RPP Colloquium

Religions and the Practice of Peace Colloquium Series

This monthly public series, convened by HDS Dean David N. Hempton, brings together a cross-disciplinary RPP Working Group of faculty, experts, graduate students, and alumni from across Harvard University and the local area to explore topics and cases in religions and the practice of peace. A diverse array of scholars, leaders, and religious peacebuilders are invited to present and engage with the RPP Working Group and general audience. A light dinner is served and a brief reception follows the program.

Join us for the RPP Colloquium Series in 2017-18: "Envisioning Sustainable Peace: Leadership, Collaboration, and Creativity for a More Humane and Harmonious World"

Fall 2017: October 5
Spring 2018: January 25, February 8, March 1, May 3

Visit the RPP Series Archive to view videos and full descriptions of past RPP Colloquium sessions.

The RPP Colloquium is hosted in 2017-18 with generous support from The Reverend Karen Vickers Budney, MDiv '91 and Mr. Albert J. Budney, Jr., MBA '74, Farley Urmston and Karl Bandtel, as well as the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities at Harvard University.

RPP Colloquium: The Role of Ethics, Law, and Policy in Promoting a New International Security Paradigm, a conversation with Ben Ferencz, International Peace Advocate and Former Nüremberg Prosecutor
May 3, 2018

The promotion of more just and peaceful societies is a fundamental goal of the United Nations (UN). In response to the spike in violent conflict worldwide and unparalleled levels of forced displacement, the UN broke new ground in 2016 with two “peacebuilding resolutions,” which set forth a new UN approach to “sustaining peace” that addresses “all stages of conflict” and “all its dimensions.” Join us as we explore what law, policy, and ethics can teach us about “sustaining peace” and how the UN can be assisted in forging a more coherent vision of this new paradigm.

RPP Colloquium: Ministry to the Marginal: The Power of Partnerships
March 1, 2018

Violence is not inevitable in stressed and oppressed communities and the building of peace in those communities requires the building of bridges between unlikely collaborators. That's the lesson learned in Boston over three decades of trying to change the trajectory of proven-risk youth and their families.

RPP Colloquium Event: Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Works: Highlighting the Power of Spiritually-Engaged Communities in Movements for Sustainable Peace
February 8, 2018

This colloquium explores some of the key challenges that nonviolent resistance movements face, including obstacles to building and maintaining movement cohesion, ensuring effective communication, and gaining political leverage; how advocates of principled nonviolence (who promote nonviolence on a moral basis) often clash with advocates of civil resistance (who promote nonviolent action on a strategic or utilitarian basis); the ongoing debate on diversity of tactics; and the ways in which power and privilege undermine solidarity. The colloquium highlights the power of women in these movements and addresses ways in which spiritually-engaged communities are well-positioned to address many of these key movement challenges.

RPP Colloquium Event: The Church as a Reconciling Presence in a World of Conflict: The Role of Religion in International Conflict Transformation
January 25, 2018

Is religion a cause of violent conflict or a catalyst for its transformation? Do faith leaders have a role at the international peacebuilding tables? Current international affairs highlight the power of religious ideologies—and their misappropriation—as a catalyst for social action. They have also prompted unprecedented interest in the role of religious leaders and ideologies to transform conflict and violence.

The keynote session of the fourth annual RPP Colloquium dinner series will feature Canon Sarah Snyder, PhD, Archbishop of Canterbury's Director of Reconciliation. She will be joined by colleagues in the field, who will share their experience of working in conflict zones and reflect on vital lessons for the contemporary world.

RPP Colloquium Event: The Restorative Justice Approach: Wisdom and Spiritual Resources for Sustainable Peace in Our Communities
October 5, 2017

The first session of the fourth annual RPP Colloquium dinner series will explore restorative justice, its spiritual dimensions, and the potential contributions of its approach to advancing sustainable peace in our communities and our world. The session will feature presentations by:

  • Fania Davis, J.D., PhD, Co-Executive Director, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), will address “The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice: Resources for Cultivating Peace in Our Communities”
  • sujatha baliga, J.D., Director, Restorative Justice Project; Vice President, Impact Justice; Just Beginnings Fellow, will deliver a talk entitled “Have You Been Angry Long Enough? Faith, Forgiveness, and Restorative Justice.”

Watch video: October 2017 Colloquium on the Restorative Justice Approach