Oberseminar WS 2021-22

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

Teaching Coordinator: Dr. Davide Tacchini


Week 1, October 15, h. 2-4 pm

Introduction to the course, presentation of the topic (Davide Tacchini, Martin Leiner).

Preliminary Readings:

-Gopin, Marc, Holy War, Holy Peace, How religion Can bring Peace to the Middle East, New York-Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press, 2002, Chapter 1: “The Interaction Between Religion and Culture in Peace and Conflict”, pp.  3-7

-Appleby, Scott R., The Ambivalence of the Sacred, Religion, Violence and Reconciliation, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, 2000, Chapter 8, “Ambivalence as Opportunity, Strategies for Promoting Religious Peacebuilding”, pp. 281-308.


Week 2, October 22, h. 2-5 pm

Reconciliation and the Catholic Church (Guest Speaker: Serge M. Traore, SAP Mafr, Brazil).

Dr. Serge Traore (M. Afr.), was a missionary in Rwanda during the genocide. He will share his experience there and explain the controversial attitude of the Catholic Church towards reconciliation. In fact, despite one of the sacraments (confession) is also named “The Sacrament of Reconciliation”, throughout history, the catholic Church has taken positions sometimes controversial towards the concept of reconciliation.


-Schliesser, Christine, “The Politics of Reconciliation in Post-Genocide Rwanda”, in Leiner, M. – Schliesser, C., Alternative Approaches in Conflict Resolution, Palgrave-MacMillan, London, 2018, pp. 137-148.

-Zorbas, Eugenia, Reconciliation in Post-Genocide Rwanda, in “African Journal of Legal Studies”, 2004, Vol. 1, n. 1.


Week 3, October 29, h. 2-5 pm

Reconciliation and the Orthodox Church (Guest Speaker, Petros Vassiliadis).

Dr. Vassiliadis will present the Orthodox view on reconciliation as reflected in the famous patriarchal and synodical encyclicals early in the last century and in more recent official documents: the Messages of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches, the approved documents of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s official statements


Vassiliadis, Petros, Mission and Reconciliation in the Orthodox Church, in “International review of Mission, Vol. 109 Issue 2, Nov. 2020, pp. 180-194.


Week 4, November 5, h. 2-5 pm

Reconciliation and Reformed Churches in the USA, the case of Cowboy Churches (Speaker: Martin Leiner -FSU Jena-, Guest Speaker Marie W. Dallam -Univ. of Oklahoma-).

Dr. Dallam will Introduce the concept of “Cowboy Church” and explain if and how these movements can actually be active in reconciling American Society.


Dallam, Marie W., Cowboy Christians, New York-Oxford, Oxford University Press, Chapter 4, “the 21st Century Cowboy Church Movement”, pp. 98-136.


Week 5, November 12, h. 2-5 pm

Reconciliation, the Qur’an and the Islamic Tradition (Davide Tacchini with Guest Speakers: Mohammed Bashar Arafat -CECF Baltimore- and Mohammed Abu Nimer -KAICIID Vienna-), 4hrs.

Prof. Abu Nimer will share some reflections on the concept of Musālaha (Reconciliation) in Islam. 

Dr. Davide Tacchini will briefly present his ongoing research on the terms related to reconciliation in the Qur’an and how religious leaders have used them in practice.

Imam Arafat will share his 16 year long experience with the US Department of State, travelling the world meeting Muslim communities, as well as his numerous projects with young Muslims through his CECF (Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation).


-Abu Nimer, Mohammed, “Alternative Approaches to Transforming Violent Extremism: the Case of Islamic Peace and Interreligious Peacebuilding”, in Austin, B., Giessmann, H. J., Transformative Approaches to Violent Extremism, Berghof handbook Dialogue Series, No. 13, Berlin, Berghof Foundation,  2018.

-Abu Nimer, Mohammed, Conflict Resolution in an Islamic Context: Some Conceptual Questions, in “Peace and Change” 21 (1), January 1996, pp. 22-40.

-Tacchini, Davide, “Reconciliation in the Qur’an and the Muslim Tradition, an underestimated resource”, unpublished paper.


Week 6, November 17[1], h. 1-4 pm

Reconciliation and Judaism (Yehezkel Landau -Landau Interfaith-, Marc Gopin -George Mason Univ.), 3hrs.

Dr. Landau will share his the “Open House” project experience (friendsofopenhouse.co.il) and present his activity of Public Speaker.


“An Open House: Yehezkel Landau,” in Peacemakers in Action: Profiles of Religion in Conflict Resolution, David Little, ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 351-374


Week 7, December 17, h. 1-4 pm

Reconciliation and Buddhism (Guest Speakers: Peter C. Phan -Georgetown university- and  Stefania Travagnin, SOAS London), 3hrs.

Prof. Phan will present the Global Healing and Reconciliation: The Gift and Task of Religion, a Buddhist-Christian Perspective project, as well as his personal activity, as a Vienamese Immigrant to the USA.

Dr. Travagnin will share her research regarding peace and Chinese Buddhism.


-Phan, Peter C., Global Healing and Reconciliation: The Gift and Task of Religion, a Buddhist-Christian Perspective, Buddhist-Christian Studies, Vol. 26 (2006), Univ. of Hawaii Press, pp. 89-108.

-Schmidt-Leukel, Perry, Buddhism and the Idea of Human Rights: Resonances and Dissonances, Buddhist-Christian Studies, Vol. 26 (2006), Univ. of Hawaii Press, pp. 33-49.


Week 8, January 12, h. 1-4 pm

Extra Session (3hrs)

Keynote Speaker: Rev. Jacklevyn Frits Manuputty “Interstitial Theology and Interreligious Reconciliation in Post-War Maluku”.

Rev. Manuputty is  a World known peacemaker from Bahasa Indonesia , he won, among others, the World Harmony Week Prize Award (Amman, Jordan) in 2018 and the Peacemakers in Action Award from the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (New York City, NY) in 2012.

Readings: Indonesian Pastor Turns Ex-Soldiers into Soldiers to Peace (https://www.ucanews.com/news/indonesian-pastor-turns-ex-child-soldiers-to-peace/84226#).


Week 9, January 19, h. 10-12 am and 1-4 pm[2]

Final Session Candidates’ Day.

Each enrolled PhD Candidate will present on one of the topics of the course. His lecture will focus on the connections of the chosen topic with his own PhD research project.


The duration of the course is 28 hours, in 9 meetings. We have kept an extra 2 hours, either to be added to the week 9 meeting or schedule an extra one on Jan. 26, also for the candidates’ presentations.


[1] Rescheduled on Wednesday because DT is attending the AAR Annual Meeting.

[2] Eventually it is possible either to extend the week 9 meeting until