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What Role for Religion in Peacemaking?

Mohammed Abu-Nimer, professor in International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program at American University will keynote the 2013 on Human Rights, Conflict Resolution, Nonviolence & Peace Feb. 20, 2013.

Feb. 12, 2013 – After the events of 9/11, the predominant public discourse has focused on the relationship between religion, conflict and violence. To bring a positive and less publicized element to the discussion, the Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy at the University of Utah has dedicated its 2013 conference to the role of religion in building peace.

“History is undeniably marked by conflict along religious lines,” says Thomas Maloney, professor of economics and director of the Tanner Center. “Without ignoring that, we also want to examine the role that religion can play in building peace and resolving conflict. The conference will bring together a wealth of voices and perspectives to this vital conversation, and we welcome public participation.”

The conference will kick off at the Salt Lake City Downtown Library beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 20, with a keynote lecture by Mohammed Abu-Nimer entitled “Religion and Peace in Israel-Palestine: Does it need a Miracle?” Abu-Nimer has conducted research on issues around interreligious conflict resolution, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is an associate professor at American University’s School of International Service in international peace and conflict resolution, and director of its Peacebuilding and Development Institute.

Following Abu-Nimer’s address, the conference continues the next day on Thursday Feb. 21 beginning at 8:00 a.m. with a full schedule of panel discussions. There will be three panels throughout the day, all held at the Officers’ Club in Ft. Douglas on the University of Utah campus: “Peace in the Middle East”; “Peacebuilding and Cultural Values”; and “Peacebuilding in Practice.” There also will be a religious intergroup discussion over lunch. The full schedule, with a complete list of panelists, is available online at


The Tanner Center is dedicated to providing University of Utah students, faculty and the broader community with the inspiration and education needed to become advocates for peace, nonviolence, and human rights. The center seeks to provide avenues for the open discussion of important issues dividing the community, the nation, and the world.


The University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City in the foothills of the Wasatch Range, is the flagship institution of higher learning in Utah. Founded in 1850, it serves more than 32,000 students from across the United States and the world. With more than 100 major subjects at the undergraduate level and more than 90 major fields of study at the graduate level, including law and medicine, the university prepares students to live and compete in the global workplace. Learn more about all the U has to offer online at