Catholic Peacebuilding Network

Enhancing the study and practice of Catholic peacebuilding

Invitation from Pax Christi International

An Invitation from Pax Christi International to theologians

Woven into the fabric of Pax Christi’s work for peace since its founding 68 years ago is a rich and vibrant spirituality and a commitment to respond to complex and destructive human behaviour out of a deep well of diverse religious inspiration and moral principles.

Often, however, the spirituality – the inspiration of faith that guides and motivates us – remains in the deepest places in the hearts of each one. Our experience of God’s presence or absence, our encounters with good and evil, inspiring moments, the impact on us of other’s witness to their own beliefs are rarely shared, and a systematic theological reflection to ground our work – emerging from grassroots experiences and from a lived spirituality – is rarely well-articulated.

For the past few years, Pax Christi has been consciously inviting people in our movement around the world to share their spiritual journeys in whatever ways they can. Bringing together the stories of grassroots people and their communities, we have begun to capture the complexity of human experiences that take place in a world where war, conflict and violence exist alongside hope, peace and reconciliation. We have undertaken this effort to understand how people acted in a given situation, but also to ponder their reflections on the use of violence and the option of employing methods of active nonviolence in a given situation and context. We have, thus far, two collections of stories and reflections (see below) and continue to gather more as part of our on-going work for peace in different corners of the world.

Now we are hoping to attract the cooperation of theologians from different traditions, cultures and countries to a mutually enriching partnership that would help us develop a theological reflection on this experience that is (a) contextual, emerging from the diversity of cultures and religious traditions that ground Pax Christi members’ work for peace worldwide; and (b) multidimensional, drawing from dogmatic theology, moral theology, Catholic Social Teaching, theology of spirituality, sciences of religions, interfaith peace theology, etc.

If you are willing to consider some involvement with Pax Christi International in this effort, please contact me, Marie Dennis, at (marie.dennis@paxchristi.net) or 202-257-1583.
Thank you so much.

In peace,

Marie

The initial material we have available as the basis for reflection is in two collections of stories and reflections. This is just a beginning.

1. We are God’s hand of solidarity – How Pax Christi member organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean live their Spirituality for Peace, was published in 2011 and is available in Spanish, English and French.
For a physical or electronic version of the document, please contact: greet@paxchristi.net.

2. Pax Christi International Peace Spirituality – A source of inspiration for a journey towards a peaceful future, March 2012, available in English. This document includes stories, voices and insights that were gathered from member organizations in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, North America; the Middle East and Europe, as well as from various PCI meetings and from the Pax Christi Youth Forum. It offers also a first more systematic articulation (or framework) of Pax Christi’s spirituality of peace, by way of six stepping stones on our peace building path, together with few theological reflections. The titles of the six stepping stones are: 1. We believe in the dignity of each person; 2. There is no real peace without reconciliation and healing; 3. Active nonviolence is our distinct choice; 4. Living compassion; 5. Celebrating diversity; 6. We are committed to proceed through prayer, study and action. Each stepping stone is supported by voices and insights proceeding from grassroots witnesses. Read the document: http://archive.paxchristi.net/2012/2012-0245-en-gl-PS.pdf .