academic institutions and programs as well as experts and scholars, promoting a trans-disciplinary as well as theoretical and practical approach. It aims to develop new models for reconciliation processes based on case studies. The facilitation of practical approaches and applications of reconciliation concepts plays an important role in enabling future peace practitioners and persons interested in the field of conflict resolution, conflict negotiation, and political reconciliation to inquire into adequate and sustainable means for the restoration of social relations.

JCRS develops not only theoretical approaches of reconciliation and peace studies, but also pragmatic strategies for policy makers, civil society organizations, and peace practitioners to overcome violent conflicts. We collaborate with educative initiatives at the academic level as well as with civil society organizations at the grassroot level to support dialogue building mechanisms and intercultural programs.

JCRS pursues the aim to share knowledge and international expertise based on comparative case studies of conflict areas to emancipate societies which have had to confront past abuses of civil conflicts, human rights abuses, discrimination, and repressive mechanisms of autocratic regimes.

Here you will learn more about select events JCRS hosted since 2013.

Select Events (from WS 2020/21)

  • Eröffnung der Martin-Buber-Forschungsstelle

    Am 27. Oktober 2022 findet in der Aula des Universitätshauptgebäudes der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (Fürstengraben 1) die feierliche Eröffnung der Martin-Buber-Forschungsstelle statt. Zu den bereits zugesagten Festrednern zählen neben dem Präsidenten der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal, auch der Thüringer Ministerpräsident Bodo Ramelow. Prof. Dr. Dominique Bourel, Autor der Biographie Martin Buber. Was es heißt, ein Mensch zu sein, wird einen Festvortrag halten. Am Morgen des 27. Oktober findet außerdem die erste Tagung der Martin-Buber-Forschungsstelle mit dem Thema „Jüdische Bibelübersetzungen auf Deutsch“ statt.



    Senatssaal der FSU, Fürstengraben 1

    09:30 - Begrüßungen:      Prof. Dr. Claudius Geisler
                Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz

                Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner   
                Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

                Prof. Dr. Christian Wiese
                Goethe Universität Frankfurt

    10:00 - Vortrag:     Bibelübersetzung und -kommentar in der "Wiener Haskala"
                Prof. Dr. Hannes Bezzel       
                Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

    10:30 - Vortrag:     Verdeutschung. Zur historischen Semantik der Buber-Rosenzweig-Bibel
                Dr. Inka Sauter       
                Goethe Universität Frankfurt

    11:15 - Workshop:     Bibelübersetzungen im Vergleich
                apl. Prof. Dr. Peter Stein
                Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

    12:00 - Vortrag:        A History of German Jewish Bible Translation 
                Prof. Dr. Abigail Gilman   
                Boston University

    Aula der FSU, Fürstengraben 1

    14:00 - Festmusik und Vorstellung des Projekts:

               Trio Divertimento

                Dr. Susan Baumert
                Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

                Dr. Francesco Ferrari
                Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
    15:30 - Ansprache:    Bodo Ramelow
                Ministerpräsident des Freistaats Thüringen

    16:00 - Grußworte:     Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal   
                Präsident, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
                Prof. Dr. Christopher Spehr   
                Dekan, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

                Dr. Felix Klein   
                Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für jüdisches Leben in Deutschland und den Kampf gegen Antisemitismus

                Dr. Stefan Litt   
                Humanities Collection Curator, National Library of Israel
                Friedrich Kramer
                Evangelischer Landesbischof, Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland
    17:00 - Festvortrag:    Martin Buber: Von Wien nach Jerusalem. Ein Leben in Briefen
                Prof. Dr. Dominique Bourel
                Sorbonne Université Paris

    Die „Martin-Buber-Forschungsstelle“ ist Teil des Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS), das an der theologischen Fakultät der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena angesiedelt ist. Die Forschungsstelle möchte Buber als Akteur und Denker der Versöhnung im Spiegel seines Briefwechsels in den Vordergrund ihrer Aktivitäten stellen. Die Forschungsstelle ist ein Kristallisationskern für internationale Tagungen, Veröffentlichungen, und weitere Forschungsprojekte. Sie bringt Doktorand*innen und Gastwissenschaftler*innen nach Jena, so dass die Universität zu einem weltweit führenden Zentrum der Buber-Forschung werden kann. 

  • 1st Kavala International Summer School

    1st “Kavala International Summer School”

    The American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) and the JCRS at Friedrich Schiller University in cooperation with the Foreign Affairs Institute (www.fainst.euExternal link), the MOHA Research Center (www.moha.centerExternal link), and the Balkan Strategies International Synergies (BSIS) launch the 1st Kavala International Summer School (Kavala, 5-11 September 2022).

    The Summer School combines academic theory and the praxis of diplomacy to analyze policies and behaviors enabling reconciliation, tolerance, social cohesion, and good neighborliness at the local, national, and international levels, as well as a UN simulation under the guidance of well-known professors, scholars, diplomats, and businessmen. In addition, the participants/students will be able to improve their professional skills as they will work on real cases with politicians, leaders, and senior diplomats.The Summer School will be able to provide scholarships for some of the participating students.

    For further information, please email the coordin ator, Dr. Theodoros Theodorou, Greece Ambassador a.H, Director General MOHA Research Center at: theodoroutheodoros1954@gmail.com

    https://www.act.edu/news/kavala-international-summer-schoolExternal link

  • III IARS world conference on reconciliation


    AUGUST 18-20, 2022

    Last August 18-20, hosted by the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution (George Mason University) in Washington, DC, the third I.A.R.S. International Association for Reconciliation Studies annual meeting took place.

    This year’s conference has been particularly significant for the association, for a number of reasons.

    First of all because it has been the first to be held in presence, even though a hybrid form has been chosen in order to allow as many presentations as possible.51 lectures have been delivered in 7 panels and 2 roundtables by scholars from 17 different institutions based in 9 different countries all over the world.

    The gathering, perfectly organized by Prof. Karina Korostelina and her team at GMU and by the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies in Jena involved both well-known International Scholars and PhD students /early career scholars.

    One of largest conferences focused on the concept of reconciliation, analyzed from different points of view and through the lenses of various disciplines ever organized, the meeting has been a huge occasion for scholars of reconciliation to exchange ideas, projects and experiences.

    The different topics of the panels approached Reconciliation Studies from different angles, such as “Religion and Reconciliation”, “Theories of Reconciliation” and, in the ones about “Reconciliation in Societies”, particularly effective and touching has been the section focused on Ukraine, with Prof. Korostelina in the room and scholars connected live via zoom from Kharkiv and Kyiev. During the gathering, the plenary session and the scientific board met, and corporate offices have been renewed.

    Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner (JCRS-FSU Jena) has been confirmed as IARS President, Prof. Dr. Karina Korostelina (George Mason University) and Prof. Dr. Toyomi Asano (Waseda University, Japan) are the new Vice-Presidents.Dr. Francesco Ferrari (JCRS-FSU Jena) is the new Secretary General of the association and a scientific board has been formed. This new board is also in charge of the publication of the Journal of Reconciliation Studies, the very first scientific journal in the world exclusively dedicated to Reconciliation Studies, the first issue of which will be out in December 2022.Dr. Davide Tacchini, Dr. Luis Pena and Dr. Iyad Al-Dajani (JCRS-FSU Jena) have been chosen to be part of the scientific Board.

    The association would like to warmly thank those who worked hard for the association in the last two years, especially Mr. Binyamin Gurstein, PhD candidate at JCRS in Jena, the first secretary general of the association, as well as previous vice presidents and board members.

    The next annual meeting will be held in August 2022 in Rwanda!

    Program: https://www.iars-world.de/_files/ugd/abe8ae_1ffa7cff83db42e6887d25ba4c002ac4.pdfExternal link


    Program: https://www.iars-world.de/_files/ugd/abe8ae_1ffa7cff83db42e6887d25ba4c002ac4.pdf

  • III Conference of the AARMENA Network

    III AARMENA International Symposium

    (1.8.2022. - 5.08.2022)

    Reconciliation, Conflict Transformation and Peace Education

    Auditorium Zur Rosen, Johannisstraße 13, 07743 Jena


  • Oberseminar SS 2022

    Reconciliation: Case Studies (I)

    Coordination: Martin Leiner, Francesco Ferrari, Davide Tacchini (hybrid Jena+zoom) 



    Session 1, April 8 h. 2-5 pm Room E003, Fürstengraben 6 (Faculty of Theology)
    Reconciliation and Refugees: Book Launch Tacchini-Barakat-AlDajani-Leiner (eds), Refugees and
    Reconciliation, Göttingen, Vanderhoek & Ruprecht, 2022.
    Speakers: Martin Leiner, Davide Tacchini, Francesco Ferrari, Zeina M. Barakat, Iyad AlDajani, Zahra M. Awad, Fanie DuToit).

    Session 2, April 22, h. 2-5 pm
    Case Studies Methodologies (Speaker: Martin Leiner)

    Week 3, April 29, h. 2-5 pm
    Approaches to Reconciliation (Speaker: Fanie Du Toit).
    -Du Toit, F., When Political Transitions Work: Reconciliation as Interdependence, New York-Oxford. Oxford
    University Press, 2018, “Section 2 Theoretical Landscapes”, pp. 123-188 (Paperback edition).

    Session 4, May 6, h. 2-5 pm
    A Transition that “worked”: South Africa (Speaker, Fanie Du Toit)
    -Du Toit, F., A Broken Promise? Evaluating South Africa’s Reconciliation Process Twenty Years on,
    “International Political Science Review”, Vol. 38, Issue 2, 2017.
    -Du Toit, F. When Political Transitions Work: Reconciliation as Interdependence, New York-Oxford. Oxford University Press, 2018, “Introducing the Argument (p.1-13)”, “Section 1 Moments In Transition”, (Chapters 1-
    4), pp 17-122 (Paperback edition).
    -Du Toit, F. and Du Preez, M., Truth, Justice and Memory—A Documentary on the SA TRC, Episode 1,
    available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3taLI3moaMExternal link

    Special Session, May 10, h. 4-6 pm, Theological Faculty - The Armenian Genocide (Speaker, Ashot Hayruni)

    Session 5, May 13, h. 2-5 pm
    Transitions that lost their way: Iraq & Myanmar (Speaker, Fanie Du Toit)
    -Du Toit, F., En(countering) Silence – Some Thoughts on Historical Justice after Memoricide, De
    Gruyter, International Public History. 2020; 3(2)
    -Thant Myint-U, The Hidden History of Burma, Atlantic Books, 2019.
    -Du Toit, F. Glimmers of Hope?: A Brief Analysis of Selected Civic-Led Reconciliation efforts in Post-ISIL Iraq, in Tacchini, Barakat, AlDajani, Leiner, (eds), “Reconciliation and Refugees”, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2022, pp.195-212.
    -“Losing Iraq”, A Documentary by PBS, available at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/losing-iraq/External link

    Session 6, May 20, h. 2-5pm
    New Developments in Reconciliation Practice and Studies (Speaker: Fanie Du Toit)
    -Du Toit, F., When Political Transitions Work: Reconciliation as Interdependence, New York-Oxford. Oxford University Press, 2018, “Section 3: Toward Interdependence” pp. 189-225 Paperback edition.
    -Du Toit, F. and Mendes, A., “Reconciliation in Practice—Selected Observations about the Assumptions
    informing Practises of Reconciliation”, Carter School, George Mason University, April 2022, available
    at https://www.thinkpeacehub.org/reconcilerExternal link

    Session 7, May 30 (Monday), 2-5pm Fürstengraben 27, Rosensäle, Jena (Faculty of Theology)
    Afghanistan: Reconciliation and Social Healing (Speaker, Heela Najibullah)

    • Social Healing through a middle-out approach is the missing and yet crucial component to achieve sustainable reconciliation in Afghanistan. Heela Najibullah will analyse the Afghan reconciliation processes through the lenses of transrational peace philosophy and Elicitive Conflict Transformation. Her presentation will highlight two Afghan governments reconciliation processes in 1986 and 2010, drawing lessons for future processes.


