At the 2019 Canadian School of Peacebuilding (CSOP), Gordon Zerbe and Dann Pantoja teamed up in teaching “Justice, Peacebuilding, and a Theology of Struggle.” Gordon provided the theological and theoretical frameworks and analyses. Dann shared his peacebuilding field stories. Their 12 students, who came from 8 countries, gathered in Winnipeg last 17-21 June.

The 12 students posed with Gordon and Dann after a class session.

The course explored various peacebuilding and justice initiatives in the context of multiple layers of protracted armed conflicts. Based on the experiences of field practitioners in the Philippines, the role of religion and theology in the conflict arena and in peace and justice efforts were explored — including Christian Filipino “theology of struggle,” Indigenous spiritual identity, and Islam-inspired theology of liberation, alongside interfaith dialogue. Implications for a broad range of contexts were examined through case studies, small group discussions, and inputs.

Dann explains worldview, value systems, and behavior patterns — aspects of culture needed for an effective inter-faith dialogue and cross-cultural understanding.

Gord and Dann wanted their students to —

  • understand the significance of the interacting factors (historical, political, economic, socio-cultural, religious, etc.) in a protracted conflict situation, as illustrated by the Philippines;
  • deepen their ability to analyze and assess justice and peacebuilding initiatives in the context of the multiple layers of armed conflicts;
  • comprehend the character and significance of a “theology of struggle” and the role of religion in relation to social movements in the Philippines; and,
  • be able to articulate a personal theology of justice and peacebuilding relevant to her/his historical context.

Gord lectures on the historical contexts surrounding theologies of liberation, particularly a Theology of Struggle that is articulated and embraced in the Philippines.

Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2019/06/24/dann-pantoja-and-gord-zerbe-co-teaches-justice-peacebuilding-and-a-theology-of-struggle-at-csop-2019/


    • Helen on 29.June.2019. at 15:46

    Hi Lakan, This is Helen from CSOP.

    I have a small gift for you and the efforts of Peacebuilding, and so would like to connect. I am not sure if you are still in Winnipeg, but know that we both will be in Vancouver next week. I am there from 10th – 17th at the Sheraton Hotel with the Anglican Church’s General Synod. My cell number is 204 299 5700, feel free to text me, or let me know if there is a way we meet and maybe have a coffee for peace 🙂

    1. Great to hear from you, Helen!

      Yes, I’ll look for you at the Anglican General Synod, Sheraton Hotel sometime on the 11th or the 12th. I have no Canadian phone number. Let’s connect through Messenger/Facebook if possible.

      Thank you very much.

Comments have been disabled.


We are sent by Mennonite Church Canada Witness in partnership with our international community.