Oftentimes, throughout the history, people refer conflicts between two religious groups as religious conflicts. However, when we look deeper into many of those conflicts, the truth is that most of them are more like identity conflicts in which that people do not even practice their religious rituals, but rather they use the religion symbol to manipulate the group to fight for their interests. Professor Bock shared with us that intervention of these conflicts is only possible if and only if we have the credible messenger within the group, because outsiders cannot effectively influence the religious leaders – change is more effective from within.
Professor Bock also mentioned about the concept of “holy envy”, which plays a role in peace building process for religious conflicts. It is defined as individuals express admiration for a religious practice. For instance, a Christian celebrates Ramadan or a Muslim celebrates Christmas. But I found the wording of this concept interesting because I see that their behaviors are more like an appreciation instead of envy. Similarly, what is the difference between “tolerate an culture” and “celebration of diversity”?
No matter what wordings we choose to use, as a peace builder, the most important thing is that we have to do what we do in with the understanding of the conflict.