2022-2023 War & Peace: Center for Investigation
The theme for 2022-23 is War, Peacebuilding and the Just Society. We will be exploring the theme through the lens of “reconciliation.”
We are living in a time of deep division and tension. We see this erupt on a global scale in clashes between countries and ethnic groups; at the holiday dinner table in arguments among family members, friends and neighbors; in deadly confrontations between police and citizens; and in mob violence stoked by political division and resentment. What does a “Just Society” look like, and is it possible to achieve? In 2022-23, we invite the campus community to explore the annual InFocus theme of War, Peacebuilding and the Just Society through the lens of reconciliation, and to consider both MACRO and MICRO levels.
Through a year-long series of programs, Moravian students, faculty and staff, and the greater Lehigh Valley community will be led through an exploration to help unpack this complex theme. Join us for the journey.
Conflict, whether physical, psychological, or moral, challenges us to reflect on our relationships and the values on which our lives are built. Too often we view differences among us as irreconcilable and are blind to similarities that could bind us together rather than tear us apart.
Wars often are fought based on differences and a refusal to compromise or empathize with others. War between nations, conflict between political parties or racial/ethnic groups, and disagreements among individuals all result in instability and turmoil. Efforts to reconcile and renew are necessary to achieve peace and a just society, at all levels of interaction.
This year‘s theme, “War and Peace“ is so large it can feel overwhelming, even when focused through the lens of reconciliation. It IS a big topic. Complicating matters, the InFocus themes all interconnect. That means that although this year we focus on war, peacebuilding, and reconciliation, we are also interested in how issues of health, poverty and inequality, and sustainability intersect with these themes. It’s a huge topic. But the ocean is huge, too. And as big as it is, you can still wade into it, and begin to explore.
Here are some questions to stimulate our collective thinking on this theme:
Whether the situation is a war resulting in the death of thousands, or a family fight leading to the end of a close relationship, how do opposing sides reconcile in the aftermath of conflict?
Conflict isn’t always bad. Sometimes it is essential. How can conflict be navigated with civility in a way that is productive and not damaging?
How have divided countries reconciled in the aftermath of civil war? How have some countries on the brink of civil war managed to avoid it?
How do countries that fight as enemies in one war manage to be allies in another?
How do employees of merged companies learn to work together after a hostile takeover?
How do veterans reconcile their experiences during war with life as civilians back home?
How do issues relating to poverty and inequality, health and healthcare, and sustainability (the other InFocus themes) serve as causes of conflict and sources for reconciliation? (Battles over resources, restitution, etc)
Is a “Just Society” an aspirational vision universally shared? What would motivate NOT wanting a just society? Are the barriers to achieving that vision baked into our society and/or others? What are the forces pushing against it? How might the perpetuation of conflict serve those interests?
We are Moravian University—a center for deep thinking and service. Right here is where the work of wrestling with the big questions and problems of our world should be happening. We encourage faculty and students to ask, explore and attempt to answer these questions and more, and to look for opportunities to turn inquiry into action.