Peacemaking and the REA

I just learned that the “Call for Papers Committee” of the Religious Education Association (REA) has accepted my proposal to present a workshop on our Peace Experiments program at the annual REA conference in November, 2014. The REA is an international, interfaith association of scholars and practitioners of religious education — it’s exciting that this prestigious association is interested in what our UU congregation has been doing with Peace Experiments.

While I’m all too well aware of the weaknesses of our “Peace Experiments” program, I think what we’re doing does have some interesting features. In particular, while most of the peacemaking curricula that I know about these days tend towards an essentialist educational philosophy (i.e., there are certain essential peacemaking skills that children must learn), our peacemaking program is grounded in an existentialist educational philosophy: we are trying to get children to define themselves as peacemakers, and to help them realize that who they are and the choices they make will shape the world around them.