Religious Peacebuilding: The Life and Work of Archbishop Raya as a Model for Religious Peacebuilding

Lesya Michalina Sabada, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa
Throughout this dissertation, I argue that the same religion that incites people to hideous acts of violence and destruction can also influence people to act in love, to work toward healing in all stages of conflict, and to offer hope in difficult situations. As Katrien Hertog argues in her major work, The Complex Reality of Religious Peacebuilding, religion has much to contribute to the work of peacebuilding. Unfortunately, as John Paul Lederach and Cynthia Sampson, leading scholars in
more » ... scholars in religious peacebuilding, have pointed out, there are few case studies regarding the peacebuilding activities of religious actors, particularly those who demonstrate a "legitimate connection between spirituality and pragmatic international peacebuilding" (qtd. in Hertog 2010, 40). This dissertation addresses that lack through an examination of the life and work of Joseph Raya, who demonstrated, throughout his life, the importance and effectiveness of a pastoral and prophetic approach (rooted in his Byzantine tradition) in building peace, even in deeply troubled areas of the world. Archbishop Raya can be a model for peacebuilding that is "simultaneously authentic to a religious tradition [Byzantine Christianity] and simultaneously accepting of other traditions" (Gopin 2000, 23). This might be an opportunity for scholarly reflection on one man's spiritually inspired thought processes that appear to have led to practical pastoral peacebuilding. Thus the research question that shapes this dissertation is "How can the life and teachings of Archbishop Joseph Raya serve as a model for a pastoral and prophetic love-based approach to religious peacebuilding?" My hypothesis is that a practical vi for a pastoral and prophetic approach can be synthesized from Archbishop Raya's life, actions, and spirituality. The most suitable method of research for this dissertation, with its ultimately practical goal of personal ministry, is qualitative research, specifically a narrative approach appropriate to exploring the life of an individual (Creswell 2 [...]
doi:10.20381/ruor-20956 fatcat:73kjwhdbivabbjmbp5h3zixtfu