Minefield Prophets The Methods and Effectiveness of Clergy Peacebuilders in Northern Ireland

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Trelawney Grenfell-Muir


This paper examines the capabilities, constraints, and impact of clergy peacebuilders in Northern Ireland. Through contact hypothesis, indirect contact ripple effects, and the synergistic effect of peacebuilding activities and influences, clergy peacebuilders increased “ripeness” in the pre-agreement phase, improved negotiations and agreements, and strengthened positive peace and stability in the implementation and post-agreement periods. Even relatively localized efforts wherein clergy promoted tolerance, forgiveness, inclusivity, and love of enemies spread forbearance and built a context conducive to the acceptance of the agreement. Clergy peacebuilders possess referent, legitimate, and expert power, and access to society, which impacts the peace process.

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Author Biography

Trelawney Grenfell-Muir

Trelawney Grenfell-Muir is a freelance writer, speaker, and consultant on topics of peacebuilding, feminism, and religion, with a focus on strategies of power and symbolism for personal, communal, and intercommunal wellness. Grenfell-Muir holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Studies & Religion from the University Professors Program at Boston University; she developed her unique approach through decades of experience in scientific and field research; pastoral ministry; teaching children, youth, undergraduate, and graduate courses; counseling; and mediation.