CCHR Director Dan Philpott is slated to contribute to a two-day conference at Georgetown University’s Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs entitled “Love and Forgiveness in Governance.”
The conference will explore issues that are close not only to Philpott's own research but also to one of CCHR's major research themes, transitional justice. These issues include the role that forgiveness can play in societies that are rebuilding themselves after periods of violence and unrest. The present conference will address the values of love and forgiveness in political processes and judicial systems.
Philpott acknowledges that this approach is not always met with immediate acceptance. “That people would practice forgiveness in the aftermath of massive violence and injustice raises the eyebrows of many a skeptic,” he explains. “Yet, the evidence from the ground in places like Uganda suggests that ordinary people practice forgiveness in political contexts far more often than skeptics would have us believe.”
Philpott will join a panel of experts focusing on post-conflict situations, using his extensive experience in Uganda as a springboard for probing what he identifies as the conference’s central issues: “Why do those in post-conflict situations forgive? Under what circumstances do they forgive? What sort of person forgives? What potential does forgiveness have for peacebuilding? These are the questions that the conference will look at.”
CCHR will co-sponsor the event, along with the Community of Sant’Egidio, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the School for Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, Center for the Thought of John Paul II, the Fetzer Institute, Contemplatives in Action Initiative at Georgetown University's Office of the President, and the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.