Here are the first of some reading recommendations we are compiling for any clergy person, lay person, or student interested in Conflict Transformation!
Framed around the story of Yusuf al-Falah, a Palestinian Arab, and Avi Rozen, an Israeli Jew, this book explores how peace can be accomplished once the roots of conflict are addressed. Published by the international peace organization, The Arbinger Institute, The Anatomy of Peace is available in 14 languages. The book is arranged with small chapters, making it perfect for Sunday School classes.
“Disunity in Christ is not only a source of education, but is also a source of hope that the work of reconciliation is possible, necessary and not done in vain.” (Ryan Herring, Sojourners, July 2014)
Social psychologist and theologian Christena Cleveland approaches conflict in this book with an eye to the underlying cultural causes of divisiveness. Even though Cleveland’s work comes out of social psychology, she writes clearly and accessibly to the pastorally minded reader.
“Antagonists are individuals who on the basis of nonsubstantive evidence, go out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others. These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up, and are frequently directed against those in a leadership capacity.”
-Kenneth C. Haugk
Haugk, founder of the Stephen Ministries program, writes from the perspective of a pastor and psychologist in Antagonists. Haugk addresses the ways individuals can disrupt and tear down, and how leaders should address, govern, and care for these people. Although this book was released in 1988 it remains relevant for clergy and church leaders dealing with high conflict situations.
Patterson’s book offers a secular how-to guide for engaging in difficult conversations. Patterson offers the tools to engage in tough talks without escalating to an unhealthy level of conflict. Some of the skills covered are how to be an engaged listener, convey your intentions, and speak persuasively. With over 2 Million copies sold, Crucial Conversations is a New York Times bestseller.