From time to time, the GHFP require part-time research assistants to support our research activities. We welcome researchers who hold a doctoral level qualification relevant to our research areas to get in touch.
Collective and community initiatives can empower those suffering from the wounds of a violent past to collaborate towards mutual healing, thus creating new possibilities for peace.
To better understand the significance of these community-rooted collective healing endeavours, the GHFP and the UNESCO Slave Route Project hosted a one-day International Symposium, at the Royal Society for the Arts in London.
The event brought together practitioners and scholars who have experiences and expertise in the field of communal and collective healing of mass traumas, for an intimate dialogue focused around three core questions:
What are the typical psychological and social symptoms encountered in communities resulting from the experience and legacies of past atrocities?
What might constitute collective healing in these situations?
How do community-based processes and practices contribute to collective healing? (And how would the community evaluate collective healing? What are the relevant indicators that some healing has taken place?)
What would it mean to be a creator of peace in your own life, family, community, country and world?
This year, the GHFP will be hosting two Women’s Peace Circles at our Brighton premises, in collaboration with Creators of Peace (CofP). We invite friends and colleagues (and those who are new to our work!) to join usduring the weekends of 20th-22nd March or 2nd-4th October 2020.
For nearly 30 years, Creators of Peace has been bringing together women across the globe, from all backgrounds, ages and cultures who seek empowerment, inspiration and hope in our current global contexts.
Come and participate, learn, discuss, grow, share stories and explore how you can be a creator of peace.
Colleagues from CofP facilitate a ‘talking circle’, where all voices are respectfully heard, establishing shared values which will allow the group to explore diverse perspectives on topics such as:
What is peace?
Circles of concern and hope
What builds and destroys peace?
Qualities and strategies of a peacemaker
Listening to others
The power of forgiveness
Putting peace into action
Friday: 6.30pm – 9.30pm: Peace Circle Session I (includes supper)
Saturday: 9.30am – 6.30pm: Peace Circle Session II (includes lunch)
Sunday: 9.30am – 3.30pm: Peace Circle Session III (includes lunch)
At our present time of uncertainty, many people and communities are experiencing powerlessness, and even despair. This short EPLO video message below is powerful, and empowering. The GHFP believes that WE can build peace, live peace, and be peace together.
Monday 21 September the International Day of Peace Let’s reach 40 million people meditating for peace Connecting for Peace
Through our collaboration with Heartfulness, and many global peace ambassadors and peace organisations, we invite all to join us in celebrating the International Day of Peace. Together with partners, we hope that 40 million people will be empowered to create a chain of meditation for World Peace on Monday 21 September to start a movement highlighting the connection between inner peace and peace in the world around us.
At the GHFP, we conceptualise peace as an inner spiritual state that has implications for our worldly processes. Dr Scherto Gill, our Senior Fellow, draws on the GHFP’s book entitled “Understanding Peace Holistically“, and offers three interconnected ideas:
First, peace is a spiritual value. As an inner state, peace is a special kind of tranquillity where we identify with the self as the essence of the ‘I’, the soul. Hence the expression: “I am a Soul.” The ‘I’ connects well with that which is peaceful, such as the Divine, the Sacred, the Spirit. When our spiritual self-identification is primary, it can generate a blissful serenity that defuses the potentially violent nature of inner conflict. The peaceful ‘I’ can transcend the lived psychological tensions and calm their non-peaceful tendencies. This inner state is then experienced in our relationship with our self, other people and other beings in the world. In this way, inner peace denotes our intention and capacity to be in the right relationship, including living harmoniously with others near and far. When we are in such a state of peace, we can be ethical in our thoughts, attitudes, and acts – these are spontaneous expressions of spirituality.
Second, peace is a potential feature of all aspects of human life that involve conflict. Our world is characterised by diversity, and where there is difference, inevitably there is conflict, tension, and contradiction. These are normal ebbs and flows of life and they should not be equated with violence. Hence, conflict is not the opposite of peace, and peace does not require eliminating conflict. Often, the presence of conflict can invite us to encounter, to dialogue, to engage our humanness, to recognise each other as human beings, as part of a ‘WE’. With this mutual recognition, we can transform conflict towards innovation and positive change. With this mutual recognition, we can resolve violence – not only because violence dehumanises and therefore we reject it, but also because if others are violated and hurt, one is equally hurting – that is precisely the nature of being part of a WE. Therefore non-violence is always part of peace-making in the world – It is an active striving towards love, friendship, respect and justice that denounces all forms of antagonism, violence, and enemy-making.
