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LIU Cheng: The Interconnection between Religion and Peace from the Perspective of Peace Studies
September 12,2019   By:
The Interconnection between Religion and Peace from the Perspective of Peace Studies
LIU Cheng
Abstract: All religions are realizations of the human longing for unification and community, and all religions imagine and prescribe this for the whole world. But each religion assumes that the ideal worldwide community can only be a community within the framework of their own religiosity and religion. Through this, religions stand in their own way. Although they are communities and they want the world to be a community, they prevent this from happening by their own marking-off existence. While they intend unity and community, they actually prevent it. All religions need to realize the spirituality of nonviolence in their own community as well as among themselves. Through this, they need to postulate a peace-oriented, nonviolence-based form of political action. Remarkably, the secular youth all over the world is realizing what religions are postulating: a peaceful living together. Young people are practising this by creating and using a worldwide network of communication and consumption, of fashion and taste, of political and, for example, ecological thinking and acting. More and more, they are living in a kind of TRANS state and through this realizing an essential side of peace. With this, the existence of religions doesn’t become irrelevant. Rather, the central expectations and hopes that religions articulate, and the ethical requirements they value are increasingly becoming a reality. In the context of the postmodern tendency towards peaceful secularization, the dynamic power behind the human creation of peace won’t vanish with the decline of religions, it doesn’t depend on exclusive kinds of articulation. The spirituality of nonviolence focuses on a Third Power that you can find in all religions. The belief on and the trust in a Third, is the basis of the worldwide ethos of peace. All religions contain and keep deep ancient wisdoms that concern how we can create ways of living together and that have evolved corresponding ethical systems over many years. Especially on the basis of a spirituality of the One, they developed ways of togetherness through solidarity and mutuality. Every society should know these treasures. In the light of this, religions have two functions: (1) to bring up perspectives for managing and mastering the challenges of our lives, and (2) to correct and criticize our attempts at shaping and organizing our lives if they obviously fail. In our context, religions need to demonstrate paths of peace both in general terms and in concrete details. They have to protest and oppose when humankind is tempted to look for violent solutions by choosing violent means, structures or actions. In doing this the religions, that is, the members acting as their representatives, have to be very familiar with the ethical traditions and rules. When criticizing inhuman methods of conflict management they have to accept their own limitations. They must not dominate the politics of a country (as in a theocracy). They are only allowed to offer alternatives in a broad societal discourse. Claims to absoluteness and exclusivity aren’t appropriate to a culture of peace and nonviolence as they counteract the nonviolent togetherness they seek. They will be seen as upholders of spirituality and practice of peace (as nonviolence). Peace is actually the result of religiosity in the sense of trusting in a power that not only links all human beings, but also the whole universe.
Keywords: Peace Studies; Religion; Globalization; Peacebuilding 
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