Global crises—from pandemics to climate change—demonstrate the vulnerability of the biosphere and each of us as individuals, calling for responses guided by creative analysis and compassionate reflection. Transforming, building on its companion volume, Awakening, explores actions that create paths of understanding and collaboration as the groundwork for transformative community. The community of scholars in this volume offers perspectives that collectively form a complex tapestry of resources. The volume engages with the complex range of challenges and possibilities across a variety of sectors, and provides an interdisciplinary approach to the prospects for transformative healing of human and non-human communities, and the global environment we inhabit. Spirituality is essential to this, and, as such, the work explores vital dimensions of emerging spiritual concepts, methods, and practices that harbor interfaith potential for genuine reconciliation and communion.
Vern Neufeld Redekop is professor emeritus of conflict studies at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. His book From Violence to Blessing has been translated into French and Arabic and has been widely used internationally to promote reconciliation.
Gloria Neufeld Redekop is a researcher and author in spirituality and religious social history. Her publications include Bad Girls and Boys Go to Hell (or Not): Engaging Fundamentalist Evangelicalism and The Work of Their Hands: Mennonite Women’s Societies in Canada.
Introduction: Transforming: Inside and Out by Gloria Neufeld Redekop and Vern Neufeld Redekop
Part 1: Violence, Spirituality, and Reconciliation
Chapter 1: Reconciliation as Emergent Creativity by Vern Neufeld Redekop
Chapter 2: The Biology of Emotion: Implications for Self-Development, Spirituality, and Justice by Katherine Peil Kauffman
Chapter 3: Violence, Reconciliation, and the Significance of the Subtle Mystical Dimension in the Light of René Girard’s Battling to the End by Petra Steinmair- Pösel
Chapter 4: Coming to Terms with Violence and War: The Experience of Mennonite Women and Children in Russia (1917-1925) by Gloria Neufeld Redekop
Part 2: Reconciliation as Spiritual Praxis
Chapter 5: Relational Ecosystem for Peace (REP): From Division to Deep Connection with Compassionate Listening by Brigitte Gagnon
Chapter 6: Interworldview Dialogue (IWVD): The Emergence of an Applied Theory for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding by Patrice C. Brodeur
Chapter 7: The Dénouement of Religious Leader Engagement in the Canadian Armed Forces by S. K. Moore
Chapter 8: RLE from the Balcony: The Domestic Application of Religious Leader Engagement by Karen Hamilton
Chapter 9: Creative Dialogue between Muslim and Western Worlds towards Reconciliation and Addressing Violent Extremism: A Muslim Perspective by Iman Ibrahim
Chapter 10: Arts Literacy and Nonviolent Social Change: Re-envisioning Spirituality through Creative Practice by Lauren Michelle Levesque
Part 3: Indigenous Insights and Challenges for Reconciliation
Chapter 11: Transcending Traditional Justice Claims: Challenges of Indigenous-Settler Reconciliation by Joseph Cleyn
Chapter 12: Warring with Windigo/Wihtiko: Cree and Algonquian Insights into Spirituality, Emergent Creativity and Reconciliation by Cecil Chabot
Chapter 13: Transforming Wihtiko Systems by Catherine Twinn (with thanks to Isaac Twinn)
Chapter 14: Transforming “Wicked” Problems in an Integral Manner: The Case of Fly-In Indigenous Communities by Robert Logie
Chapter 15: Reconciliation in Australia and Lederach’s Moral Imagination by Sue-Anne Hess
Part 4: Complexity, Community, and Emergent Development
Chapter 16: Harnessing Principles of Complex Systems for Understanding and Modulating Social Structures by Neil D. Theise with Catherine Twinn, Gloria Neufeld Redekop, and Lissane Yohannes
Chapter 17: Development as Emergent Creativity by Naresh Singh
Chapter 18: Sacred Diplomacy as “The Adjacent Possible Praxis”: Transforming Peacebuilding to Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet by Merle Lefkoff
Conclusion by Oscar Gasana
About the Editors
About the Contributors
An extraordinary book that truly transforms you inside and out. . . . Vern Neufeld Redekop and Gloria Neufeld Redekop’s edited book has a fascinating collection of chapters that are intricately related to the three pillars of psychospiritual and transcendental life: spirituality, emergent creativity, and reconciliation. Katherine Peil Kauffman’s presentation of an integrated view of individual emotions; Naresh Singh’s pioneering application of complexity theory to societal development; Karen Hamilton’s and Iman Ibrahim’s positions of religious conflict resolution; and Lauren Levesque’s potential use of music in reconciliation are striking examples of the many pragmatic perspectives. An evocative prescription that emerges out of the book is the use of complexity theory to integrate the interwoven transformations at different scales—intrapersonal, interpersonal, and community—eventually leading to transformation of the entire biosphere.
Transforming is a refreshing and exciting volume that is in itself an example of ‘emergent creativity’—to use one of the book’s key concepts. The approaches to and processes of transformation offer many new theoretical ideas and examples of how to build peace that resonate with concepts of biological life, spirituality, justice, and the human heart. Throughout the book, the focus on creativity, generativity, and transformativity is so needed in our work, our communities, and our world.
In Transforming, Vern Neufeld Redekop and Gloria Neufeld Redekop assemble and convey the dominant hope for our time. Creative reconciliation emerging as an ever new ‘Adjacent Possible’ that is impossible to predict and in a manner that goes beyond what we could imagine. All of life for 3.7 billion years is an emergence that ever transforms into the adjacent possibilities that life itself creates. We are now destroying the biosphere of which we are members. It’s time to transform.
This book shows how to apply intelligent thinking and insights from lands and cultures across the world to solve the real problems of our time, right now — when we most need them. It is an exciting book because it spotlights embedded wisdom in the world’s diverse cultures, nurtures it forward in a synthesised, sensitive discussion that is supremely urgent, dynamic and generative. The upswell of deep and practical knowledge presented here has, until now, eluded pronouncement in such a poised way. This book accomplishes the task of what we face across the globe together, because it fosters peace between all people and the flourishing of the Earth.