5th Annual CPN Conference at the University of Notre Dame, April 2008
Since the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ 1983 peace pastoral called for further work on the development of a theology of peace, peacebuilding has received much greater attention in both secular and Church circles. This conference, held from April 13-15, 2008 at the University of Notre Dame, showcased and contributed to a larger effort to develop a conceptually coherent, theologically accurate, spiritually enlivening and practically effective approach to Catholic peacebuilding that can begin to match the sophistication of Catholic thinking on the ethics of war and peace. Peacebuilding was defined as a range of topics not addressed by the literature on the ethics of the use of force. The topics covered included conflict prevention, conflict management and transformation, and post-conflict reconciliation. The focus was not just on public policies that are a major concern of Catholic social ethics, but also on a range of other actors, relationships and practices at all levels of society that are integral to healing broken societies and building and sustaining a just peace.