Third, peace is constituted in human life itself, our well-being and flourishing. Peacefulness as a spiritual value is rooted in the intrinsically valuable nature of our being. Being human is itself valuable, regardless who we are, where we are from, nor what we are, what we do. This self-perception is a fundamental form of dignity, self-respect, or self-love. Seeing human beings (and other beings on the planet) in this way allows us to recognise that all lives, well-being and flourishing are likewise valuable. Similarly, the contents of our lives, including our experiences, activities, processes, relationships, also have intrinsic value. Peace as a spiritual state directs our appreciative awareness to these values. For peacefulness to pertain our well-being and flourishing, it requires our institutions to be underpinned by a culture that embodies the values of respect and compassion, our public practices to be humanising and forgiving. Equally, global socio-economic and political systems need to reflect this respect for the inherent non-instrumental value of human being, human life, and all lives on the planet.
Bringing these three ideas together, we can see that peace is simultaneously spiritual, ethical, cultural and political. Peacefulness as an inner spiritual state has bearings on our worldly processes, and vice versa.
On this International Day of Peace, when we are invited to join millions around the planet to meditate together, by quietening our minds, widening our hearts, we also open a collective space for our spirits to speak to us about what it means to make peace, build peace, and above all, to be peace.
As part of the G20 Interfaith (G20i) Education-Task-Force, the GHFP launched a research into Inclusive and Caring Education from a Faith Perspective. The research consisted in two parts: (1) a Desk Review to understand better how religion/faith and spirituality tend to define inclusive and caring education; (2) a Questionnaire Survey to seek examples and case studies of faith-inspired approaches to inclusive and caring education.
Three priority areas have emerged from our inquiries, which deserve further attention:
Teachers’ professional development, especially towards enabling teachers to be more skilled at facilitating dialogic and collaborative learning in classrooms of rich diversity;
Innovative approaches and practices of inclusive and caring education, notably in engaging girls, and other vulnerable students;
Safe, caring and inclusive learning spaces, including through digital platforms.
The G20i Education Task Force is now inviting high-level experts in the fields of education, faith and policy for an online consultation with the aim to review thematic proposals and make policy recommendations.
We welcome faith-inspired educational projects and programmes that have a focus on inclusion and diversity to continue to share their practice HERE.
Understanding Peace Holistically: From the Spiritual to the Political
This GHFP book argues that spiritually rooted and morally oriented peacefulness is relevant to the socio-economic–political structures that provide the conditions for a culture of peace. As the authors build up a theory of peace from the spiritual to the relational and communal towards the socio-political, this book also identifies key principles that characterise international and institutional processes that nurture peace. The holistic conception of peace developed in this book may guide and inspire individuals, institutions, and international organisations with regards to how to make peace.
What are the pandemic’s major impact on religious and faith communities? How might religious leaders and their followers help embrace the challenges brought by the pandemic?
How might we reduce social tension stemming from religious factors at this unique time? How can we do to foster solidarity within and between different religious and faith communities and improve mental and physical well-being during the pandemic?
What religious, faith and spiritual practices could become part of the new normal in a post-COVID-19 world? What could be the part of religion, faith and spirituality in future of our society?
The event featured the following speakers:
Katherine Marshall, Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University / Executive Director, World Faiths Development Dialogue
In 2019/20, our researchers have been working on a project that explores diverse perspectives on the notion of love, with a view to develop a truly captivating and galvanising conception of Love that can invite a fundamental shift in human consciousness. Hence the project’s title: ‘A Narrative of Love’.
Hosted by IofCI’s Trustbuilding Program in partnership with the GHFP Research Institute, this international seminar offers a unique opportunity to meet, share and discuss the process of building trust.
At a time of increasing fragmentation, trust is diminishing around the world. Communities face racial, ethnic and religious divides, intergenerational conflict, and the rise of extremist attitudes, as well as social divisions and the legacy of war. The Seminar poses a critical question: “How can we address these challenges?”
Among the discussants will be Letlapa Mphahlele, commander of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army during apartheid times. His anger was such that he ordered retaliatory massacres of white civilians. After a radical transformation he now sees the whole of humanity as ‘my people’. Letlapa, who, until 2013, was President of the Pan Africanist Congress and a Member of the South African Parliament, is a protagonist in the award-winning film, Beyond Forgiving, which depicts a profound story of tragedy, forgiveness and hope.
This is by invitation-only event. For further information and interest to contribute, please contact email@example.com.