Founded in 2004, the JCU Ireland Peacebuilding program explores Northern Ireland’s stunning transformation from a society enduring a bloody thirty-year civil conflict to one where peace is being forged each day. After taking a course (or linked courses) in the spring, students and faculty engage in a two-week academic immersion in Northern Ireland and Ireland, encountering the culture, geography, history, and lives of the unforgettable people (political leaders, former paramilitaries, victims, police, and others) who survived the Troubles and now work for peace and justice.
During the semester, we examine the historical and cultural roots of conflict from a multidisciplinary approach by exploring histories, literary narratives, philosophy, and film. While we establish a firm background for why the conflict persisted, we focus on how we can gain the skills to do the courageous but difficult work of peace-building, conflict transformation, reconciliation, and social restoration. We take as our inspiration the Ignatian call for a well-educated solidarity, in which we pose the question, “How can we live together in this time and place?”
More about the program from this 2017 article in John Carroll Magazine!