    Session 8, June 13, Multimedia Center Room 1096  (Carl Zeiss Str. 3), from 4pm (CET)

    Colombian Day: Trajectories of Peace and Reparation of Black and Indigenous Communities

    • Diana Torres (Colombian Truth Commission): Colombian Truth Commission Black Communities report.
    • Ivonne Zuñiga and Gerard Martin (Kroc Institute):The Ethnic chapter of the sixth Colombian Peace Accord implementation report.
    • Roosbelinda Cardenas (Hampshire College University): Black Communities Mobilization.
    • Martin Leiner (Director of the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies at the Friedrich Schille University of Jena)

    Zoom link: https://uni-jena-de.zoom.us/j/6701575705External link

    Meeting-ID: 670 157 5705 - Kenncode: COL2022


    Session 9, June 17, h. 2-5 pm
    Putting Judith Butler in Conversation with Mahatma Gandhi on Nonviolent Resistance (Speaker, Louise de Toit)
    Readings TBC

    Session 10, June 24, h. 10-12 am and 2-5 pm
    Final Session, Candidates’ Day.
    Each enrolled PhD Candidate will present the current state of the art of hus/her research and pick one of the topics of the course. The second part of His/her lecture will focus on the connections between the chosen and his/her own PhD research project.

    Special Session, July 6, h. 6-7 pm, Carl Zeiss Str. 3, Hörsaal 4 - Inmitten des Krieges für Versöhnung arbeien? (Speaker, Martin Leiner)

  • Oberseminar WS 2021-22

    Religion and Reconciliation: theoretical and Practical Approaches to Reconciliation from Different Religious traditions

    Teaching Coordinator: Dr. Davide Tacchini

    More infos here

  • Interdisziplinäres Kolloquium Versöhnungsforschung 2021

    Videokonferenzraum 1096, Campus, Carl Zeiss Str. 3, Friedrich-Schiller- Universität Jena - and via zoom 

    Learn more

  • World Conference on Reconciliation (IARS)

    05-07 August 2021

    Hosted by Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan). Center for International Reconciliation Studies

    Learn more

  • Oberseminar SS 2021


    Dr. Luis Peña

    It is a theoretical-practical research seminar aimed at learning about the main research methods used in reconciliation studies. In the seminar, the doctoral researchers will know, discuss, and critically incorporate research tools into their projects. In this theory-practical seminar, the doctoral researchers will become familiar with the diverse sources of information and research tools used in reconciliation studies.

    Learn more

  • V Colombian Day

    27th May 2021.

    Peace and reconciliation from a gender lens. A comparative perspective

  • The Development of Reconciliation Studies in East Asia

    IARS Conference: "The Development of Reconciliation Studies in East Asia"

    4-6 March 2021

    The KAKENHI project of the creation of the reconciliation studies and the center for the reconciliationstudies in Waseda University, under the support from International Association for Reconciliation Studies (IARS) organize an International Workshop.

    The event takes place via zoom.

    The KAKENHI project of the creation of the reconciliation studies and the center for the reconciliation
    studies in Waseda University, under the support from International Association for Reconciliation Studies
    (IARS) Organize, an International Workshop

    The Development of Reconciliation Studies in East Asia
    Conference would be held all in English, but Japanese title is as follows. Though first written in Kanji, the information is arranged by these
    orders, Paper Presenter ʼs Name, Affiliation, Title.

    Schedule <Time zone in Tokyo and Seoul>
    Thursday, March 4, 2021

    Opening Session, Chair: Bin HUANG

    Waseda University

    Keynote SpeechToyomi ASANO <Waseda University>
    Short remarks by leaders of planned research groups for establishing reconciliation studies
    Naoyuki Umemori <Waseda University>, Sumio HATANO <Tsukuba University>, Jie Liu
    <Waseda University>, Reiko Tsuchiya<Waseda University>, Masaru Tonomura<Tokyo University>



    Reconciliation and Citizen Activism

    Chair: Taihei OKADA
    Paper Presenter: Atsushi SUGANO - < Meio University>

    An Attempt of Reconciliation over the 2.28 Incident in Taiwan:
    Focusing on Lin Tsung-Yi and Su Nan-Chou
    Paper Presenter: Emi Kato - < Teikyo University>

    Citizens' Movement for Postwar Compensation to and the Rights of Koreans
    Residing in Japan
    Paper Presenter: Taihei OKADA - < The University of Tokyo>

    Citizens' Movement and Historical Consciousness in Japan: Issues and Challenges
    Discussant Karina Korostelina - George Mason University
    Discussant Yoshihisa AMAE - Chang Jung Christian University

    Friday, March 5, 2021

    Session 2 Reconciliation in Politics and Diplomacy
    Chair: Asahiko HANZAWA - Meiji Gakuin University
    Paper Presenter: Asahiko HANZAWA - Meiji Gakuin University

    Ireland and Korea: A Comparison in Global Historical Perspectives
    Paper Presenter: Yutaka KANDA - Niigata University

    The Murayama Statement as Socialist Policy?: The Japan Socialist Party and Postwar
    Discussant Barak Kushner Cambridge University
    Discussant Toyomi ASANO Waseda University



    Reconciliation and Historian

    Chair: Jie LIU Waseda University
    Paper Presenter:

    Enmin LI - J. F. Oberlin University How Difficult it is to the road of Sino-Japanese Historical Reconciliation
    Paper Presenter: Xiaohua MA - Osaka Kyoiku University

    War Memory and History Reconciliation in East Asia
    Discussant Barak Kushner Cambridge University
    Discussant Naoko KUMAGAI Aoyama Gakuin University

    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Session Thought and Theory for Reconciliation
    Chair: Naoyuki UMEMORI - Waseda University
    Paper Presenter: Eiichi NOJIRI - Osaka University

    An Approach to Reconciliation Study from Philosophical Psychology: Toward the Ground of
    Memory, Empathy, and Civilizational Transference.
    Paper Presenter: Naoyuki UMEMORI - Waseda University

    Between Reconciliation and Anti-reconciliation: A Perspective from Theory of Action

    Discussant Viren Murthy - University of WisconsinMadison
    Discussant: Tsuneo Akaha - Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey


    Session Culture (Media and education) with Memory and Reconciliation
    Chair: Reiko TSUCHIYA Waseda University
    Paper Presenter: Ayaka TAKEI - Gakushuin Womens' College
    The Holocaust in the Documentary Films: Between Memory and
    Paper Presenter: Bin HUANG - Waseda University

    Multifaceted Chinese Government Affiliated Mass Media: Focusing on
    Changes in Peopleʻs Daily Coverage of The Japanese Prime
    Ministerʼs Visit to Yasukuni Shrine
    Discussant Barak Kushner Cambridge University
    Discussant Jahyun Chun Yonsei University in South Korea


    Session A Free Session by Young Researchers

    Toyomi ASANO Waseda University

    Paper Presenter: Nagisa Kizuki - The University of Tokyo
    The Repatriation from Sakhalin and the Nationalities--Focusing on the Case
    of Remaining Korean in Sakhalin.
    Paper Presenter: Yukie SATO - Waseda University

    Transitional Justice in Unfinished Transition: Contending with the Past in
    South Korea
    DiscussantBinyamin Gurstein - Friedrich-Schiller-Universität
    Discussant: Jahyun Chun Yonsei University in South Korea

    Participation is free But you must register yourself on line, until 12:00PM on 4th in March.

    To register, please click the button below or scan the QR code. ID and Pass would be sent to you.

    Register Online

    The workshop will be held remotely via Zoom, and the zoom
    meeting will begin at 30 minutes before the workshop.
    If you have any questions, please contact us by e-mail:

    The multi-language website of our project could be reached by pushing the Logo, as shown above left.
    **We are planning IARS 2nd annual conference in Tokyo on 5-7th in August 2021. IARS is now accepting your
    application for the Tokyo conference, click the Logo, above right.

  • Oberseminar WS 2020-21

    Focus on state of the art literature on reconciliation studies.

    • 14.10 – at 1 pm, Team meeting via zoom. Save the date! We are going to discuss the activities for our seminar in the upcoming semester
    • 14.10 – at 4 pm Dr. Christine Schließer (Zuerich) will present her book “On the Significance of Religion in Conflict and Conflict Resolution”
    • 30.10 – “Gedanktag über Opfern des Stalinismus” (languages: German, Russian). The first part of the day will be in Buchenwald. After, from 6 pm to 9 pm there will be a zoom connection with Moscow (at the FSU Jena, HS 4, Carl Zeiss Str. 3)
    • 6.11 – from 2 pm to 6 pm: first meeting of our Oberseminar. It consists in the participation to the “Interdisziplinäres Kolloquium Versöhnungsforschung” (zoom) (language: in German) 
    • 7.11 – from 9 am to 12 pm: second day of the “Interdisziplinäres Kolloquium Versöhnungsforschung” (zoom) (9 am – 12 pm)
    • 13.11 – from 2 pm to 5 pm: Introduction to Reconciliation Theories (Du Toit, When Political Transition Works) – Reading 5-8 is a must all RCR PhD Students. In the chapters 5 to 8 the author distinguishes four ideal types of reconciliation theories: 1st Reconciliation as healing of communities, 2nd Reconciliation as liberal establishment of rule of law, 3rd agonistic reconciliation and 4th reconciliation as interconnectedness.
    • 20.11 – participation at the conference “Stories, Histories, Memories” organized by our colleague Dr. Dagmar Kusa (Bratislava) (zoom) (English)
    • 21.11 – participation at the conference “Stories, Histories, Memories”.
    • 27.11 – from 2pm to 5 pm: 3 presentations about books on reconciliation. Each presentation is about 50 minutes (inclusive a 10-15 mins debate) (zoom, English).
    • 4.12 from 2pm to 5 pm: 3 presentations about books on reconciliation
    • 11.12 from 2pm to 5 pm: 3 presentations about books on reconciliation.
    • 18.12 from 2pm to 5 pm: 3 presentations about books on reconciliation
    • 8.01- Presentations PhD students – presentations about your PhD research. Each presentation is about 50 minutes (inclusive a 10-15 mins debate) (zoom, English).
    • 15.01 Presentations PhD students
    • 22.01 Presentations PhD students
    • 29.01 Guest session with Jun.Prof.Dr. Sarah Jäger.
    • 05.02 Keynote session: Dr. Josef Boehle (Birmingham): “Forgiveness, TJ and Reconciliation"
  • Lecture by Dr. Josef Böhle

    Workshop with Dr. Josef Boehle (University of Birmingham, UK):

    "Forgiveness, Restorative Justice and Reconciliation"

    Feb 05, 2021 - 2pm/5pm CET

    Over the past decades, forgiveness and reconciliation have been increasingly reflected upon and highlighted as core components of healing and peacebuilding in a multitude of studies and publications: in a first phase focusing mainly on individuals and relations between them, and later as well on relations between communities and states in the public sphere. Since the mid 1990’s growing attention has been given in the scholarly debate and in public policy to the contribution forgiveness and reconciliation can make in peacebuilding and to processes of restorative justice in the public sphere. This presentation will focus on the question of forgiveness, restorative justice and reconciliation in peacebuilding, in contemporary scholarship and in the public sphere. Any attempt to better understand forgiveness and reconciliation in relation to peacebuilding has to address also the critical issue of how to safeguard and integrate processes of justice into peace processes, and the distinction between retributive justice and restorative justice. This is necessary for peace processes to be sustainable and to retain the support of victims of atrocities, large-scale violence and crimes.

