Presented by Professor Marc Gopin, Ph D.
Research analyzing data from across the globe confirms that violence has been plummetting in recent decades, but really consistently and slowly for a couple of hundred years. The more complicated question is why and how is this happening. Research is providing some good foundations for the trends, and it seems clear that our values and our attitudes, our very thoughts have a great deal to do with our evolution away from violence. We will review the evidence on violence reduction, the factors contributing to it, and the role of world religions in violence and anti-violence in the past and what the prospects are for the future. The fields of conflict analysis and resolution, human rights, women's rights and international development will be reviewed for their contributions to the global trends, and the contributions and problems of religious traditions past, present and future will be critically analyzed.
Marc Gopin is the Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC), the James H. Laue Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia, USA, and co-owner of MEJDI, a peace tourism business that embraces the multiple narratives of indigenous peoples. Gopin has pioneered projects at CRDC in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Palestine and Israel. He received his Ph.D. in Ethics from Brandeis University. He is the author of five books, including To Make The Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy and Holy War, Holy Peace: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East.