Peacebuilding amongst Christian and Muslim in Nigeria : a critical study of "a model of and for" religion leaders as peace brokers

Umar Silas, Labilam (2016-03-14)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: We live in a world where religious diversity is increasingly affecting and changing everything around us and ourselves as well. No religious community is exempt from the pressures of diversity. The crisis of age constitutes a call to religions to co-operate and work out dialogical ways of understanding ourselves, as well as others. The issue of harnessing the beliefs and practices of religions is not to form new religions, as the multiplicity of religions is not an evil that needs not to be removed, but rather a wealth that is to be welcomed and enjoyed by all because there is more truth in all religions than in one particular religion. As a result of religious diversity and the need for peace between the Christian and Muslim religions in Nigeria, the argument is present for and against each of the typologies of theology of religions in order to understand the relation between Christianity and other religions. The theological understanding is about the beliefs and practices of peace. The approaches are done with regard to each typology in the theology of religions in relation to four selected constants in mission. This is because holistic and flexible missiological approaches require one to reflect on religious identities by strengthening and sustaining interreligious dialogue. Its purpose is to be involved in the movement of God’s love towards human beings and to participate in the ecumenical movement for peacebuilding in the relationship between religion and conflict, because religion is important in the lives of people. People live their lives based on their religious traditions. Religion has a dual legacy in human history regarding peace and conflict, because religion plays the central role in human beings’ social behaviours due to the influence of religion on the lives of the religious leaders and their followers. This role that religion has played and still is playing has a dynamic influence on the lives of the adherents – either positive or negative – because in most conflicts in Nigeria, religion is mentioned as one of the factors. Religious conflict has reached a dangerous level, resulting in ethnic and religious groups becoming a threat to peace and harmony. This thesis has emphasised the dialogical missiological reflection on a model of as beliefs and for as practice of religious leaders as peace brokers in their societies, because their scriptures include a clear understanding of salvation/peace. The research argues that religious leaders are to work for justice by considering human suffering, which is not deniable in their religious beliefs and practices, because if a religion does not have love of God and human beings, then something is dysfunctional in that religion. Due to religious pluralism and the need for peace between the Christian and Muslim religions in Nigeria, the researcher presents the arguments for and against a typology of theology of religions, with a reflection on constants in mission. The approaches bring out important aspects by suggesting practical missiological strategic solutions for how Christian religious leaders should relate with others.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Ons leef in ’n wêreld waarin godsdienstige diversiteit toenemend alles om ons, sowel as onsself, beïnvloed en verander. Geen godsdienstige gemeenskap is vrygestel van die druk van diversiteit nie. Die krisis van die tyd behels ’n oproep aan godsdienste om saam te werk en dialogiese maniere uit te werk om onsself, asook ander, te verstaan. Die kwessie van die aanwending van die oortuigings en praktyke van godsdienste is nie om nuwe godsdienste te skep nie, aangesien die veelvoudigheid van godsdienste nie ’n euwel is wat verwyder moet word nie, maar eerder ’n rykdom wat deur almal verwelkom en geniet moet word omdat daar meer waarheid is in alle godsdienste as in een enkele godsdiens. As gevolg van godsdienstige diversiteit en die behoefte aan vrede onder die Christen- en Moslemgelowe in Nigerië, is daar argumente vir en teen elk van die tipologieë van die teologie van godsdienste om die verhouding tussen Christendom en ander godsdienste te begryp. Die teologiese begrip gaan oor die oortuigings en praktyke met betrekking tot vrede. Die benaderings word aangepak in verhouding tot elke tipologie in die teologie van godsdienste met betrekking tot vier gekose konstante in missie. Die rede hiervoor is dat holistiese en buigsame benaderings dit nodig maak om na te dink oor godsdienstige identiteite deur intergodsdienstige dialoog te versterk en te onderhou. Die doel hiervan is om betrokke te wees in die beweging van God se liefde na die mensdom toe en om deel te neem aan die ekumeniese beweging vir vredeskepping in die verhouding tussen godsdiens en konflik, omdat godsdiens belangrik is in mense se lewens. Mense leef hulle lewens op grond van hulle godsdienstige tradisies. Die godsdiens het ’n tweeledige erfenis in die mens se geskiedenis met betrekking tot vrede en konflik, omdat godsdiens ’n sentrale rol speel in mense se sosiale gedrag as gevolg van die invloed van godsdiens in die lewens van godsdienstige leiers en hulle volgelinge. Die rol wat godsdiens gespeel het en nog steeds speel het ’n dinamiese invloed op die lewens van aanhangers – hetsy positief of negatief – omdat godsdiens as een van die faktore in die meeste van die konflikte in Nigerië genoem word. Godsdienstige konflik het ’n gevaarlike vlak bereik, wat daartoe lei dat etniese en godsdienstige groepe ’n bedreiging inhou vir vrede en harmonie. Hierdie tesis benadruk die dialogiese hermeneutiese nadenke oor ’n model van soos oortuigings en vir as praktyk van godsdienstige leiers as vredemakers in hulle samelewings, omdat hulle heilige geskrifte ’n duidelike begrip van verlossing/vrede insluit. Hierdie navorsing hou voor dat godsdienstige leiers moet werk vir geregtigheid deur menslike lyding in ag te neem, wat nie in hulle godsdienstige oortuigings en praktyke loënbaar is nie, want as ’n godsdiens nie ’n liefde van God en mense bevat nie is dit wanfunksioneel. As gevolg van godsdienstige pluralisme en die behoefte aan vrede tussen die Christen- en Moslemgelowe in Nigerië, bied die navorser argumente aan vir en teen ’n tipologie van godsdienste, met ’n oorweging geskenk aan wat konstant is in sending. Hierdie benaderings lig belangrike aspekte uit deur praktiese sendingkundige strategiese oplossings voor te stel vir hoe Christelike godsdienstige leiers in verband staan met ander.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98730
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