Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice (St. Stephen’s University)

June 22, 2017
Posted in Blog
June 22, 2017 Editor

WN: Below is notice of a new Institute to address our fractured world with a message and initiatives for peace and peacemaking. There are highlights from their website. Here are some considerations that make the IRPJ unique.

It is headed by a friend of my son Mark, Andrew Klager. He is an up-and-coming scholar, already widely published, with an enormous contribution to make in the field of peace studies theology. Andrew explains that “we’re trying to hammer home the point that IRPJ is planning on making this year our only fundraising campaign, after which we will become financially self-sustaining in all subsequent years through revenue from tuition. For every Certificate student, IRPJ receives a set amount, which means we need only three students per year to keep IRPJ operable. So, we’re asking folks to give only once as an investment in a self-sustaining Institute that will inspire and produce many, many informed, passionate, and transformed peacemakers for years to come.

The one-time fundraising goal is: $24,370 (Cdn).

It would be wonderful if the IRPJ can quickly move to “self-sustaining”, and with that, focus uniquely on developing courses, etc. Andrew goes on to explain in this regard: “For example, Jarrod McKenna has asked me if he can be my co-host on the IRPJ podcast, and with our combined contacts, we’re going to try to interview everyone from Stanley Hauerwas, Leymah Gbowee, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, James Cone, Sami Awad, John Dear, Desmond Tutu, Cornel West, and Malala Yousafzai — but we need the funds to get started on this as soon as possible. And of course we want to be ready for the launch of the Certificate program in the fall of 2018, which means we have five courses left to develop.”

There’s my pitch to everyone reading this! Please be in touch directly with Andrew if you can contribute to the IRPJ’s fundraising goal!  His contact information is below.

Our Mission

To be a teaching, research, and resource institute of St. Stephen’s University that provides students, scholars, practitioners, and any thoughtful person with a robust education and experience that integrate attentiveness to one’s inner transformation, peace theology and social justice, an understanding of the role of religion in peace and violence, and practical peacemaking as a vocation and way of life.

Our Purpose

1. To help students, scholars, practitioners, and any thoughtful person genuinely reflect on and wrestle with issues of peace and violence through an engagement with Christian theology, Scriptures, and history in an ecumenical context and apply this process to contemporary challenges.     

2. To be a teaching and research resource on issues related to the role of religion in peace and conflict and how to appropriate the values, teachings, rituals, and myths of the world religions to encourage peaceful coexistence. 

3. To prepare students—through education, inner transformation, and practical experience—to be peacemakers amidst conflict and violence, from interpersonal and community conflicts to interreligious, interethnic, and international conflicts.

Place

Although the certificate program of the Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice is offered entirely online, we strongly believe in the power of face-to-face human encounters. So along with the interactive video conferencing and online chatting that we integrate into our online courses, we also offer an annual symposium in British Columbia or at St. Stephen’s University (New Brunswick) that includes a retreat to focus on the inner transformation of a peacemaker.

Director

ANDREW P. KLAGER, PhD
Director, Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice
St. Stephen’s University – IRPJ
British Columbia, Canada
t. 604-858-2855 | e. andrewklager@ssu.ca

Andrew Klager earned a PhD in Religious Studies and History from the University of Glasgow focusing on Anabaptist-Mennonite history and theology including the 16th-century Anabaptist peace tradition(s) and has completed continuing studies in Interfaith Conflict Resolution and Conflict Analysis from the United States Institute of Peace.

In addition to his responsibilities at the Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice (St. Stephen’s University), Andrew teaches at Trinity Western University and Catholic Pacific College (Langley, BC), the University of the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford, BC), and Rocky Mountain College (Calgary, AB). He was also previously a Research Associate at the Humanitas Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre at TWU and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria.

Andrew has also given a number of public lectures and made presentations at conferences, symposiums, and interfaith dialogues across North America. He is also widely published in various peer-reviewed journals (Peace Research: The Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies; Journal of Ecumenical Studies; Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace; Greek Orthodox Theological Review; Mennonite Quarterly Review; Conrad Grebel Review; Journal of Mennonite Studies; Renaissance and Reformation; Journal of Theological Studies (Oxford); Refor-mation & Renaissance Review; Direction Journal) and in a number of books (Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ [Eerdmans 2007]; Compassionate Eschatology: The Future as Friend [Wipf & Stock, 2011]; and Canadian Christian Zionism: A Tangled Tale [Synaxis Press, 2014]) in a variety of research fields ranging from peace and conflict studies, Anabaptist-Mennonite studies, interreligious peacebuilding especially in Egypt and the Middle East, peace theology, history of Christianity, 16th-century Reformation and Humanism, the Church fathers (especially St. Gregory of Nyssa), and Eastern Orthodox theology and asceticism. Andrew has also written for Egypt Independent (Al-Masry Al-Youm) and currently writes regularly for the Huffington Post and Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice, of which he’s also a co-editor, and is the Editor-in-Chief of St. Macrina Press, contributing editor of Solomon’s Porch (In Com-munion), and is on the Advisory Council of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.

In addition to his teaching, speaking, and publications, Andrew also carries out research on interreligious peacebuilding, asceticism and the inner transformation of a peacemaker, uses of history and peacebuilding, and Mennonite approaches to peacebuilding, especially in the Balkans and Middle East and in Egypt in particular. He is also the editor of the book, From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding (Pickwick, 2015) and will release his new book, Why the Creeds Matter: Gregory of Nyssa on the Iconic Function of Christological and Trinitarian Theology (St Macrina Press), later this year.

Andrew’s responsibilities at the Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice include teaching courses; arranging the student practicum placements overseas; organizing events including speakers, conferences, panel discussions, and peace theology cafés; coordinating research fellows; maintaining and adding content to the blog and podcasts; carrying out research and publishing in peace theology and inter-religious peacebuilding; speaking at conferences and other events; co-editing the Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice; editing the Journal of Peace Theology; and editing the books that appear in the IRPJ book series.

For Andrew Klager’s full CV, click here.

PLEASE CONSIDER SPREADING THIS NEWS WIDELY!

The great website is here: IRPJ.

,

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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