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Spirituality of Conflict

About us

Spirituality of Conflict is a website dedicated to reading the gospel texts through the lens of conflict and reading conflict through the lens of the gospel texts. We will publish reflections for the gospel reading for every Sunday of the three year lectionary cycle, and we will also publish reflections for occasions that warrant human attention throughout the year: everything from St. Patrick’s day to World AIDS day.

These reflections focus on conflict in its various forms and on how the text might address it. We will suggest pathways into an understanding of the lectionary text which highlight the conflicted nature of the world in which Jesus lived and how people navigated their routes through it. In this way the text will speak to our own conflicted contemporary world. They are not intended as general reflections on the lectionary.

Spirituality of Conflict was initially imagined by Pádraig Ó Tuama, leader of the Corrymeela Community. With generous funding from the JVM Trench Will Trust, the project soon gathered coworkers from other Christian witnesses across Ireland and Britain: the Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland, The Iona Community, Place for Hope, the Irish School of Ecumenics and Coventry Cathedral Reconciliation Ministry. Coming from across Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Pentecostal backgrounds, the reflections reflect the ecumenical nature of the witness to peace.

The material for Year A was written over four residential gatherings in 2016. It was important to us to write these reflections in the context of friendship, community and discussion; sharing meals, sharing discussions about the dynamics of conflict and the gospels, and sharing our stories. Material for Years B and C will be made available in mid 2017.

 

Primary funding came from the JVM Trench Will Trust. We are deeply thankful for this extraordinary generosity.

Additional funding came from the Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland and the Community Relations Council of Northern Ireland. We have deep thanks for the trust and vision of these two funders.

All of the contributing organisations have invested funds, time and premises in support of this project.

Corrymeela
Church of Scotland
Community Relations Council

This website provides introductions, texts and reflections on the Sunday Gospel reading (using the Revised Common Lectionary) where dynamics of conflict in the text are explored, and made relevant to everyday dynamics of conflict in contemporary life. We also provide reflections for special days of observation – some, like Saint days, are in the church calendar; others, like World AIDS day, are not marked in the lectionary but we will choose readings and offer reflections for these important days. 

Conflict is part of every day. There are some conflicts that need to be reduced. Other conflicts are part of the human condition. What does not help is ignoring conflicts – whether they are conflicts to be solved, or conflicts to be learnt from. The gospel texts are replete with dynamics of conflict: occupation; internal conflict between people about whether one should or shouldn’t work for an occupying force; conflict about the inclusion of others; conflict about the role of leadership and the role of popular voices. 

If you are keen to print these resources, go to the full–text version of the week’s reflection. On the left hand side you’ll see “Download this page” – and this will give you a PDF version that is ink–friendly.

 Our regular writers come from a diverse range of backgrounds and places. All have a demonstrable commitment to peacemaking, reconciliation and the transformation of conflict. Some are connected here because of the organisations they work for and some are here in an individual capacity.

Pat Bennett

Pat Bennett

Pat is the Programmes Development Worker at the Iona Community. She has a dual background in medicine and theology and has PhD in Science and Religion and is widely published in her own field as well as hymnody, liturgy and poetry. She is originally from England but now lives in Glasgow.

Fiona Bullock

Fiona Bullock

Fiona is a parish minister in the Church of Scotland and is representing its Mission and Discipleship Council on this project. With degrees in law, peace and reconciliation, and theology, Fiona might appear to be a professional student but insists that she does actually work. She worked in the health, higher education and charity sectors before accepting her call to ministry. She views everything through the lens of relationship, including the Scriptures, which is significant in her affirming ministry. She is passionate about peace education, reconciliation and compassionate listening.

Graham Fender-Allison

Graham Fender-Allison

Graham Fender-Allison works with the Church of Scotland Mission and Discipleship Council as the Team leader for the Resourcing Worship Team and as the Secretary to the Committee on Church Art and Architecture. His primary role is to stimulate thinking and development regarding the practice of worship and our places of worship.

Janet Foggie

Janet Foggie

Janet is the Church of Scotland Chaplain at the University of Stirling and Pioneer Minister for the Presbytery of Stirling. She works in an inclusive, creative, and holistic way, with those of any faith, life stance or belief. Equality and Inclusion are at the heart of her work as is the belief that we find God in the communities of people around us.