    For those who want to do some additional, preparatory reading: Jennifer J. Llewellyn and Daniel Philpott, Restorative Justice, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014).


  • Lecture by Dr. Fanie Du Toit


    JCRS hosted an inspiring guest lecture by Dr. Fanie Du Toit, Senior Advisor of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa, where he previously served as executive director.

    Du Toit has been engaged in post-conflict interventions in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Uganda.

    He is the author of When Political Transitions Work: Reconciliation as Interdependence. In the book, the author distinguishes four ideal types of reconciliation theories: 1st Reconciliation as healing of communities, 2nd Reconciliation as liberal establishment of rule of law, 3rd agonistic reconciliation and 4th reconciliation as interconnectedness.

    Youtube-Link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZvNfafzTsAExternal link

    Questions and answers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe9-NETIhtkExternal link 


  • IV. Meeting of the German-Speaking Network for Reconciliation

     06.-07.November 2020

    Digital event via zoom, organized in cooperation with the University of Hamburg

    Interdisziplinäres Kolloquium Versöhnungsforschung 06.-07.November 2020/

    Interdisciplinary Colloquium Reconciliation Research

    digital via zoom - Meeting-ID: 966 6189 8689 - Password: z3Rdc3X0


    Freitag/ Friday, 06.11.2020

    14.00 – 15.00 Uhr                  Begrüßung und Vorstellungsrunde/ Welcome and Introduction

    15.15 – 15.45 Uhr                  Projektvorstellung/ Project Presentation PD Dr. Christine Schliesser

    Buchreihe „Religion Matters. On the Significance of Religion in Global Issues“ - „Religion in Conflict and Conflict Resolution“

    16:00 – 16. 45 Uhr                 Projektvorstellung/ Project Presentation Binyamin Gurstein

    Hybrid War & Media Confrontation in Russian-Ukrainian Conflict 2014-2019. Ways of Reconciliation and Creating a Peaceful Relation

    17.00 - 18.00 Uhr                   Get together


    Samstag/ Saturday, 07.11.2020

    09.00 – 09.45 Uhr                  Projektvorstellung/ Project Presentation Christian Ehrens

    Reconciliation vs. Justice – conflicting counterparts? Post-Conflict Care and Conflict Prevention in Transitional Justice as a challenge to Protestant social ethics

    10.00 – 10.45 Uhr                  Projektvorstellung/ Project Presentation Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner/ Dr. Francesco Ferrari/ Dr. phil. Ayad AlDajani

    Academic Alliance for Reconciliation in the Middle East and North Africa, AARMENA & International Association for Reconciliation Studies, IARS

    11:00 – 12.00 Uhr                  Austausch über Formen der Weiterarbeit des Netzwerkes/ Exchange about further work of the network

  • Gedenktag für die Opfer des Stalinismus



    10.00-11.00 Uhr - Kranzniederlegung- Gedenken, Gedenkstätte Buchenwald
    14.00-16.00 Uhr - Gedenkgebet, Jena, Gerbergasse 18
    18.00-21.00 Uhr - Runder-Tisch „Erinnerung und Reue in der modernen Welt” [per zoom mit Direktschaltung nach Moskau. Meeting ID: 929 8059 8957 - Passcode: 472490]


    Russisch-Orthodoxe Kirche Weimar-Jena
    Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies

    Alle Veranstaltungen finden auf Deutsch statt.
    Russische Beiträge werden übersetzt.


    Michail Bermann: Krieg, Revolution, Reue

    Aktuelle Entwicklung in der Welt, die Einstellungen gegenüber Menschen und der Geschichte zeigen, dass es ohne eine systematische Befreiung von Unwissenheit und durch die Gewährleistung tiefer Einblicke in die Ursachen von Hass nicht möglich sein wird, die Hindernisse für eine humane Gesellschaft und den Fortschritt zum Frieden hin zu überwinden. Die Wunden unserer tausendjährigen Geschichte, die vielfach auch von Angriffen und Zerstörung der Menschenwürde gekennzeichnet war, rufen uns dazu auf, einen Beitrag zur Überwindung von Hass und Angst zwischen Menschen, Nationen und Religionen zu leisten.

    Am 2. November 2019 fand in Jena das erste "Gedenkgebet" für Opfer politischer Repressionen in Deutschland und in der UdSSR im 20. Jahrhundert statt. Diese Aktion überzeugte die Organisatoren von der Notwendigkeit eines systematischen, einmal jährlich stattfindenden Treffens prominenter kultureller und politischer Persönlichkeiten mit Jugendlichen und anderen Bevölkerungsschichten in Deutschland. Wiederauflebende, überwunden geglaubte alte Ressentiments könnten erneut zum Holocaust und zum GULAG führen. Der Holocaust des 21. Jahrhunderts könnte auch möglich werden durch Manipulationvon 3,5 Millionen russischsprachigen Bürgern, Objekten von Propaganda, die die Politik und die Gesellschaft in Deutschland beeinflussen könnten. Ein warnendes Indiz dafür ist ihre große Zuneigung zur AFD.

    Aus diesem Grund möchten wir in Jena Tagungen abhalten, um die Gesellschaft vor der Wiederholung möglicher tragischer Folgen von Lektionen des 20. Jahrhunderts zu warnen.

  • Reconciliation in the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict

    28th and 29th of September 2020

    The Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and Ukrainian Association of Psychosynthesis and Psychotherapy organize an international Web-ConferenceExternal link on Reconciliation in the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict.

    "In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change" (Thich Nhat Hanh)

    The armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian government and Russia-backed armed groups entered its sixth year. The conflict has turned 1.7 million people into internally displaced persons. In years of the conflict Ukrainian society has gone through a very difficult and traumatic period, a period first characterized by apathy and cynicism. As a result of file economic decline and associated problems noted above, social tensions continue to rise and the potential for other societal conflict is high. Thus the issue of social reconciliation has great value and importance. Social reconciliation interventions are therefore specifically designed to foster intergroup understanding, strengthen nonviolent conflict resolution mechanisms, and heal the wounds of war. Such reconciliation process may include individual counseling that can help one deal with - inner conflict perception in the society. Such method widely used in inter-individual psychology techniques.

    Current interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together scholars and activists with diverse backgrounds and research interests to discuss modes of cooperation. The workshop aims to strengthen ties between scholars and practicing researchers and activists from different research areas.

    The main goals of the conference are to establish cross-sector collaboration, in order to exchange scientific and practical experience in conflict resolution. We believe that this will help to develop a professional dialogue a unified strategy for providing psychological counseling and rehabilitation assistance to victims and civilians.


    1. Settlement of intrapersonal conflicts and national self-identity: psychological and political aspects.
    2. Psychosynthesis as a perception for reconciliation.
    3. The problem of peaceful settlement of conflicts in the context of dialogical thinking of scientists and practitioners.
    4. A panel of activists and volunteers.


    • Binyamin Gurstein – PhD candidate, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Germany
    • Dr. Yegor Kucherenko - Candidate of Psychological Sciences, Associate Professor, Chairman of the Ukrainian Association of Psychosynthesis and Psychotherapy (Ukraine)


    • Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner - Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Germany
    • Prof. Dr. Karina Korostelina - George Mason University, US
    • Prof. Dr. Toyomi Asano - Waseda University, Japan
    • Dr. Francesco Ferrari - Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Germany


    • Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner, University of Jena (Germany): IARS
    • Dr. Francesco Ferrari, University of Jena, (Germany): How Emplotment and Meaning-Making Foster Reconciliation with Oneself
    • Dr. Olga Filippova and Dr. Oleksandra Deineko, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine): Between ‘Being Home’ and ‘Feeling Home’: Reconciliation Perspective of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine
    • Mr. Binaymin Gurstein, University of Jena (Germany): Psychological Explanation of Conflict
    • Mr. Kenneth Sorens, The Norwegian Institute of Psychosynthesis: Psychosynthesis as a Pathway to Peace
    • Prof. Dr. Karina Korostelina, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution - George Mason University (USA): Identity-based approach to reconciliation in Ukraine
    • Prof. Antti Pentikainen, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution - George Mason University (USA): How to Improve Impact of Reconciliation Processes? Learning from International Experiences
    • Dr. Oksana Rudenko, Grigory Skovoroda University in Pereiaslav (Ukraine): Psychological Support for Combatants in Military Hospital
    • Dr. Yegor Kucherenko, Grigory Skovoroda University in Pereiaslav (Ukraine): Personality in Search of Reconciliation with Oneself: Methodology of Psychosynthesis in Psychological Assistance to Victims
    • Prof. Dr. Mark Gopin, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution - George Mason University (USA): Self-examination, Reconciliation with Oneself, and Peacebuilding
    • Dr. Leonid Nikolayev, Grigory Skovoroda University in Pereiaslav (Ukraine): Psychological Assistance in Self-Help Group for the Internally Displaced Person (IDP)
    • Dr. Zoya Gurina, Grigory Skovoroda University in Pereiaslav (Ukraine): Psychological Assistance for the Families of the Combatants
    • Prof. Dr. Andrii Hirnyk, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine): Prospects And Obstacles On The Way To Resolving Conflict In The Donbas As Viewed By The Residents Of The Occupied Territories
    • Dr. Daniel Rothbart, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution - George Mason University (USA): Power, Emotions, and Violent Conflicts
    • Prof. Dr. Richard Rubenstein, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution - George Mason University (USA): Sources of the New Tribalism: Can Human Solidarity Overcome Structural Violence?"
    • Dr. Olesya Geraschenko, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine): “So What do you See?” Visual Art in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation in Ukraine
    • Dr. Luis Peña, University of Jena (Germany): Multilayered Conflict. Multilayered Reconciliation Challenges. Reflecting from Colombian Case
    • Dr. Vladislav Dimitrov, Political Advisor and Researcher: Religion Stratification and Reconciliation Process Using European and Post-Soviet Countries Experience
    • Dr. Tatiana Kyselova National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine): Dialogue Inclusion Dilemma in Ukraine


    Prospective participants are invited to submit their proposals in English (abstract 250 words) till the 25th of September 2020, including a title of their presentation and CV to email: Binyamin.gurstein@uni-jena.de Applicants should mention in their proposal the thematic panel they target. All abstracts will be subject to a blind review process


    https://uni-jena-de.zoom.us/j/5974242702External link

    Meeting ID: 597 424 2702
    Passcode: jcrs2020

Prof. Leiner's Guest Lecture at Universidad de Antioquia, 2017
Image: JCRS
International Summer School at JCRS, 2014
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JCRS 6th Anniversary, 2019
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Prof. Leiner, Archbishop Tutu, Prof. Thesnaar, 2014
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AARMENA Network Meeting, 2018
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Prof. Thesnaar, Prof. Gobodo Madikizela, Prof. Leiner, 2017
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International Summer School at JCRS, 2011
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Dr. Ferrari's Guest Lecture at Universidad de Antioquia, 2017
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International Summer School at JCRS, 2015
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International Summer School at JCRS, 2009
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Dinner, Workshop "South Africa Database - Violence and the Role of Religions in South Africa", 2016
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Dinner, Workshop "South Africa Database - Violence and the Role of Religions in South Africa", 2016
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III Colombian Day, 2019
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Mpho Tutu's Guest Lecture at JCRS, 2019
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Prof. Leiner, Dr. Dajani, University of Petra, 2019
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Select Events (SS 2020 and WS 2019/20)

  • II Meeting of the AARMENA Network

    With the topic "HERITAGE, RECONCILIATION AND SOCIAL INCLUSION", the II Meeting of the AARMENA Network has been hosted by JCRS between 11th and 14th of August 2020.

