30 Jun - Take away message from the day's discourse of HH

  • Society is like different parts of the body and just every part should be connected and every part is important.
  • Peace must start with in.
  • Build peace between the communities and ruling government plays a major role in achieveing it.
  • War is never a solution for human sufferring.

30 Jun 2023, Friday, Morning

Highlights of the day

OxPeace-PSID Workshop on What is peace
It seems we take for granted the meaning of peace. All faiths do speak of peace but is this well-defined to be understood? What is true peace? Is it in the realm of nations, or communities or individuals and is it as much within as it is without? To explore these questions, a workshop was organised jointly by the Oxford network for Peace known as OxPeace in collaboration with the Department of Peace Studies and International Development at the University of Bradford and the Winchester University’s Department of Religion, Reconciliation and Peace and with the support of the Jeeyar Educational Trust UK to bring the keynote speaker HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamy.

The organisers of the event Prof PB Anand and Dr Liz Carmichael welcomed everyone to Oxford St John’s College.

In his keynote HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamy began with likening our society to that of a body and just as every part in the body is connected to every other part and every part being as important as every other part, he emphasised that all of us are interdependent and we need to respect and treat everyone as equal. Swamy emphasised that with this understanding peace must start within. The Q and A included questions on how to use such an approach to build peace between different communities and what is the role of nation and culture in this.

Eduardo Gutierrez Gonzalez, a DPhil candidate of Oxford University began with his own journey from Colombia and reflecting on this presented a framework to interpret Catholic Christian philosophy of peace using a framework of four dimensions including: God and spiritual peace, the self and inner peace, the other and the political peace, and nature and the environmental peace.

Dr Isabella Bunn, Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Religion and Ethics summarised the key discussion points of the morning session and highlighted the importance of personal commitments giving the example of Dr Liz Carmichael.
Rabbi Jonathan Romain highlighted the everyday implications of peace from the practice of Judaism including in terms of deeper ethical reflections. This was followed by two scholars highlighting the contributions of Quakers. First Simon Fisher highlighted the Quaker philosophy, its history and roots, and what pacifism means in today’s context and why war can never be the solution for human suffering. This was followed by Prof Tom Woodhouse on the contributions of Adam Curle as the first Professor of Peace Studies in the UK and how from those roots of negative and positive peace ideas are developed deeper into today’s eight dimensions of the indicators of Positive Peace by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The discussion session raised many important questions. There was agreement that more needs to be done in this area and also other faiths not represented in the meeting could also be brought into the discussions. In his concluding remarks HH Chinna Jeeyar swamy urged the academics to come up with a report an an Oxford statement on Peace and how this can be implemented in terms of laws and policies and said that when all scholars say this governments are bound to take notice.

The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks from Prof PB Anand.