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Interdisciplinary Inquiry in Creative Nonviolence In and After Violence: From Coexistence to Reconciliation

In the wake of violent histories and in the presence of ongoing dynamical structures of violence, is there still a possibility for just peace? There are many ways of denying this possibility, both implicit — through actions and statements whose harm we do not comprehend — and explicit. One positive way forward in engaging this question is to attend closely to communities embracing reconciliation amidst and after violence, communities aspiring to a just and lasting peace. Scripps psychology faculty Michael Spezio will draw on examples from a few of these communities and on recent interdisciplinary inquiry into just peacemaking and forgiveness, and the important roles empathy and imitation have to play in working toward their development and formation. Steps on the way to this formation include models ranging from coexistence to reconciliation, all while recognizing the real witness of woundedness. Every step comes with an invitation to critically question deeply embedded architectures of mind and society, including ingroup vs. outgroup identity-driven empathy (“idempathy”), risk and ambiguity aversion, and the valuational separation of self and other.

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