  • Establishment of the IARS

    9th and 10th August 2020 the JCRS has hosted the establishment of the International Association for Reconciliation Studies (IARS).

    Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany), Prof. Dr. Toyomi Asano (Waseda University, Japan) and Prof. Dr. Karina Korostelina (George Mason Univesity, USA) presided the event.

    The event has been recorded via zoom:

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/i1wi1y6cahj6i8t/IARS_01.mp4/fileExternal link

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/jygk6au5cmxkydq/IARS_02.mp4/fileExternal link 

    The International Association for Reconciliation Studies aims at building bridges and promoting a dialogue across different approached to reconciliation to verify and further develop the understanding of reconciliation, explore the variability and commonality in reconciliation processes, and to endorse varied approaches to reconciliation. It recognizes that reconciliation processes play a major role in building long-lasting peace within and across boundaries, restoring and transforming relationships in the aftermath of conflict, and disrupting cycles of violence.  The members of the IARS share a vision that reconciliation is much more than a cessation of violence and hostilities; it requires the participation of the parties involved in the conflict to come together to redefine their relationship and create an environment where cooperation and peaceful coexistence are the operative norms within society.

    The International Association for Reconciliation Studies concentrates on reconciliation in divided societies and between nations accruing on an interpersonal, intergroup, and international levels and promotes complex, theory-based, indigenous, and faith-based approaches that address justice, reparations, mercy, apology, forgiveness, and shared identity. To advance the design and implementation of reconciliation processes, the IARS searches for various social conditions for the imagination and achievement of reconciliation, advancing theory and bridging it with practice.

    We also expect that the International Association for Reconciliation Studies will help understand and improve international relations by going beyond the conventionally fundamental factors of politics, power, interest and international law toward underlining the role of human’s memories, emotions, values, and morality in mobilizing people for conflicts or reconciliations, in strengthening civilian networks to sustain human rights, and in contributing to mutual respect between nations in the age of globalization and democratization.

    Our hope that our collective approach to reconciliation studies will create a basis for cooperative cultural and educational policy toward a common citizenship in the globe, which would be the next immediate step for a shared approach to such global issues, such as environment, infectious disease, and poverty.


    9th August 2020

    12:30 CET – For those who are in Jena: Meeting at the JenTower (Leutragraben 1, 15th floor – Jena)

    13:30 CET – 15:30 CET – First session via zoom. Link: https://uni-jena-de.zoom.us/j/5974242702 / Meeting ID: 597 424 2702 / Password: iars2020 / Program:

    • Prof. Dr. Karina Korostelina (Conflict Analysis and Resolution, USA): Reconciliation and Education for Peace
    • Prof. Dr. Toyomi Asano (Political History, Japan): The Future of Reconciliation Studies: How it Would Contribute to Reconciliation
    • Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner (Theology, Germany): Religions and Reconciliation
    • Antti Pentikainen (Native People Studies, Finland): Reconciliation from the Perspective of Indigeneous Populations
    • Discussion (20 minutes)
    • Break (10 minutes)
    • Dr. Fanie du Toit (Philosophy, South Africa): What could be the Reconciliation Theory of the Future
    • Prof. Dr. Ciarán Burke (Law, Ireland): International Law and Reconciliation
    • Dr. Josefina Echavarria-Alvarez (Peace Studies, USA) - Mons. Héctor Fabio Henao (Colombia): Colombian Peace Process as a Model to Develop Future Perspectives for Reconciliation Studies
    • Prof. Dr. Kijeong Nam (Political Science, South Korea): Agenda to Enlarge Peace for Both Korean and Japanese Civil Society
    • Discussion (20 minutes)

    10th August 2020

    13:30 CET – 16:00 CET – Second session via zoom. Link: https://uni-jena-de.zoom.us/j/5974242702 / Meeting ID: 597 424 2702 / Password: iars2020 / Program:

    • Prof. Dr. Sami Adwan (Education and Peace Studies, Palestinian Territories): Historical Narratives and Reconciliation: the Role of School Books in the Context of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
    • Prof. Dr. Daqing Yang (History and International Affairs, USA): Reconciliation and Historical Dialogue
    • Prof. Dr. Arie Nadler (Social Psychology, Israel): The Future of Reconciliation Studies from the Point of View of Social Psychology
    • Prof. Dr. Jimmy Chia-Shin Hsu (Law, Taiwan): The Difficulty and Necessity of Political Reconciliation for Transitional Justice in Taiwan
    • Prof. Dr. Jahyun Chun (International Relations, South Korea): Varieties of International Reconciliation
    • Bishop John Rucyahana (Commission for Unity and Reconciliation, Rwanda): Most Important Topics for Reconciliation Studies from Perspective of Practice
    • Prof. Dr. Pumla Gobodo Madikizela (Psychology, South Africa): Future Perspectives for Reconciliation Studies from the Point of View of a Psychologist
    • Break (15 minutes)
    • Discussion and Feedback (30 minutes)

    15:15 CET - Establishment of International Association for Reconciliation Studies (for those who are in Jena: your presence is warmly welcome!)

    The event was co-founded by the Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung (DSFExternal link).

  • Oberseminar SS 2020

    Teaching activities take place in digital form via Zoom.

    08/05, Theories of reconciliation. Papers from: Fanie Du Toit.

    15/05, Field research in reconciliation studies. Case study: Mapuche (Argentina). With Dr. Luis Pena

    22/05, Field research in reconciliation studies. Case study: Latin America. With Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner

    26/05, Colombia Day 1st day. The role of arts in peace and reconciliation. With international guests.

    27/05, Colombia Day 2nd day. Learning from Rwanda's National Unity and Reconciliation Commission. With international guests.

    10/06, Reconciliation with oneself. Narrative Identity and Autobiographical Hindsight. Papers from: Paul Ricoeur, Jens Brockmeier

    17/06, Reconciliation with oneself. Sense of coherence, Agency, Search of meaning, Alienation. Papers from: Charles Taylor, Aaron Antonovsky, Hartmut Rosa, Rahel Jaeggi

    24/06, Reconciliation with oneself as reconciliation with the past. With Dr. Davide Tacchini

    01/07, Reconciliation with oneself. Trauma and narratives. Papers from: Pumla Gobodo Madikizela, Dan Bar-On

    08/07, Ph.D. students presentations

  • IV Colombian Days


    Colombian and Rwandan truth Commissions

    As in previous versions, during Colombian Day we made a follow up of the peace process in Colombia and we contrasted with other cases. In this opportunity we chose Rwanda and we focused on the truth commission in both countries. The presentations analyzed the similarities and the differences in the context addressing several scales of challenges, from local to geopolitical.  The event made a call for researchers and peace practitioners not only to engage in comparative studies but also to visualize the achievements and create solidarity to face the difficulties that truth commissions are going through. 

    The first day we heard the presentations of prof. Dr. Martin Leiner, director of the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies; Bishop John Rucyahana, president of Rwanda's National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC); prof. Dr. John Zuluaga of the Sergio Arboleda University; and Natalia Gomez, Interviewer of the German Node of the Truth Commission Colombia. The second day we had the presentations of Prof. Dr. Pedro Valenzuela, of the Javeriana University of Colombia; Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters, scientific director of the German Colombian Center of Peace (CAPAZ) and Camilo Dominguez, a member of the Special Unit of Peace of the Antioquia University. 

    From the analysis of these two cases emerged the following two interesting contrasts that are fundamental points of departure for the further investigations, and the establishment of a support network for peace practitioners (we listed here; for the details read the presentations):

    1. Unity and diversity as principles of peacebuilding. Given the differentiated character of the Rwanda and Colombian conflicts, in each country the narrative and the instruments of peacebuilding included that of the truth commissions, were based on contrasting principles. In Rwanda was the principle of Unity. In Colombia the principle of diversity.

    2. Strongly related to the previous one, in Rwanda, the narrative to rebuild the social fabric destroyed for the genocide was based on the idea of survivors. In Colombia, in contrast, the fundamental principle of the agreements and the comprehensive system of transitional justice emphasized the existence of differentiated victims. 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0UinEc3OHcExternal link

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nsIIjaVJUgExternal link

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkLqKbGOVJIExternal link


  • Oberseminar WS 2019/20

    “Making Home” in Reconciliatory Processes

    WS 2019/20 Oberseminar of the Doctoral Programme “Religion Conflict Reconciliation” addresses the question of feeling at home – “making home” and its consequences in reconciliatory processes. The class is composed by two units, respectively coordinated by Dr. Irit Dekel and by Dr. Francesco Ferrari.

    Dr. Irit Dekel - Home as an idea implies belonging, classification and representation of self and others. This part of the Oberseminar will discuss sociological texts about home, studying the experience of home and return, and their various memories during and after national conflicts. It will also offer a methodological workshop on qualitative studies of audience and visitors in memorial sites.

    Dr. Francesco Ferrari - The need to feel at home is a fundamental element in reconciliatory processes, first in reconciliation with oneself. This part of the Oberseminar addresses issues like the dialectic between extraneousness and recognition; the need to feel safe-secure; trust; belonging; perceiving the world as coherent.

  • International Conference on Dan Bar-On

    ʻAn Enemy is Someone, Whose Story You Have not Heard Yetʼ. The Legacy of Prof. Dan Bar-On (1938-2008)


    The conference aims at honoring the legacy of Prof. Dan Bar-On from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, who launched a pioneering field research in Germany and Israel, attempting to understand the psychological and moral after-effects of the Holocaust on the children of perpetrators. It is based on the trilateral cooperation project between Prof. Martin Leiner, director of the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies, Prof. Shifra Sagy, Professor Emerita of Education and director of Martin Springer Center for Conflict Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and Prof. Sami Adwan, Co-director and Cofounder of the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME) in Bethlehem (Palestine).

    While Prof. Sagy and Prof. Adwan have been year-long colleagues of Bar-On, all three professors carry on Bar-On’s legacy as they are engaged in the fields of conflict transformation and reconciliation in individual and common research projects. Being a ground-breaking scientist and prominent figure in the fields concerning the ethical and psychological repercussions of the Holocaust, theory and methodology of psychological reprocessing, rapprochement and reconciliation between victims and perpetrators of the Nazi-regime and beyond, Bar-On’s legacy is of fundamental relevance for political discourses on the Holocaust and German-Israeli relations today, as well as for the interdisciplinary interests.


    Prof. Martin Leiner: Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Theologische Fakultät, Director of the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS)

    Prof. Shifra Sagy: Professor Emerita of Psychology and Director of Martin Springer Center for Conflict Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev

    Prof. Sami Adwan: Co-director and Co-founder of the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East „PRIME“ in Bethlehem, Palestine

  • Prof. Toyomi Asano’s Guest Lecture

    A Challenge for Reconciliation Studies in East Asia. National Memories and Norms as a Factor in International Politics between Active Nations in East Asia


    Prof. Asano’s lecture addressed

    (1) the historical background of nation-state buildings in East Asia,

    (2) democratization process which entailed new explanation-set of National history supported by universal values

    (3) reconfigurations between domestic politics and international politics over historical memories which support common values in international society.

    Since World War 2, East Asia has experienced dramatic and complex political and economic transformations. Problems associated with emotions, memories, and narratives of the past – particularly those relating to the War and to Japanese Colonization of other countries in the region – are underlying factors that shape the ups and downs of political and economic friction between East Asian countries. 

    Professor Asano discussed a viewpoint of reconciliation of current issues from a historical perspective. He covered the historical background to the artificial construction of nation states in East Asia, and the process of democratization from the late 1980s onward. Toyomi Asano is professor of history of Japanese politics at the Faculty of Political science and Economics, Waseda university.

