In need of a spiritual framework for peacebuilding : Burma and beyond




Tegenfeldt, Aron.

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Traditionally in the West, the pursuit of a secular society has kept a spiritual dimension fiom the study and application of most peacebuilding processes. By excluding a spiritual dimension, however, a tremendous resource for building peace is often lost. This thesis argues that spirituality can assist in encouraging connection and understanding between participants within a peacebuilding process. It also argues that religious/spiritual organizations and their leadership can play an important role in creating the conditions to support peace, through their organizational structure and position in society. Moreover, they can often find ways to prevent and transform conflict through the application of lessons, systems, insights and values from their own traditions, which may be more appropriate to their situation than importing outside solutions. The case study methodology used in this thesis incorporates the experiences that the author had while interning with various NGO's in Burma. The case study itself offers a specific example of why a spiritual framework for peacebuilding is needed. Through this example, an illustration of why this in that current conflict, is achieved. o t h e d e x t s are also discwed. type of framework is suitable, and how it might assist General lessons and insights that are applicable to n