Theology Of Peace

Imagine that you have been appointed to the inaugural selection committee for the (imaginary) “Prince of Peace” awards. The awards are sponsored by “The Peace-Bridge Foundation” which has recently formed to bring together peace-loving members of many diverse Christian church communities, including 50% representation from “historic peace churches” that favor pacifism (in its various forms) and 50% from mainline Christian churches (Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) that generally support just war approaches. Because this ecumenical initiative is brand new, it has asked each member of the “awards selection committee” (including you!) to draft a memo that will recommend criteria for choosing which people and accomplishments are most worthy of receiving the award each year. You don’t yet know who will be nominated for the awards, but your committee needs to plan in advance for what types of good ideas and achievements regarding the promotion of peace will be worthy of the highest consideration.

The awards are divided into international and domestic (U.S.) categories, and you are free to choose which of the two your memo will address. If you choose the international category, the instruction is to use your memo to describe the criteria by which your selection committee will evaluate potential award winners who contribute to global peace by such efforts as: 1) counteracting terrorism, 2) restricting the proliferation of deadly weapons, and/or 3) resolving humanitarian crises through interventions that cross borders. Recalling that half the members of “The Peace-Bridge Foundation” are pacifists of some sort (whose support your committee depends upon for funding the award), lay out the criteria you would recommend to identify the worthy recipients. Are there some approaches or techniques that you would rule out, and others that you would reward? Be sure to provide some examples of the types of activities and actors you judge to be worthy of commending. If you choose the domestic category, your memo should describe the types of individuals or groups who deserve special recognition for promoting peace within U.S. society. You might consider techniques such as “community policing” and initiatives such as “restorative justice” which help reduce conflict among individuals and groups in our localities and which promote a just order. Other peace-promoting initiatives may certainly be mentioned, but there is no need to go beyond materials from our course. Whichever category or qualities you choose, you should devote the final one-third of your paper to describing the underlying Christian principles (or values drawn from other religious traditions you may know well) that worthy recipients should be upholding. You might want to cite scripture or religious traditions of reflection to indicate how you envision justifying why future awardees are truly worthy of this honor from your faith-based foundation, with its underpinnings in Christian theologies of peace. Argue persuasively for why the types of awardees you prefer to recognize are acting in ways that are particularly consistent with the theological principles you identify here.

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Write an essay of 1500 words (between five and six pages of double-spaced 12-point type—with an acceptable minimum of 1250 and absolute maximum of 1750 words) in the form of a memo addressed to “fellow members of the committee,” and the first line should inform them of which of the two categories you will address. Assume that all committee members understand the basic pacifist/just war distinctions.

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