  • Prof. Jangsaeng Kim’s Guest Lecture

    Augustinian Methodology of Theology


    Jangsaeng Kim is Professor of Theology at the Yonsei University, South Korea

  • Prof. David Tombs' Guest Lecture

    The Crucifixion of Jesus. Torture, Sexual Abuse and the Scandal of the Cross


    Recognition of Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse has taken on new relevance and importance in recent years. Tombs draws on Latin American liberation theology hermeneutics to read crucifixion as sexual abuse. Torture reports from Latin America, and elsewhere, point to the prevalence of sexual abuses in the torture and mistreatment of both female and male prisoners. This lecture will review the evidence for recognizing Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse in the stripping in the praetorium and forced nudity on the cross. It will also explore the possibility of further sexual assault in the mockery of Jesus in the praetorium, and/or through sexualized impalement on the cross. It will then examine why this recognition of sexual abuse matters, and suggest how it might inform church responses to public issues, including #MeToo, the clergy child sexual abuse scandal, and the growing awareness of sexual violence as a weapon of war. It will conclude with a brief consideration of theological implications, with particular attention to the theology of the cross, and the theology of reconciliation.

    David Tombs is the Howard Paterson Chair of Theology and Public Issues at the University of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Daniele Nuccilli’s Guest Lecture

    History and Stories. Ontological Conception of the Entanglement


    W. Schapp’s philosophy has not had much impact on contemporary philosophies of history, assuming one can speak of philosophy of history in the strict sense with regard to the most recent historiographical approaches. Such little success is primarily for two reasons: firstly, Schapp speaks briefly on history in a scientific and methodological sense, showing himself much more interested in the hermeneutical-individual dimension with regard to the understanding of the past; and, secondly, thanks to its effectiveness, the concept of entanglement-in-stories lends itself to a superficial and immediate use, without there being any need to investigate its theoretical assumptions. The lecture focuses on the attempt to establish a possible route between the history intended in its broadest sense and history in the way Schapp defines it, by seeking to deepen the conceptual structure of the entanglement-in-stories.

    Daniele Nuccilli is a PhD student at the Philosophy Department of Tor Vergata University (Rome).

  • Roundtable with Prof. Pumla Gobodo Madikizela

    Trauma, Narratives and Healing


    In a first moment, the roundtable addressed exploring ways in which the impact of the dehumanising experiences of oppression and violent abuse continues to play out in the next generation in the aftermath of historical trauma. In a second moment, Prof. Gobodo Madikizela explained how she is expanding her earlier work on remorse and forgiveness and probing the role of empathy more deeply by engaging a perspective that makes transparent the interconnected relationship among empathy, Ubuntu and the embodied African phenomenon of Inimba.

    Prof. Pumla Gobodo Madikizela is Research Chair in Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University (South Africa).

  • Roundtable with Prof. Eugene Sensenig

    Lebanon Uprising


    The Roundtable focused on the independent role of the Lebanese civil society in the current protests. “I don’t think that the demonstrators really think that changing the prime minister, or changing certain coalitions in the government, is going to solve anything, people realize that the problems are much more deep-rooted. The biggest problem in this country today is a lack of good governance, is corruption from top to bottom, that corruption is systemic which means that actually corruption is in the system, and honesty and good governance would be a problem if anyone would try to do that,” Sensenig said. “If we change the government, that would be a mistake because the problem is not Hariri and the problem is not the coalition, the problem is a deep-seated and deep-rooted lack of good governance,” he added.

    Eugene Sensenig is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law and Political Science (FLPS) and a senior researcher at the Lebanese Emigration Research Center (LERC), both at Notre Dame University, Lebanon.

  • III Meeting of the German-Speaking Network for Reconciliation

    Hamburg, 01-02/11/2019


    - Pastor Dr. Markus Hentschel: “Die Mennoniten als Friedenskirche”;

    - Dr. Marina Grasse (Owen), Berlin: “Vom Gegeneinander zum Miteinander. Praxisbeispiele aus der Friedens- und Versöhnungsarbeit von OWEN (Friedensförderung-mobile Akademie für Geschlechterdemokratie und Friedensförderung e.V.) in verschiedenen Konflikten”;

    - Knut Wormstädt (Aachen): „Versöhnung zwischen ökumenischen Dialogen und theologischen Metaphern“;

    - Heela Najibullah (Zürich): Intergenerational Narratives of Reconciliation Amongst the Afghan Diaspora in Switzerland & Germany;

    - Prof. Martin Leiner/Dr. Francesco Ferrari (Jena): The Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies. Challanges and Goals.

Select Events (SS 2013 - SS 2019)

  • AARMENA Network: Inauguration and Conference


    The Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS) invited all their partners of the Academic Alliance for Reconciliation in the Middle East and Northern Africa (AARMENA) to its inauguration ceremony and five-day conference from 12th to 16th of August in Jena.

    Scientists and experts from Europe and the Middle East met to present and discuss their researches on "Refugees and Reconciliation". Refugees are in need of reconciliation in many respects, but often those needs are not addressed and fulfilled. Professor Leiner, director of the JCRS, stated that reconciliation is one way to deal with violent conflicts, "it is costly and needs generations, but it is the better way than ongoing fighting until the end or the creation of frozen conflicts with resentment, mistrust and the constant danger of revenge."

    Today the MENA region is the most affected by wars, civil wars and gross human rights violations on earth. Since the 1990s, reconciliation studies have strongly developed in some centres around the world. However, they still are relatively absent from the academic curricula of universities in the MENA-region. The establishment and the spreading of reconciliation studies in the MENA-region is therefore one main goal of the AARMENA.

    Professor Martin Leiner and Ayad Dajani, researcher at JCRS and project coordinator of the AARMENA, welcomed the international conference attendees: Presidents, professors and researchers from Universities in Jordan, Egypt, Austria, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ireland, Turkey, Morocco and Palestine as well as representatives of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and other experts.

    The programme covered topics such as "Refugees and Reconciliation", "Refugees and Reconciliation in Media", "Reconciliation and Education" and "Religion and Reconciliation". All topics were approached in a very interdisciplinary perspective.The inspiring discussions lead to a reaffirmation of the necessity of a network like the AARMENA and to the request of making the AARMENA conference a regular event. In this context the vice president of Tanta university, Prof. Dr. Mostafa El-Sheekh, invited to hold the next conference in Egypt in year 2020.

    The conference caught attention not only on an academic but also on a political level: In a letter written on behalf of the office of Chancelor Angela Merkel the AARMENA is described as a project which "deserves recognition and support". Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Politics in the German Foreign Office emphasizes that "a global scientific exchange that links civil societies is a sustainable investment into future collaboration". Also the former Prime Minister of Jordan, Prof. Dr. Adnan Badran spoke out in favour of reconciliation studies and their positive impact on the MENA region.

    The conference was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Ernst-Abbe-Foundation.

  • III Colombian Days



    This year's Colombian Days are about implementing peace agreements in an adverse context. Speakers from different universities and organizations in Germany, Colombia and South Africa are going to discuss current political affairs in Colombia.

    "Implementation of the peace agreement and current colombian political configuration. State of affairs." Dr Josefina Echavarría Alvarez. University of Innsbruck/JCRS.

    "Post-conflict transformations in Colombia and the reincorporation of ex-combatants" Prof. Dr. Solveig Richter. Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. University of Erfurt.

    "From Colonel Buendía to Ivan Marquez. Problems and difficulties in peace processes and reintegration in Colombia" Dr. Manfredo Koessl. University of Erfurt

    "Twenty years after South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission" Prof. Dr. Christo Thesnaar. Stellenbosch University.

    "Activities and challenges of Truth Commission in Colombia" Priest. Dr. Francisco de Roux. President of Truth Commission Colombia [video]

    "Truth Commission in Colombia and Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. A comparison". Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner. Director of the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies. University of Jena

     "The history of paramilitarism in Colombia. Who is behind the murder of social leaders in Colombia. Short video documentary" Ariel Avila. Deputy director foundation peace and reconciliation

    "Transformation of the “Territorial Spaces for Vocational Training and Reincorporation” in and the implications for peace in Colombia" Dr. Colleen O'Brien. Free University Berlin / JCRS University of Jena

    "The moral and geographical imagination of social movements in Colombia. Lesson about territorial peace." Dr Luis Berneth Peña. JCRS. University of Jena

    "University for Peace and Reconciliation: the case of the Special Peace Unit of the University of Antioquia." Dr. Hugo Buitrago, Director Special Peace Unit and Juan Camilo Domínguez, Coordinator Postgraduate Studies INER. Antioquia University Colombia.

    Organized by:

    Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies

    Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (CALAS)

    Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. University of Erfurt

    Stellenbosch University

  • II Colombian Day

    The 2° Study Day on Colombia took place on 30th May 2018. The event was organised by the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies in cooperation with the Faculty of Theology of Jena. "Zwei Jahre nach dem Friedensabkommen: Quo vadis, Kolumbien?" was the title of the workshop. In September 2016, the FARC and the Preseident Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace treaty, in order to put an end to the violent conflict existing since 1964.

    The leading questions were: Which are the backgrounds of the violent conflict? Which are nowadays the perspectives for Reconciliation? In order to answer these questions, the JCRS invited several promiment colombian experts, such as Dr. Luis Pena (Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena) , Dr. Manfredo Kössel (Weimar), Dr. Josefina Echavarria Alvarez (Innsbruck Universtität) und Dr. Vladimir Montoya (Universität von Antioquiua).

    Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner opened the workshop, raising the question what Reconciliation in praxis exactly means. He highlighted the nature of Reconciliation as process (and goal) and its connection with the issue of Recognition. Afterwards, Dr. Luis Pena held his speech called: "Eliminating Diversity: A political Geography of Colombian Conflict". He tried to analyse the roots of the Colombian Conflict and to seek the central issues in forwarding peace and reconciliation.

    Following, Dr. Manfredo Kössel, in his speech "Gewält als Lösung der Probleme in Kolumbien?", highlighted the problem of violence in the Colombian Conflict.

    The JCRS warmly thanks all the guestes, who gave the participants the possibililty to hear direct testimonies about the backgrounds of the conflict and the progresses towards reconciliation.

  • I Colombian Day

    The Study Day "Peace in Colombia" took place on the 10th May, 2017. It was a chance to gain deepen understandings on the Peace Agreement between the government and the FARC, after more than 52 years civil war.

    The event has been organised by the JCRS in cooperation with the Faculty of Theology of Jena. Thanks to the speeches of Dr. Josefina Echavarria Alvarez (University of Innsbruck), Nick Jaussi (Fotoreporter), Prof. Dr. Robert Uribe (Department for philosophy of Law, Universidad de Antioquia) and Dr. Luis Berneth Peña (Universidad Externado de Colombia), the participants had the possibility to understand the reasons of the conflict and to gain knowledge about the Peace Process. Furthermore, the exhibition of the photo reporter Nick Jaussi has shown how the life of the ex FARC Guerrilla Fighters has changed, after the war.

    HereExternal link

    you can see the video of the Study Day!

