The concept of peace, conflict and conflict transformation in African religious philosophy

Article by Christopher Appiah-Thompson

This article explores the African religious, cultural and philosophical dimensions of peace, conflict and conflict transformation. It seeks to examine African traditional religious and philosophical ideas as resources for the promotion of peace and justice and their implications for intra-state and inter-state conflict resolution activities. Specifically, it examines how the cultural dimensions of peace and conflict and its nonviolent resolution as expressed in the traditional religious and philosophical oral texts (the documented proverbs and symbols) of the Akan people of Ghana can contribute to our understanding and mechanisms for conflict transformation and peacebuilding strategies in Africa. It argues strongly for the promotion of some of the understudied positive elements in the religious and philosophical traditions of Africa for finding solutions or ‘cures’ for contemporary conflicts in Africa such as electoral disputes and internal ethnic conflicts, and their peaceful resolutions. Hence, it demonstrates how the African traditional methods for conflict resolution when effectively developed can substitute (or complement) in critical situations when the formal political institutions such as the Judiciary becomes ineffective. Finally, the study demonstrates how indigenous conflict transformation strategies can infuse some innovations, creativity and sustainability to the national and international attempts at resolving intractable African conflicts. Check it out here.

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