Catholic Peacebuilding Network

Enhancing the study and practice of Catholic peacebuilding

Theology of Peace

Two Women in Burundi working for Peace

While much has been written about the theology of just war, there is relatively little literature on the theology of peace. Here are some books, papers and other resources:

Peacebuilding Catholic Theology, Ethics, and Praxis

Peacebuilding: Catholic Theology, Ethics, and Praxis. In this groundbreaking volume, leading Catholic theologians, ethicists, and scholar-practitioners examine the role of Catholic peacebuilders in preventing and resolving conflicts, and reconciling divided societies from Colombia and the Philippines to Indonesia and South Africa.

“Signs of That Peace: Peacemaking is everybody’s business” is a December 2014 article in America Magazine by Gerald W. Schlabach. It points out contours of the call of the whole Church and all its members to build peace, outlines Pope Francis’s four principles on peacebuilding (from Evangelii Gaudium), and more.

The Sacrament of Nonviolence Makes Martyrs for the Truth is a reflection by Thomas Rosica, CSB, of Salt and Light Television. He argues that “The Eucharist sums up all the teaching, passion and death of Jesus, and his nonviolent way must be at the heart of the Eucharist. Luke’s passion narrative is about the Lamb, who goes to His death rejecting violence, loving enemies, returning good for evil, praying for His persecutors. The Eucharist, therefore, is truly the sacrament of nonviolence. The way of Jesus to conquer evil and violence must be the Christian way: the way of nonviolence, of love and forgiveness.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a list of publications on Justice, Peace and Human Development.

The Institute for Theology and Peace is a research institution of the Catholic Church. It was established in 1978 and is actively engaged in research projects on peace ethics. It publishes the series “Theologie und Frieden” (Theology and Peace) and “Beiträge zur Friedensethik” (Contributions on Peace Ethics), has a library, and documents the literature comprehensively. See their online bibliography (available only in German).

John Borelli, Bryan Hehir, Cynthia Sampson and William Vendley, wrote ’The Challenge of Peace’ Twenty Years Later: Avenues of Hope for Shaping a Peaceful World, Woodstock Theological Forum, Georgetown University, October 15, 2003.

At various CPN conferences, these papers have been presented on the theology of peace:

Fr. William R. Headley and Reina C. Neufeldt, Catholic Relief Services: Catholic Social Teaching and the Practice of Peacebuilding. (Powerpoint presentation)

Fr. Drew Christiansen, SJ, Editor of America, Peacebuilding in Catholic Social Teaching. (PDF file)

Lisa Sowle Cahill, Boston College, A Theology for Peacebuilding. (PDF file)

Myla Leguro, Catholic Relief Services, Mindanao, the Philippines, The Many Dimensions of Catholic Peacebuilding: Mindanao Experience. (PDF file)