  • 6th anniversary of the JCRS


    The JCRS is glad to celebrate with you its 6th anniversary. The event will take place at the JCRSs headquarter (Jentower, 15th floor, Leutragraben 1), and in Zwätzengasse 12.
    You are kindly invited to the celebration!
    Here the program of the event:
    12:30- 14:00:  Lecture by Dr. Martin O'Malley 
    on the History and the Development of the Trilateral Project (JCRS Headquater Jentower 15N03) 
    14:15-15:45:  Roundtable discussion  on 6 years of JCRS. With Prof. Martin Leiner, Dr. Zeina Barakat, Dr. Francesco Ferrari, Dr. Carolina Rehrmann
    16:00-16:30: Poster
    presentation on the Peace Process in Colombia.  Prof. Dr. Maria Cecilia Plested (Jentower)
    17:00-evening: BBQ

  • 5th anniversary of the JCRS


    15:00 Welcoming by JCRS-head Prof. Martin Leiner and Dr. Francesco Ferrari from Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena on German-French reconciliation

    15:30 Wiard Raveling: "Meine Begegnung mit Vladimir Jankélévitch" following: Prof. Klaus-Michael Kodalle from Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena: "Eigentümlichkeiten der französischen Erinnerungspolitik"

    Break with drinks

    17:00 Prof. Shifra Sagy from Ben-Gurion-University of the Negev, Israel: "Can we empathize with the narrative of our enemy? My personal odyssey in studying peace education."
    17:30 Dr. Michael Sternberg from Ben-Gurion-University of the Negev, Israel: "Peace research in the midst of war. Some reflections about the political significance of peace research in Israel Palestine."

  • 3th anniversary of the JCRS


    15:00 Welcoming - Prof. Martin Leiner
    15:30 Keynote-Speech - Cesare Zucconi, General Secretary of St. Egidio, Rome
    16:45 "The 'Schiller Correllative' to the Hölderlin Perspective For Reconciliation" - Martin O´Malley, Hearts of Flesh-Coordinator
    17:30 "Frieden und Wiedervereinigung in Korea" - Prof. Suk-Sung Yu, President of Seoul Theological University
    18:00 "From Hearts of Stone to Hearts of Flesh" - Prof. Mohammed Dajani, Professor in Jerusalem, Israel
    18:30 "Aristophanes als Theoretiker der Versöhnung" - Prof. Martin Leiner
    20:00 Multilingual Chanson Concert - Carolina Rehrmann & Diego Jascalevich

  • Simone Zoppellaro’s (GaRiWo) Guest Lecture


    “Gariwo's aim is to heighten awareness and interest in the figures and the tales of the Righteous, women and men who fought and are still fighting in defense of human dignity. It has been active since 1999 but it was officially set up in 2001 as Gardens of the Righteous Worldwide Committee-Gariwo and in 2009 it became a non-profit organization. It is chaired by Gabriele Nissim. In 2003 was born the Garden of the Righteous worldwide at Monte Stella Hill in Milan, which since 2008 is run by the Association for the Garden of the Righteous - formed by Gariwo, the Municipality of Milan and the Union of Italian Jewish Communities. In 2012, after Gariwo's call, the European Parliament established the European Day of the Righteous - 6 March. In 2017 Italy has been the first country to recognize this recurrence as a civil feast, establishing the Day of the Righteous of the Humanity”.


    https://en.gariwo.net/about-us-4969.htmlExternal link

  • Mpho Tutu's Guest Lecture


    Mpho Tutu, the daughter of human rights acivist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, will hold a guest lecture on forgiveness. She published several books together with her father, among others the most known book "Made for Goodness".

    In her lecture she will speak about forgiveness.

  • Nicolas Mumejian's Guest Lecture


    Rev. Nicolas Mumejian of Hartford Seminary (Hartford, CT, USA) will give an introduction on the Christian Far Right Movement in the US under the Trump administration and will provide comparisons with some of the contemporary radical Muslim trends. Rev. Mumejian is an ordained Baptist pastor and is currently working also as the managing editor of "The Muslim World" Journal.

  • Workshop "Islam and Democracy. Muslim Voices Amongst Us"

    Recently (06.06.2018), the workshop "Islam and Democracy. Muslim Voices Amongst Us" took place in Jena. Thanks to the cooperation with the Jena Schumpeter Center for Research on Socio-Economic Change, the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies hosted ) the Hon. Amédée Turner, Queen's Counsel and member of the European parliament from 1979 until 1994.

    Mr. Turner, together with our Research Fellow Dr. Davide Tacchini (Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies) During the last six years, through a team of scholars, researchers and religious leaders in Europe and the USA has organized meetings and gatherings with members of local Muslim communities. 
    (Over 70 discussion groups -involving 900+ Muslims- were set up all over Europe and the US. Muslims taking part were professional and business people, students, Sunni and Shia mixed). 

    Firstly, the attention was devoted to the definition of the concept of Democracy, that is not a global concept. It might be defined as a technology, that guarantees, through One person - One vote, the respect of the view of majority and the protection of the rights of minorities. Not one single statement in the discussion groups defined it as contrary to Islamic principles and teachings.  Therefore, it is not supposed to be incompatible with Islam.Furthermore, it was highlighted how extremists should not be considered representatives of Islam.

    This Workshop gave the participants the possibility of gaining a deeper insight into contemporary Islam and its relationship with the issue of democracy. The JCRS warmly thanks Dr. Davide Tacchini and the Hon. A. Turner for holding such a successful workshop.

  • Laura Silvia Battaglia's Guest Lecture


    On 9th May 2018, the JCRS had the pleasure of hosting Laura Silvia Battaglia Al-Jalal, an Italian freelance journalist living between Italy and Yemen. She is considered one of the most prominent experts on the Middle Eastern conflicts, in particular on the War in Yemen. Together with Dr. Davide Tacchini, she held a workshop focussed on the current situation in Yemen. The opening question was whether we should talk about a forgotten, or rather about a hidden war: the current humanitarian tragedy in Yemen is not so well covered by the media   mainstream, such as other conflicts. Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, and furthermore many areas are affected by the presence of Al-Qaeda and Radical Muslim Groups, such as the ones in the City of Maqalla.

    Laura Silvia Battaglia highlighted how the situation is worsening every day: around 15 million people do not have access to health care service, and children are the ones who suffer the most from this situation. Through a video, we could see the bad conditions in the hospitals and the problems of malnutrition and the plague of human trafficking on the border with Saudi Arabia.

    The JCRS thanks warmly Dr. Davide Tacchini and Laura Silvia Battaglia for organising such a successful workshop: it gave the JCRS members the opportunity to meet an expert on Yemen, and to get a better understanding of its current situation.

  • Gastvortrag, Dr. Franz Alt

    01.02.2018, 10:00 Uhr

    „Nie wieder Krieg - Kommt endlich zur Vernunft“ Ein Appell von Michail Gorbatschow an die Welt

    Dr. Franz Alt hat von 1972-1992 das politische Magazin „Report“ geleitet und moderiert. Er ist dadurch einer der prägenden Journalisten für Deutschland geworden. Er stellt sein neues Buch vor, das er 2017 mit Michael Gorbatschow im Hintergrund der wachsenden Spannungen zwi-schen Russland und Europa herausgegeben hat. Ohne Gorbatschow wäre das Ende des kalten Krieges und die deutsche Wiedervereinigung kaum möglich gewesen. In den heutigen Zeiten neuer Feindbilder und Kriege brauchen wir vermittelnde und versöhnende Stimmen wie die des erfahrenen Realisten Michail Gorbatschow. Er fordert ein grundlegendes weltpolitisches Umden-ken, bei dem Gewaltfreiheit in den internationalen Beziehungen an erster Stelle steht. Sein Ap-pell ist ein Weckruf, von nationalstaatlichem Denken und Egoismus endlich Abschied zu nehmen, Ethik und Politik in einer neuen Weise zusammen zu denken und das »gemeinsame Haus Europa« zu bauen.

  • Winter School with students from Stellenbosch University


    JCRS hosted a Winter School co-organized with Prof. Christo Thesnaar. Students from Stellenbosch University (South Africa) shared presentations and activities with their colleagues from RCR.

  • 11th Ecclesiological Conference "Reformation and Global Reconciliation"

    28/05- 02/06/2017

    500 years ago (1517) Martin Luther has started his reformative movement, which has got the name of "Reformation". This event played a key role for the European Churches and Societies, and his effects are nowadays strong. For this reason, the JCRS has welcomed Representatives of different countries (USA, Italy and Belgium), who discussed about important issues, such as the ecumenical dialogue, Reconciliation and the relation between Reformation and religious encounters. This conference had the goal to bring into dialogue representatives of different religions, such as Lutherans, Catholics and Orthodoxies. Marc Chapman, Dennis Doyle und Leo Lefebure are just some of the important speakers of the conference. These successful days have been shown how the intercultural-interreligious dialogue important is.

  • Tagung: Reformation und Revolution im Denken Paul Tillichs

     03.- 07.09.2017

    Die Beiträge der Tagung untersuchen Tillichs Verständnis von 'Reformation' und 'Revolution' vor dem Hintergrund seines Gesamtwerks in einer problemgeschichtlichen Perspektive. Diskutiert werden die verschiedenen Facetten und Bezüge seiner Reformations- und Revolutionsdeutung ebenso wie Perspektiven, die sich für gegenwärtige Debatten ergeben. Auf diese Weise erschließt der Tagung ein Themenfeld, welches bislang kaum untersucht wurde.

    https://www.db-thueringen.de/receive/dbt_mods_00034228External link

  • Dr. Cesare Zucconi's Guest Lecture


    Recently the JCRS had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Cesare Zucconi, the general secretary of the Community of Sant'Egidio (Rome), who gave a lecture called "Road to Peace. Religions and Culture in Dialogue", which was held on February 23rd 2017 at the Faculty of Theology of Jena.
    In his speech, Dr. Zucconi highlighted the following two points:

    The importance of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace;

    The obstacles that war represents for peace. "War, mother of all poverty" (Quote of Andrea Riccardi, the founder of the Community).

    In order to show how powerful dialogue can be, Dr. Zucconi recalled the history of Mozambique: October 4th 1992 is a crucial day for the African country. On this very day a peace agreement was made, which put an end to Mozambiques terrible civil war, which started in 1977. The humanitarian and mediating efforts of the Community of Sant'Egidio played a key role in achieving the peace treaty of 1992. Since then, the country experienced major developments, such as democratic elections and the discovery of economic resources.
    Furthermore, Dr. Zucconi turned our attention to the annual event "Friedensgebete der Weltreligionen", which will take place from 10th until 12 of September 2017 in Münster and Osnabruck (North Rhine - Westphalia).

  • Workshop "Qatar's Isolation and Reconciliation in Middle East"


    The JCRS is happy to welcome Prof. Dr. Sultan Barakat, director of the Center for Conflict Management and Humanitarian Studies in Doha/Qatar for a workshop at the Friedrich-Schiller-University.

    The Workshop will take place on 11th July, 2017 at the Schillers Gartenhaus, Jena. It will start with a panel discussion featuring some PhD Students of the JCRS, such as Ayad Dajani and Dina Dajani, Dr. Zeina Barakat and Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner.

  • Prof. Phillip Tolliday’s Guest Lecture


    Prof. Phillip Wayne Tolliday is visiting scholar at JCRS in SS 2017. We are glad to invite you to attend his guest lecture “Tales of the Way We Never Were: Collective Memory in Australia“ on the issue of indigenous politics in Australia.

  • Workshop "Trauma and Reconciliation" with Prof. Pumla Gobodo Madikizela


    Prof. Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, an eminent personality in the Southafrican Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will give a Workshop on "Trauma and Reconciliation". Prof. Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela has recently received an "Ehrendoktorwurde" at the FSU.

    More infos here:

    https://www.meine-kirchenzeitung.de/jena/c-eine-welt/ehrendoktorwuerde-fuer-eine-versoehnerin_a2466External link

  • Workshop "Violence and the Role of Religions in South Africa"


    DSF Workshop "South Africa Database - Violence and the Role of Religions in South Africa"

    A cooperation of the JCRS, the Economic Department of FSU Jena and the Stellenbosch University South Africa:

    "Confession, forgiveness and reconciliation in the lives of nations are not just airy-fairy religious and spiritual things, nebulous and unrealistic. They are the stuff of practical politics." (Tutu 2002, 351.)