Ruth Harvey

Ruth Harvey

Ruth is passionate about peace building and adult spiritual formation, Ruth has worked in this area since 1989. Trained and accredited as a mediator in 2011, Ruth has worked for Place for Hope since then as a Practitioner and now as Director. Ruth writes prayers and meditations regularly for various publications. She is a Church of Scotland minister and a Quaker.

Sarah Hills

Sarah Hills

Revd Canon Dr Sarah Hills has been Canon for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral since 2014. She was born in South Africa, brought up in Northern Ireland, qualifying in medicine from the University of Sheffield. She worked as a psychiatrist, specialising in psychotherapy until her ordination in 2007. She was awarded her PhD in the theology of reconciliation at the University of Durham in 2015.She is a Visiting Fellow of St John’s College, Durham, and a Visiting Practice Fellow at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. She works and teaches in the areas of conflict and reconciliation in the national church and internationally, particularly in South Africa with post TRC reconciliation processes. She is also director of the Community of the Cross of Nails which currently has over 200 partners worldwide.

Glenn Jordan

Glenn Jordan

Glenn is a community activist and public theologian, and a Springsteen fan looking for a moment when the world seems right. Glenn has a keen interest in the process of community renewal and was the creative spark behind the innovative Skainos Square in Belfast. Particularly interested in the power of story to create newness and transform conflict.

Pádraig Ó Tuama

Pádraig Ó Tuama

Pádraig is the leader of the Corrymeela Community. A poet and essayist he brings interest in language, poetics, conflict and storytelling to his work. His academic work is in applying narrative analysis to gospel texts, particularly focusing on the gospels’ interpersonal dynamics.

Brec Seaton

Brec Seaton

Brec Seaton joined the writing group through Place for Hope where she is a Practitioner and Trainer, supporting congregations and faith communities through times of transition and change. In her role with the British Methodist Church she works with churches and church leaders offering a variety of learning and development opportunities. Brec lives in Cumbria, England, with her family and enjoys walking in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales.

Trevor Williams

Trevor Williams

Trevor is a former Leader of the Corrymeela Community. He is a an Anglican Bishop, former Chair of Christian Aid Ireland and since retirement is free to give more time to the life and work of Corrymeela and its work for Reconciliation which he believes lies at the heart of the Jesus’ message.

Spirituality of Conflict is a website dedicated to reading the gospel texts through the lens of conflict and reading conflict through the lens of the gospel texts. We will publish reflections for the gospel reading for every Sunday of the three year lectionary cycle, and we will also publish reflections for occasions that warrant human attention throughout the year: everything from St. Patrick’s day to World AIDS day.

These reflections focus on conflict in its various forms and on how the text might address it. We will suggest pathways into an understanding of the lectionary text which highlight the conflicted nature of the world in which Jesus lived and how people navigated their routes through it. In this way the text will speak to our own conflicted contemporary world. They are not intended as general reflections on the lectionary.

Spirituality of Conflict was initially imagined by Pádraig Ó Tuama, leader of the Corrymeela Community. With generous funding from the JVM Trench Will Trust, the project soon gathered coworkers from other Christian witnesses across Ireland and Britain: the Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland, The Iona Community, Place for Hope, the Irish School of Ecumenics and Coventry Cathedral Reconciliation Ministry. Coming from across Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Pentecostal backgrounds, the reflections reflect the ecumenical nature of the witness to peace.

The material for Year A was written over four residential gatherings in 2016. It was important to us to write these reflections in the context of friendship, community and discussion; sharing meals, sharing discussions about the dynamics of conflict and the gospels, and sharing our stories. Material for Years B and C will be made available in mid 2017.

 

Primary funding came from the JVM Trench Will Trust. We are deeply thankful for this extraordinary generosity.

Additional funding came from the Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland and the Community Relations Council of Northern Ireland. We have deep thanks for the trust and vision of these two funders.

All of the contributing organisations have invested funds, time and premises in support of this project.

Corrymeela
Church of Scotland
Community Relations Council

This website provides introductions, texts and reflections on the Sunday Gospel reading (using the Revised Common Lectionary) where dynamics of conflict in the text are explored, and made relevant to everyday dynamics of conflict in contemporary life. We also provide reflections for special days of observation – some, like Saint days, are in the church calendar; others, like World AIDS day, are not marked in the lectionary but we will choose readings and offer reflections for these important days. 

