Canadian School of Peacebuilding, Session !!: June 19-23, 2016

June 19, 2017 - June 23, 2017



All courses can be taken for training or for undergraduate credit. In addition, courses marked with an asterisk (*) can also be taken for graduate credit and can be used towards CMU’s new MA in Peace and Collaborative Development (Click here for more information on the MA-PCD). Each CSOP course runs for 5 days, Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM  Participants may apply for only one course each week and may apply for one week or for two weeks.



SESSION II: June 19 – 23, 2017

Human Rights and Indigenous Legal Traditions*

Instructor: Val Napoleon PCTS/POLS/HIST–3950C and PCD-5190C

This course will draw on indigenous stories to explore sources of Indigenous law and what its functions are, its legitimacy and authority, and how law changes over time. The course will include rigorous critical thinking about law that can support the building of non-colonial relationships among Indigenous peoples and between Indigenous peoples and Canada. All legal traditions, including indigenous legal traditions, are deeply rooted and comprise historically conditioned attitudes about a) the nature of law, b) the role of law in the society c) the proper organization and operation of legal orders, and d) about the ways law is or should be made, applied, studied, perfected, and taught. Indigenous peoples have many intellectual resources, legal and political, that are available to us from our own histories and societies and that are needed for reasoning through today’s complex struggles. It is integrally connected with how we imagine and manage ourselves both collectively and individually. In other words, law and all it entails is a fundamental aspect of being collectively and individually self-determining as peoples. Indigenous law is about building citizenship, responsibility and governance, challenging internal and external oppressions, safety and protection, lands and resources, and external political relations with other Indigenous peoples and the state. Indigenous legal traditions also contain conceptions of human rights, and procedural and substantive rights.


Gender and Violence: Theology and Peacebuilding*

Instructor: Carol Penner BTS/PCTS–3895C and BTS/PCD-5700C

This course will examine the task of peacebuilding from the perspective of feminist theology.  Feminist theologians deconstruct violence by identifying how gendered violence is experienced in different contexts and exploring the role Christianity has played in perpetuating that violence.  The course will ask how to construct theologies of peace that are good news for both women and men. Topics will be approached biographically, seeking to hear from a variety of voices and exploring a range of experiences and thought. As well, discussions will include: approaches to Anabaptist feminist theology, directions for the future, and implications for peacebuilding.


Practices for Transforming the Peacebuilder*

Instructors: Ron Kraybill PCTS/PSYC–3950C and PCD–5190C To an unusual degree, those involved in peacebuilding operate in environments that impose high stress on peacebuilders, physically, emotionally and spiritually. This often involves high levels of competition and conflict within and between peacebuilding organizations themselves. Given that little support is provided for meeting these stresses, peacebuilders need to equip themselves with strategies for personal growth and coping with stress.

This practical course will explore self-care and personal transformation of peaceworkers as a fundamental requirement of transformation of our world.   Major themes will include acknowledging stresses and distractions/temptations common in peacebuilding work; the development of disciplines for sustaining hope and vision; finding grounding in calling, vision, and faith as motivation for peacebuilding; and developing a repertoire of routines for self-care and personal transformation, including physical, mind-body, and spiritual disciplines. The course itself will consist of a blend of lecture, participatory group exercises, and practices of personal reflection.


Agroecological Peacebuilding: Becoming People of the Land

Instructor: Cathy Campbell, Martin Entz and Kenton Lobe PCTS/IDS/ENVS–3950C

The ecological crisis and the need for food represent two great challenges that are often posed against each other.  Through classroom discussion, readings, practical examples, and visits to local farms, participants will learn 1) why peacebuilding grounded in faith must stand alongside science and technology as an answer to a just and sustainable food system that restores the planet; and 2) what are the practical steps and tools to peacebuilding in the context of land and food.  This course will be led by the collaborative work of an educator, a priest, and an agronomist who enjoy cultivating fruitful dialogue.


Peace Resources in Islam and Christianity*

Instructor: Mohammad Ali Shomali and Harry Huebner PCTS/BTS-3950C and PCD-5590C

This is a course on inter-religious dialogue. It is taught by two professors:  an Iranian Shia Muslim and a Canadian Mennonite Christian, who have collaborated over 10 years in giving expression to their respective faiths in the presence of scholars for the other religion. This course will examine the rich resources that each faith tradition offers on the important topics of peace and justice, focusing on both the practices and the theological resources that undergird these practices. We will discuss the history of how peace and justice are embodied within our respective communities as well as theological convictions like God, sin, redemption, forgiveness, mercy, war, and so on.  The course will include more than a presentation of ideas and beliefs. It will also seek to embody and model interfaith dialogue itself and invite class participants into a respectful process of engagement with difference. The course will bring into the class a small cohort of students (approximately 6-8) from the International Institute for Islamic Studies in Qom, Iran, several local Muslim students, and perhaps students from Hutterite communities in Manitoba. Others interested in participating in this course are welcome.  PCD Category: Theological and Religious Encounters with Peace-Justice.