    The conference has been explorative with the overall aim to discuss methodological questions and possibilities for the research of the "role of religions after conflicts" to support the discussion with regards to content in this interdisciplinary context. It had a focus on the research of the role of religions in South Africa and their ambivalent influence on conflicts, "violence circles" and peace in a micro-level analysis. Therefore also the causes and consequences of conflicts and violence from a micro-level-perspective, including the importance of retributive justice were issues of the conference.

    The project was is a cooperation of theological and economical scientists and there should be further projects coming. There have been presentations (chronologically) of Dr. Helga Dickow, Prof. Ralf K. Wüstenberg, Prof. Christo Thesnaar, Dr. J. Tarusarira, Prof. D. Smit, Prof. Andreas Freytag, Prof. Martin Leiner and Prof. Stan Du Plessis.

  • Prof. Wüstenberg's Guest Lecture


    Jena Center for Reconciliation Studiesat Friedrich Schiller University Jena is proud to have hosted Prof. Dr. Ralf K. Wüstenberg, Chair for Systematic and Historic Theology at Europa-University Flensburg, as a guest speaker in the class "Reconciliation and Culture in Palestinian Society", instructed by Dr. Zeina Barakat and directed by Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner.

    Prof. Wüstenberg's accumulated experience and knowledge are formidable. His lecture titled, "The Theological Implications in Political Reconciliation: The Cases of South Africa and Germany" discussed the importance of forgiveness (Vergebung) emphasizing three aspects:

    I. Reconciliation and Forgiveness in Theology

    II. Political Reconciliation in Germany and South Africa

    III. Theological Implications of Political Reconciliation

    The lecturer explored the political dimensions of forgiveness and reconciliation in light of the transitions to democracy in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall and in South Africa after the end of Apartheid. He proceeded in three steps: First, he started by offering some remarks about the theological understanding of reconciliation and forgiveness explaining that the difference between Political reconciliation and theological reconciliation, as well as what does the word 'reconciliation' mean in theological understanding, namely, it is basically the relationship between god and mankind that was good in the beginning, broke up through sin and was restored through Christ. He argued that reconciliation has to do with "change" that the Apostle Paul introduced in the well-known passage in 2 Corinthians: "God … reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation: that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us" (5:18-19) and how it played a key role in complex diplomatic processes, e.g., when hostile cities made peace with each other again.[1]

    Second, the lecturerexplored the political options in transition societies (like amnesty or truth commissions); and, third, he analyzed extensively the implications of moral and theological values (like truth-telling or repentance). He argued [Office1] that there is no straight path leading from political reconciliation to its theological meaning. There is instead an ontological breach at the point where we enter the theological understanding of the process. However, coming from the theological angle enables us to discover "connections" between a theological and a political understanding of reconciliation and to explore the power of forgiveness that we introduced through our New Testament citation in the introduction of this lecture. "Reconciliation through truth" does not mean theologically being stuck in moral accusations; what it does is highlight the overcoming of moral guilt. Truth is truth only when it sets one free as made clear in the saying of Jesus, "The truth will make you free," quoted in the Gospel of John (8:32). Free for what? Free to make journeys from the self to the other and back and to see our common history from their perspective as well as ours, rather than closing ourselves off; free to live a truthful life and hence be a self-effecting witness to truth rather than fabricating our own 'truths' and imposing them on others; free to embrace others in truth rather than engage in open or clandestine acts of deceitful violence against them. [2]

    In the lecturere view, to make reaconciliation happen there is a need for frame conditions in the political reality. Truth commissions as political instruments can help to provide such framework conditions as they provide save room in which victims and perpetrators come together and in which both parties share "their" truth and allow the other person to participate in this with a trustful moderator, such as Desmond Tutu.

    Finally, Prof. Wüstenberg suggested a number of criteria or conditions that would allow for forgiveness or reconciliation to happen.

    [1] See Cilliers Breytenbach: Versöhnung. Eine Studie zur paulinischen Soteriologie (Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag, 1989). Breytenbach argues with some force that when Paul transferred the concept of reconciliation to the theological field in order to express the relationship between God and human beings, it had lost its social and political dimension. On the other hand Breytenbach seems to fail to see the rich possibilities that his exegetical results open up for reconstructing the theological dimension of reconciliation in politics.

    [2] Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation (Nashville: Abingdon, 1996), pp. 272f.

  • International Conference "Alternative Approaches in Conflict Resolution"


    Dr. Christine Schliesser (Zurich University)
    Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner (Jena University)

    Persistent and newly emerging conflicts around the world have made the search for successful and sustainable conflict resolution imperative. With traditional military intervention repeatedly leading to the transformation of entire regions into zones of instability and violence (e.g. Iraq, Libya, Afghani-stan), the study of alternative and less violent approaches to conflict resolu-tion has gained momentum.

    The aim of this conference was to bring together innovative approaches in conflict resolution both for discussion and for the exploration of concrete improvements in conflict resolution strategies. Five different focal points served this purpose: negotiations, religion and gender, reconciliation and forgiveness, dealing with the past and transitional justice, and the arts. This interdisciplinary conference sought to combine the knowledge and insights of experts from academia, NGOs and politics alike. The hosts have been Prof. Martin Leiner and Dr. Christine Schließer.

  • Roundtable "Best Practices of Reconciliation"


    In preparation for a joint DFG-funded doctoral school on "Religion-Conflict-Reconciliation", the joint application of cooperative EU-Horizon 2020 programs and the foundation of a Consortium of a German Reconciliation Center, the JCRS hosted this Round Table Talk. Special attention was given to past successful cases, the theoretical link between reconciliation and justice, reconciliation and cultural heritage, reconciliation policy and retributive/transitional justices.

    Our co-operation partners were the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology (MPI), Europa-University Flensburg (EUF) and University of Zürich (UZH).

    The workshop has been opened via a short welcoming speech by Prof. Dr. Thorsten Heinzel, vice president for research (FSU Jena).

    Buchenhorst, Ralph (MLU): »Through Memory towards Reconciliation: Scopes and limits of remembering difficult pasts in the context of peace-building.«

    Thompson, James (MLU): »Reconciliation and the Practice of Justice«

    Fleckstein, Anne (MPI): »Reconciliation through truth. A South African paradigm of transitional justice«

    Wüstenberg, Ralf K. (EUF) »Politische Versöhnung in theologischer Perspektive - methodische Ansätze«

    Schliesser, Christine (UZH): »Reconciliation after Genocide? - Examplary Practices in Post-Genocide Rwanda«

    Ferrari, Francesco (FSU): »Paul Ricoeur: Archeology and Teleology of Reconciliation«

    Leiner, Martin, Joram Tarusarira, Maria Palme (FSU): Introduction of the "Horizon 2020 program"

  • Thüringentag für Philosophie: "Thüringen 2015: Braucht das Land Versöhnung?"

    Wenn es um die Probleme zwischen Juden und Palästinensern geht, dann ist jedem klar, dass Versöhnung zur Beilegung dieses Konflikts eine wichtige Rolle spielt. Aber braucht man in Deutschland Versöhnung? Das Thema liegt gar nicht so fern, wenn man beispielsweise an die Stasi-Problematik und den Umgang mit der eigenen Vergangenheit in den neuen Ländern denkt. Aber auch aktuelle Tendenzen wie Pegida und die Gegendemonstrationen beweisen, dass ohne ein Aufeinanderzugehen und Zuhören viele Konflikte unversöhnlich bleiben werden.

    "Aufarbeitung und Versöhnung in Thüringen"

    Was Ministerpräsident Bodo Ramelow zum Thema "Aufarbeitung und Versöhnung in Thüringen" denkt, das wird er in einem Grundsatzreferat beim Thüringentag für Philosophie 2015 äußern, der am 19. November an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (FSU) stattfindet. Unter dem Titel  "Thüringen 2015: Braucht das Land Versöhnung?"

     laden die Neue Thüringische Gesellschaft für Philosophie i. G. sowie das Ethikzentrum und das Zentrum für Versöhnungsstudien der Universität Jena alle Interessierten zur Teilnahme herzlich ein; der Eintritt ist frei.

    Die Grundlagen von Versöhnung

    Die Veranstaltung ist zweigeteilt: Von 9.00-12.30 Uhr wird im Großen Rosensaal (Fürstengraben 27) über die Grundlagen von Versöhnung gesprochen. Dieser Prozess, in dem Personen, gar Gesellschaften konstruktiv mit vergangenen und andauernden Konflikten umgehen, wird von Wissenschaftlern der Universität Jena intensiv erforscht. Ihr Hauptaugenmerk liegt auf dem Israel-Palästina-Konflikt, auf Südafrika, Lateinamerika und dem Balkan. Ihre Erfahrungen werden der Leiter des Jena Zentrums für Versöhnungsstudien (Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies) Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner und der Leiter des Ethikzentrums Jena, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Knoepffler, mit Blick auf Thüringen darlegen. Prof. Leiner wird in seinem Referat u. a. zeigen, in welchem Ausmaß Versöhnung notwendig ist trotz des Vierteljahrhunderts politischer Einheit in Deutschland ist. Martin O'Malley, PhD, wird die ethische Reflexion der Konzepte von Versöhnung und Gerechtigkeit darlegen, die zum Verständnis bestmöglicher Versöhnung notwendig ist. Er will veranschaulichen, wie eine solche Versöhnung aussehen und sich anfühlen kann, wenn sie geschieht. Aus philosophischer Perspektive werden sich Prof. Dr. Klaus-Michael Kodalle und Prof. Dr. Klaus Vieweg (beide FSU) mit für Versöhnung relevanten Fragen befassen.

    Das ebenfalls öffentliche Abendprogramm, das von 17.00-19.00 Uhr in der Aula im Universitätshauptgebäude (Fürstengraben 1) stattfindet, widmet sich explizit dem Thema der Versöhnung in Thüringen. Nach der programmatischen Rede von Ministerpräsident Bodo Ramelow wird Ehrhart Neubert aus Sicht eines DDR-Oppositionellen reden. Eine ausgewählte Gruppe Thüringer Bürger wird in einer Podiumsdiskussion den Abend beschließen.

    Martin O'Malley, PhD
    Ethikzentrum der Universität Jena
    Zwätzengasse  3
    07743 Jena
    Tel.: 03641/945805

  • Symposium "Reconciliation in Global Context"


    This international and interdisciplinary symposium dealt with the question of trust building and restoring strategies of promoting stable and peaceful coexistence of communities and societies in order to make life livable after shared experiences of atrocities and mass violence. The inquiry was based on the assumption to explain the polysemic nature of the phenomenon of reconciliation.

    The Symposium has been organized in cooperation with the Martin-Springer Institute, Arizona University and the JCRS.

    Research Team

    Björn Krondorfer, Ph.D., Endowed Professor of Religious Studies, Director of Martin-Springer Institute, Northern Arizona University, USA (PI)

    Prof. Wilhelm Verwoerd, Director of Beyond Walls Ltd, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, South Africa

    Dr. Avner Dinur, Lecturer for Interdisciplinary Studies, Sapir College, Jewish Studies, Hakibbutzim College, Israel

    Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner, Director of Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies, Professor of Theology and Ethics, Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany

    Dr. Zeina Barakat, PhD, Applied Ethics Center at the Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany


  • Intercultural Korean-German Lecture Evening


    The Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS) was proud to announce the "Interkultureller Koreanisch-Deutscher Vortragsabend" (Intercultural Korean-German Lecture Evening) on the topic "Die Bedeutung von Bonhoeffers Friedens- und Versöhnungsdenken für Ostasien und Europa" (The Meaning of Bonhoeffers Thinking about Peace and Reconciliation pro East Asia and Europe), which took place in the Rosensäle (Fürstengraben 27, Jena) on the 27th of January 2015 (4.15-6.15 p.m.).

