Missing Peace : Women of Faith and the Failure of War

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This film takes a nuanced look at the widening polarization of religions today. It shows how fear of that which is seen as the other locks us into deepening cycles of violence and grief. More specifically, it asks us to consider how religion is being used as a justification for war. Six women (two Jews, two Muslims, and two Christians) present a bold strategy for achieving peace—personally, interpersonally, and globally.

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Duration : 46 min./two 23-min. segments

Release Date : 2004

Discussion Guide available

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Description

The “War on Terror” frames the world as a battleground between good and evil. On that battleground, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam use surprisingly similar notions of a divine mandate to portray themselves as being on the side of “good.” All three traditions justify their own use of violence and retribution as being sanctioned by God.

In fact, the three Abrahamic religions share a common heritage, and that heritage includes a feminine principle which values justice and reconciliation over power and domination. The principle of interdependence invites us to reorient our policies towards sharing, empathy, and the preservation of life systems essential to all of us. It calls us to move beyond the “rightness” of our own views to consider what’s good for the collective.

In this film, six women—two Jews, two Muslims, and two Christians—challenge current justifications of war as a righteous undertaking. They remind us that the great monotheisms teach peace rather than violence. In explaining how their own work in the world is inspired by their faith traditions, these women challenge us to discover for ourselves how enlightened belief and practice can supply the “Missing Peace.”

“Peacemakers will be empowered by this film . . . . Above all, viewers will be offered a vision to replace ancient tribal aggressions—namely, the vision of an interdependent global community.”

Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, PH.D., Writer, Theologian, Teacher

Broadcasts

Link TV Vermont Public Television

How to use this film:

Missing Peace is an excellent resource for anyone curious about the relationship between religion and violence—especially now, in the “age of terrorism.” With its companion Discussion Guide, the film encourages consideration of topics such as:

  • What it means to be a person of faith in a time of war;
  • How to practice our faith alongside others who see the world differently;
  • Blurring the separation between church and state—what that means and how it affects government policy;
  • Alternatives to violence and retribution: the role of peacemaking and diplomacy;
  • The meaning of justice and compassion (do the ends justify the means?);
  • Antidotes to fear, prejudice, and misunderstanding; and
  • Connections between peace in the world, peace at home, and peace within ourselves.

The film is ideal for use in seminaries and theological schools, as well as in college and high-school courses on religion, history, government, ethics, civil rights, and social justice. It can support dialogue in families and communities interested in cultivating the arts of peace.

Additional resources are available from the following organizations, all of which promote understanding and nonviolence as paths to peace:

Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Center for Nonviolent Communication

Council on American Islamic Relations

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Jewish Peace Fellowship

Muslim Peace Fellowship

Peace Alliance Foundation

Additional information

Price Levels

Consumer/Home Video, Public Library/Secondary School, Synagogue/Church/Mosque, University/College/College Library, Public Performance/Screening License

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