Conflict is part of every day. There are some conflicts that need to be reduced. Other conflicts are part of the human condition. What does not help is ignoring conflicts – whether they are conflicts to be solved, or conflicts to be learnt from. The gospel texts are replete with dynamics of conflict: occupation; internal conflict between people about whether one should or shouldn’t work for an occupying force; conflict about the inclusion of others; conflict about the role of leadership and the role of popular voices. 

If you are keen to print these resources, go to the full–text version of the week’s reflection. On the left hand side you’ll see “Download this page” – and this will give you a PDF version that is ink–friendly.

 Our regular writers come from a diverse range of backgrounds and places. All have a demonstrable commitment to peacemaking, reconciliation and the transformation of conflict. Some are connected here because of the organisations they work for and some are here in an individual capacity.

Pat Bennett

Pat Bennett

Pat is the Programmes Development Worker at the Iona Community. She has a dual background in medicine and theology and has PhD in Science and Religion and is widely published in her own field as well as hymnody, liturgy and poetry. She is originally from England but now lives in Glasgow.

Fiona Bullock

Fiona Bullock

Fiona is a parish minister in the Church of Scotland and is representing its Mission and Discipleship Council on this project. With degrees in law, peace and reconciliation, and theology, Fiona might appear to be a professional student but insists that she does actually work. She worked in the health, higher education and charity sectors before accepting her call to ministry. She views everything through the lens of relationship, including the Scriptures, which is significant in her affirming ministry. She is passionate about peace education, reconciliation and compassionate listening.

Graham Fender-Allison

Graham Fender-Allison

Graham Fender-Allison works with the Church of Scotland Mission and Discipleship Council as the Team leader for the Resourcing Worship Team and as the Secretary to the Committee on Church Art and Architecture. His primary role is to stimulate thinking and development regarding the practice of worship and our places of worship.

Janet Foggie

Janet Foggie

Janet is the Church of Scotland Chaplain at the University of Stirling and Pioneer Minister for the Presbytery of Stirling. She works in an inclusive, creative, and holistic way, with those of any faith, life stance or belief. Equality and Inclusion are at the heart of her work as is the belief that we find God in the communities of people around us.

Ruth Harvey

Ruth Harvey

Ruth is passionate about peace building and adult spiritual formation, Ruth has worked in this area since 1989. Trained and accredited as a mediator in 2011, Ruth has worked for Place for Hope since then as a Practitioner and now as Director. Ruth writes prayers and meditations regularly for various publications. She is a Church of Scotland minister and a Quaker.

Sarah Hills

Sarah Hills

Revd Canon Dr Sarah Hills has been Canon for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral since 2014. She was born in South Africa, brought up in Northern Ireland, qualifying in medicine from the University of Sheffield. She worked as a psychiatrist, specialising in psychotherapy until her ordination in 2007. She was awarded her PhD in the theology of reconciliation at the University of Durham in 2015.She is a Visiting Fellow of St John’s College, Durham, and a Visiting Practice Fellow at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. She works and teaches in the areas of conflict and reconciliation in the national church and internationally, particularly in South Africa with post TRC reconciliation processes. She is also director of the Community of the Cross of Nails which currently has over 200 partners worldwide.

Glenn Jordan

Glenn Jordan

Glenn is a community activist and public theologian, and a Springsteen fan looking for a moment when the world seems right. Glenn has a keen interest in the process of community renewal and was the creative spark behind the innovative Skainos Square in Belfast. Particularly interested in the power of story to create newness and transform conflict.

Pádraig Ó Tuama

Pádraig Ó Tuama

Pádraig is the leader of the Corrymeela Community. A poet and essayist he brings interest in language, poetics, conflict and storytelling to his work. His academic work is in applying narrative analysis to gospel texts, particularly focusing on the gospels’ interpersonal dynamics.

Brec Seaton

Brec Seaton

Brec Seaton joined the writing group through Place for Hope where she is a Practitioner and Trainer, supporting congregations and faith communities through times of transition and change. In her role with the British Methodist Church she works with churches and church leaders offering a variety of learning and development opportunities. Brec lives in Cumbria, England, with her family and enjoys walking in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales.

Trevor Williams

Trevor Williams

Trevor is a former Leader of the Corrymeela Community. He is a an Anglican Bishop, former Chair of Christian Aid Ireland and since retirement is free to give more time to the life and work of Corrymeela and its work for Reconciliation which he believes lies at the heart of the Jesus’ message.