    Our guest from Seoul Prof. Yu Suk-Sung, who is since September 2010 the president of the Seoul Theological University, was lecturing about "Bonhoeffers Friedensgedanke und Frieden in Ostasien", followed by the director of the JCRS Prof. Martin Leiner, who had lectured about "1918 - 1945 - 1989. Theologische Wendepunkte Der Deutschen Geschichte".

    The event was accompanied musically by the Korean-Evangelical Pentecostal Church Jena/Weimar under the leadership of pastor Kim Yona.

  • Prof. Dong-Choon Kim's Guest Lecture


    From February 17 to May, 2014, the Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS), FU Berlin was joined by Prof. Dong-Choon Kim as a visiting professor. Dong-Choon Kim served as a Standing Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the Republic of South Korea (TRCK) from 2005 to 2010. He received his PhD in Sociology from Seoul National University in 1993. The main areas of Professor Kim's research have been historical sociology of Korean politics, working class formation, and the Korean War.
    As an activist, Professor Kim has been at the center of progressive academic movements since the 1980s.His books include Social Movements in 1960s Korea (1991), A Study of Korea's Working Class (1995), Shadow of Modernity (2000), War and Society (2000), Engine of America-Market and War (2004). War and Society has been translated into German, Japanese, and English ("The Unending Korean War").
    In his speech he pointed out critical issues about the TRCK as a product of South Korea's decades-long democratization movement and the liberal government. Its findings and recommendations may accordingly be seen as a tool for breaking open the politics of denial that have been maintained in South Korea for the past sixty years.

  • Joram Tarusarira's Guest Lecture


    "Religio-political non-conformism, democratization and reconciliation in Zimbabwe"

    The Zimbabwean scholar Joram Tarusarira achieved inter alia a Master of Arts in Religious Studies (African Traditional Religion, University of Zimbabwe, 2005), a Master of Arts in Reconciliation Studies (Trinity College Dublin (Ireland, 2009) and also a Master of Adult Education (St. Francis Xavier University (Canada), 2012). He's academically interested in Religious Studies, Sociology and Politics. And since 2011 he's a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Leipzig (Germany). The title of his dissertation is "Religio-political non-conformism, democratization and reconciliation in Zimbabwe".

    Mr. Tarusaria about his research: "The role of religion in the political sphere in Zimbabwe has been dominated by mainline Christian institutional churches and their apex bodies. Religious and political powers have often treated non-doctrinal religio-political organizations and individuals as an epiphenomenon or purposeless critics. This tendency, observable in colonial and post-colonial Zimbabwe, has obscured the role that such organizations and individuals operating structurally and culturally outside the jurisdiction and power of dominant religious and political systems have played in influencing the political realm. The study fills a research gap between historical narratives and modern admonitions for religious entities to play a constructive role in the socio-political sphere. It is an ethnographic study of religio-political organizations and the role they play in dealing with political conflict and violence in pursuit of democratization and reconciliation."

  • Workshop "Mediation, Trauma Therapy and Conflict Transformation between Germans, Palestinians and Israeli"


    Workshop on "Mediation, Trauma Therapy and Conflict Transformation between Germans,
    Palestinians and Israeli"

    3. February 2014, 14:30-18:00, SR 308, Carl-Zeiss-Str.3

    4. February 2014, 14:30-18:00, SR 114, Carl-Zeiss-Str.3

    The Workshop will be hold by our invited guest expert, Prof. Krondorfer (Director of Martin Springer Institute & Endowed Professor, Dept.of Comparative Cultural Studies, Northern Arizona University). The event is directed to the participants of the Graduate Seminar of the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS). The advanced training gives insights into the practical applications of reconciliation studies. The Martin-Springer Institute attends to the experiences of the Holocaust in order to relate them to today's concerns, crises, and conflicts. Our programs promote the values of moral courage, tolerance, empathy, reconciliation, and justice. Founded by Ralph and Doris Martin, the Institute fosters dialogue on local, national, and international levels.

  • Panel Discussion "Erinnerung und Versöhnung im Blick auf das postgenozidale Ruanda"


    On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the JCRS hosted a panel discussion on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Dr. Christine Schließer from the Institute of Social Ethics at the University of Zurich gave the key lecture on "Remembrance and Reconciliation: Theological Perspectives on Post-Genocide Rwanda".

    Drawing on the idea of Cultural Memory in the work of Paul Ricoeur and Aleida Assmann, the lecture addressed the difficult task of remembering a painful past. In conversation with Mennonite theologian Fernando Enns, Dr. Schließer emphasized that reconciliation is not only the goal of a process but occurs during the process itself in various forms (confession of guilt, atonement, the plea for forgiveness, etc.). She also presented the idea of transformative justice, developed by Howard Zehr, and mentioned the problems of an official, state-sanctioned, and stereotyping remembrance, which suppresses dissident voices. She asked whether "peaceful coexistence", rather than "reconciliation" might not be a more appropriate term to describe the reality of Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide.
    The first response was given by Dr. Katharina Peetz from the University of the Saarland in Saarbrücken. She presented her research project, which is a qualitative study about personal views about reconciliation, based on interviews with 'perpetrators' and 'victims' of the Rwandan genocide. Preliminary findings show that 'perpetrators' more often speak about forgiveness, whereas 'victims' favor the term reconciliation.
    The second response came from Rev. Helmut Keiner, who served as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Kigali from 1983 until 1991. He emphasized that the genocide was one aspect of the bloody civil war that escalated in 1990, when the Rwandan Patriotic Front, under the leadership of current President Paul Kagame and with support from the Ugandan Army, invaded Rwanda.
    After the lecture and the brief responses the discussion continued with several questions and comments from the audience.

    Click here External linkto find the recording of the discussion.

  • Versöhnung im Heiligen Land

    Wissenschaftler der Universität Jena starten mit einem internationalen Team ein Projekt zur Versöhnung von Israelis und Palästinensern. Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft fördert das Vorhaben „Hearts of Flesh – Not Stone: Does Meeting the ‚Suffering of the Other‘ Influence Reconciliation in the Middle of Conflict?“ in den kommenden zwei Jahren mit über einer Million Euro.

    „Ich schenke euch ein neues Herz und lege einen neuen Geist in euch. Ich nehme das Herz von Stein aus eurer Brust und gebe euch ein Herz aus Fleisch.“ Mit diesen Worten kündete das Buch Hesekiel von der Barmherzigkeit Gottes und wies dem Volke Israel einen Weg zur Versöhnung.

    Um Versöhnung geht es auch heute noch im Heiligen Land: Seit Jahrzehnten schwelt hier der Konflikt zwischen Israelis und Palästinensern. Wissenschaftler der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena wollen nun in einem von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) geförderten Forschungsprojekt untersuchen, wie es in diesem Konflikt nachhaltig zur Versöhnung kommen kann. Die DFG unterstützt das trilaterale Projekt von Theologen, Psychologen, Politikwissenschaftlern und Ethikern aus Deutschland, Israel und Palästina in den kommenden zwei Jahren mit zunächst gut einer Million Euro. Eine anschließende Verlängerung des Vorhabens um weitere drei Jahre ist vorgesehen.

    Der Projekttitel „Hearts of Flesh – Not Stone: Does Meeting the ‚Suffering of the Other‘ Influence Reconciliation in the Middle of Conflict?“ greife bewusst das Bild des Propheten Hesekiel aus dem Alten Testament auf, sagt Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner von der Uni Jena. Das Herz aus Fleisch symbolisiere Empathie und das sei eine entscheidende Voraussetzung für Versöhnung, ist der Professor für Systematische Theologie und Ethik überzeugt. „Unsere Idee ist es daher, Empathie zwischen den Konfliktparteien zu wecken“, erläutert der Leiter des Gesamtprojekts.

    Damit schlägt das interdisziplinäre Forscherteam eine bisher verhältnismäßig wenig erforschte Richtung ein, wie Dr. Martin O’Malley vom Ethikzentrum der Universität Jena betont. „Wir wissen bisher einfach noch zu wenig über die konkreten Prozesse, die Einzelpersonen oder soziale Gruppen dazu bewegen, sich für Aussöhnung zu öffnen“, so der Koordinator des Jenaer Teilprojekts.

    „Bisher sehen sich beide Konfliktparteien ausnahmslos in der Opferrolle und konkurrieren vielfach darum, wer diese Rolle vor allem einnehmen darf“, sagt Prof. Leiner. Dies sei wenig produktiv, zumal diese Sicht von den politischen Eliten wie auch den Medien beider Seiten immer wieder bedient werde, was eine Begegnung mit den anderen und ihrem Leiden praktisch verhindert, so der Experte für Medienethik weiter. Hier will das internationale Wissenschaftlerteam ansetzen und den Konfliktparteien das Leiden der jeweils anderen Seite vor Augen führen: Zunächst werden junge Palästinenser nach Auschwitz fahren und junge Israelis palästinensische Flüchtlingscamps in der Westbank oder Jordanien besuchen. Anschließend sollen gemischte Gruppen die Orte erneut aufsuchen und sich über ihre Erfahrungen austauschen. Die Reisen werden vorbereitet und begleitet von sozialpsychologischen Untersuchungen und sollen in ein theoretisch fundiertes Konzept dieser Form des Perspektivenwechsels münden.

    Die Idee zu diesem Projekt ist bereits 2010 entstanden als Prof. Dr. Arie Nadler als erster „Scientist in Residence“ der Graduierten-Akademie für mehrere Monate an der Uni Jena forschte und lehrte. Der renommierte Sozialpsychologe von der Universität Tel Aviv ist auf die psychologischen Grundlagen der Versöhnung zwischen Individuen und sozialen Gruppen spezialisiert und bringt seine Expertise ebenso in das Projekt ein wie seine Jenaer Fachkollegen um Prof. Dr. Thomas Kessler, den Religionswissenschaftler Prof. Dr. Bertram Schmitz sowie den Leiter des Ethikzentrums Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Knoepffler. Außerdem sind Forscher der Al Quds Universität in Jerusalem und der Ben Gurion Universität in Beer Sheva beteiligt.

    Am 18. Juli wird an der Universität Jena auch eine von Prof. Leiner geleitete Forschungsstelle für Versöhnung mit einem Vortrag und einem Empfang in den Rosensälen eröffnet.

    Dr. Ute Schönfelder, Stabsstelle Kommunikation/Pressestelle

    https://idw-online.de/de/news530876External link

International Summer Schools (2009-2015)

Between 2009 and 2015, JCRS hosted the series of International Summer Schools (ISS) "Societies in Transition. Between Conflict and Reconciliation". In the ISS, the JCRS applies an active involvement of social groups into the transformation and renewal processes of societies, but also educates dialogue building mechanisms. During our ISS (1) we ask critically historical and political causes of conflicts; (2) we analyze basic needs and arguments of interest partners and struggling groups within societies; (3) we develop re-integrating strategies for excluded and discriminated minorities, following the normative approach to restore good relations and balanced powers between individuals, groups, societies and/or nations.

ISS geopolitical focus shifted on:

The Balkans and the Caucasus (2015);

Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe (2014);

East Asia and Australia (2013);

Sub-Saharan Africa (2011);

Latin America (2009).

ISS workshops focused on distinct international case studies and promising examples to give insights into the institutionalized work of reconciliation. Additionally, the practical expertise of politicians, researchers and practitioners of reconciliation studies are vehiculated to young scholars and future policy makers. Role models and plan games are utilized to explain conflict transformation processes and to educate sucessful prototypes, e.g. Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, third mediation parties, dialogue building mechanisms, socio-political trend barometers, etc.