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Religion, Civil Society, and Peace in Northern Ireland$
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John D. Brewer, Gareth I. Higgins, and Francis Teeney

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199694020

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694020.001.0001

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Contributions to the Political Peace Process

Contributions to the Political Peace Process

(p.90) Chapter 2 Contributions to the Political Peace Process
Religion, Civil Society, and Peace in Northern Ireland

John D. Brewer

Gareth I. Higgins

Francis Teeney

Oxford University Press

This chapter completes the outline of the typology of kinds of active peacemaking by focusing on the contribution of the churches to the political peace process. It focuses on the backchannel dialogue the churches developed with paramilitary bodies and their involvement in formal political negotiations. The political role of the churches lay primarily in backchannel dialogue, and the special qualities of sacred space to this kind of religious peacebuilding is emphasized in detail. The differing styles of religious leadership within the churches are explained.

Keywords:   space, sacred space, backchannel communication, religion and politics, church leadership

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