Religion, Peacebuilding, and Development in Mindanao

Social Science Research Council

The conflict in Mindanao raises important questions regarding the cultural and religious dimensions of economic development and peacebuilding. At the heart of the conflict over land and resources, one encounters issues of social and communal identity; material inequality owing to the economic, political, and social marginalization of Muslims and indigenous peoples; and institutions (policies, laws, structures) that perpetuate this inequality. Gathering a group of scholars, peacebuilding professionals, and development practitioners from the U.S. and abroad, including several participants from Mindanao, this workshop fostered two days of discussion centered on the extent to which religion figures as a cause of conflict as well as a source of peace and development on the island; the politics of peacebuilding and development, particularly in relation to political dynamics in Manila; and comparative questions concerning how lessons learned in the continuing struggle for peace and economic advancement in Mindanao can be utilized in other areas of conflict in the region and across the globe.