Transforming Conflict Within Lebanon Through Efforts of Justpeace: Reinterpreting History to Support a Hermeneutics of Citizenship
CitationAta, Fred Aziz. 2019. Transforming Conflict Within Lebanon Through Efforts of Justpeace: Reinterpreting History to Support a Hermeneutics of Citizenship. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThis thesis proposes the following argument: can conflict transformation in Lebanon occur through a process of identifying, locating, and transforming multiple forms of violence, where the use of isolationist narratives that represent cultural violence has supported conflict, political hegemony, religious oppression, and disunity in nationalism?
Lebanon’s history of colonialism, border formation, external and internal influences has resulted in sectarianism and the use of isolationist narratives that represent cultural violence. Sectarianism is further driven by the country’s confessional political system, which allots political positions based on religious affiliation. This has resulted in a religious/secular binary, defined by Omer and Springs, that causes non-sectarian fractures. This binary can wrongfully support religion as the source factor for conflict rather than identify other factors from various dimensions.
Galtung’s typologies of violence are utilized to locate all violence, beyond direct forms, and to work toward efforts of justpeace. Moore’s understanding of religion is used to help identify more factors contributing to violence, which also aids in locating reformation within religious language and helping deconstruct the religious/secular binary. These methods will lead to Omer’s hermeneutics of citizenship, whereby Lebanese nationalism can be redefined to be more inclusive.
The results and conclusions show that justpeace efforts exist in the Lebanese landscape regardless of religious affiliation. They also show that narratives have and can be used to support pluralism and unity (cultural peace), and that Lebanese citizens support these efforts as long as their well-being needs are being met.
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