mediation

Janet Tappin Coelho 04-04-2016

Image via Goias Courts of Justice / RNS

A pioneering mediation program in Brazil is banking on religious leaders using their conciliatory skills to resolve conflicts between families and neighbors, while helping the judicial system reduce a massive backlog of cases overloading the country’s courts. The “Mediar e Divino” (“To Mediate is Divine”) pilot project in the state of Goias, has started training evangelical pastors, Catholic priests, and Protestant ministers on the legalities of reconciling bickering parties and settling social squabbles.

I Beg to Differ: Navigating Difficult Conversations With Truth and Love. IVP Books. 

Rebecca Kraybill 04-03-2014

Tyrone Parker, top row in red, with Alliance of Concerned Men participants.

Tyrone Parker works with urban youth and families in the nation's capital.

Toya Richards 01-07-2013

Death threats haven't stopped Rev. James Byensi, a Congolese pastor, from seeking peace in his homeland.

Tripp Hudgins 04-17-2012
Eye photo, Greg Soybelman/Shutterstock.com

Eye photo, Greg Soybelman/Shutterstock.com

I've been navel gazing again and wondering how we come to know ourselves. I wonder what that right balance is between our inner-barometer of self-knowing and that external one that people reflect back to us. "Ubuntu," (I am because of who we are) or all the various "I am..." statements: "I think therefore I am" (Descartes) or "I am what I am and that's all that I am" (Popeye)...What statements might we add to this list? Bishop Desmond Tutu expands the notion of Ubuntu thusly: 

One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.

I'm trying to wrap my mind about how we construct the self. Judith Butler, Catherine Bell (ritualization) and others inhabit my mind lately. Ritual, tradition, story, identity... the list goes on and on ...

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