Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) has been my temporary home over the past week. I returned to Portland last night after taking a weeklong intensive on Just Peacemaking and Human Security. The course - taught by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite and Sharon Welch - sought to look at ways the church universal could help in the work of peacemaking in a world torn apart by war. Special attention was spent exploring the differences between "just war" and "just peace" theories and the responsibilities placed on the international community to stop genocide and protect human rights. In the weeks ahead, I'll write more on these topics.
An excellent primer to the subject is Just Peacemaking: The New Paradigm for the Ethics of Peace and War, edited by Fuller Seminary's Glen H. Stassen. The book - written by over 20 scholars (including Dr. Thistlethwaite) - articulates 10 principles needed to help bring about sustainable peace and a reduction in conflict:
- support nonviolent direct action;
- take independent initiatives to reduce threat;
- use cooperative conflict resolution;
- acknowledge responsibility for conflict and injustice and seek repentance and forgiveness;
- advanced democracy, human rights, and religious liberty;
- foster just and sustainable economic development;
- work with emerging cooperative forces in the international system;
- strengthen the United Nations and international efforts for cooperation and human rights;
- reduce offensive weapons and weapons trade; and
- encourage grassroots peacemaking groups and voluntary associations.
I highly recommend the book.
There wasn't much time for sightseeing during my stay, unfortunately. Chicago is a wonderful city. The seminary is located within the orbit of the University of Chicago (in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood). I stayed at the International House at the University of Chicago (just a mile walk to Lake Michigan) and thoroughly enjoyed a January snow storm (something we just don't get often enough in Portland).
CTS will be leaving behind their historic building for a new home later this fall. I'm glad I had the chance to be in their old home before they take the leap into what promises to be an exciting future for the seminary.
Below are a few pictures (which you can also view by clicking here):