June 23, 2012
Sheena Iyengar, a leading expert in choice theory, speaks about the ways people from different cultures make decisions. She shares several interesting insights from case studies from around the world, revealing that not all cultures thrive on the belief that the individual is the locus of decision making, as most of Westerners have been brought up to enjoy. She points out several assumptions we often make when it comes to the subject of decision making.
June 20, 2012
The famous Yale theologian and peacemaker Miroslav Volf spoke recently to pastors at the Vineyard Great Lakes Regional Conference in Columbus, Ohio. He told a story about the Common Word Dialogue between Christians and Muslims at Yale: "Prior to the dialogue, we inserted a brief apology, asking for forgiveness in the Yale response to the Common Word. People got so upset! They said you should not ask for forgiveness until Muslims ask for forgiveness first!" Miroslav paused, and with a big smile on his face asked, "Since when is my moral behavior predicated on the moral behavior of another?"
June 15, 2012
Many people believe that Muslims around the world are not speaking out against terrorism and Islamic extremism, but it's simply not true. This is a video we like of King Abdullah II of Jordan, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. in 2005. Watch it to hear what his country and others are doing to promote a peaceful Islam, and share it with your friends!
June 12, 2012
If you're reading this blog, there's a good chance you're a follower of the Prince of Peace. You want to follow Jesus into a world of conflict, and you want to embody the peaceable ways of Jesus. Yet good intentions and loving aspirations frequently fail in the face of conflict (I can testify to that!). In reality, we are often peacebreakers. Some of us are even by nature peacefakers, and yet we long to be peacemakers.
June 7, 2012
Dialog between various religious partners is not about melting differences into one tepid spiritual brew. Yet as we retain the distinctives at the core of our faith, we should enter the conversation with open hearts, attentive ears, and minds eager to learn. I've gained so much and have become a better follower of Jesus through my interaction with Muslim friends over the years. It works in the other direction as well.
June 5, 2012
Sam Richards, a sociology professor at Penn State, expounds upon the process of empathy. By leading the audience through a re-narration of history and their own identity, he invites the audience to step into the shoes of someone else's life. After exploring new hopes, fears, and perceptions as "the other," connections and relationships are more easily visible. We encourage you to watch the entire video even if you do not agree with everything Richards says. This is a very challenging and interesting video.
May 31, 2012
Working with Muslim refugees in Phoenix is a powerful opportunity for peacemaking and for promoting the peace of our city. We're continuing to work with the Somali Bantu community in Phoenix to put on multiple-times-weekly English and citizenship classes, and we're so thankful for all the volunteers who make it possible. We couldn't do this work without our incredible and faithful volunteers, so today we'd like to share the video story of Sally Harr, who has been invaluable to our work with the Somali Bantu.
May 29, 2012
What should we make of the Arab Spring? How should we view these revolutions as Americans, as followers of Jesus, or as people who want peace? Todd Deatherage, co-founder of the Telos Group and former staff member for the Bush Administration, provides some insight and understanding to these events. As someone who has worked extensively in the Middle East, he shares his thoughts about the role of Americans and American evangelicals in this movement.
May 24, 2012
Peace Catalyst's Jim Mullins has just finished putting together this ebook study on what the Bible has to say about culture. We're thrilled to have this fantastic resource to point people to, and we highly recommend it for all of our Jesus-following friends who want to know more about how to respond to diversity, how to obey Jesus's command to love our neighbor in a globalized world, and how to respectfully communicate what we believe.
May 22, 2012
Can you be peacemaker without being a politician, religious leader, or wealthy philanthropist? Can average people have any real impact for peace? Jim Mullins, a co-founder of Peace Catalyst International and the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers, promotes the idea of "carrot cake peacemaking" and encourages people to be creative with the resources around them and their own strengths in order to build peace.