In spite of all the economic investment involved in peacekeeping missions, our society is still faced, today more than ever, with a series of conflicts—from armed to economic conflicts. And even though different organisms and governments invest, not just money, but also time and human resources on peacekeeping, it does not seem to have the required positive long-lasting effects. Could it be because peacebuilding is an art and demands a lot of technic like the moral imagination?
This article explores how sustainable peace could be achieved. It explores among others, the importance of approaching peace and reconciliation through spirituality. But it had to, first, examine the working terms. Then, I explored how spirituality could have helpful or harmful effects on the restoration of sustainable peace.
Keywords: Sustainable peace, moral imagination, peacebuilding, spirituality, interconnectivity, intersectionality.
In his article, Ethics and Spirituality of Sustainability: What Can We All Do? Satinder K. Dhiman wrote,
“We have to start viewing our organizations as “living systems” rather than as “machines for producing money”.Thus, true sustainability is not possible without a deep change of values and commitment to a lifestyle at the individual level and the organizational level. It cannot be achieved simply as an expression of economic functionality or legislative contrivance.” (S. K. Dhiman 2016)
Our economic driven society continues to ignore the effects of human activity on the future of our planet. We have been, since the time of Protagoras, wrongly made to believe that man is the measure of all things and thus master of the universe who could do with it whatsoever pleases him. These our quests include ignoring the other dimensions of our existence. This goes as far as seeing the world only from the material perspective. And it is this and many other false conceptions of our relationship with the physical world that Dhiman criticizes in this afore-cited quotation. He believes, rightly, that our universe is not just a passive part of our ecosystem which could be exploited at their guise, ignoring its impact on our own existence.
For him, there is an urgent need to reform our relationship with our social environment. We ought to change our values and commitments both at individual and public level to achieve the true sustainability our human progress. But unfortunately, modern man unfortunately, continues in several ways to make sure that humanity and the society take a very important distance from any reality that goes beyond human empirical and experimental cognition.
In peacebuilding too, spirituality has been one of the areas that little or no attention is really accorded to. But the recent persistency and reoccurrence of conflicts show that something is missing in the peacebuilding process as practiced today. And the spirituality is one of those domains that lack most in our peacebuilding process today.
In this text, we will show how spirituality is the sine qua non of sustainable peace building. And for so doing, we will explain what we understand by spirituality and “sustainable” peace. Then, we will discuss how the former contributes to the foundation of the latter. And finally, we will discuss how spirituality could hinder sustainable peace building.