Fidei Defensor

Reverend Dr. Andrew Teal is fellow, chaplain, and full member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at Oxford University. The following is an edited summary of his keynote address delivered at the ICLRS 29th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, 4 October 2022.

Our Responsibility to Each Other

Years ago, before flying to Utah for an extended visit, I received a message asking me to call on my now-departed, dear friend Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, a very significant scholar of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He gave me a command—quite literally a Metropolitan command—and his blessing to enable me to strive to fulfil it: “Go,” he said. “Go and really listen; go and understand; go to love and to bring Love.”


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Religion and Peace

Daniel Philpott is a professor of Political Science at Notre Dame University. He delivered the following remarks as a keynote address on “Religion’s Role in Peacebuilding” at the ICLRS International Law and Religion Symposium on 2 October 2022.

Wanted: An Effective Peacemaker

Engage with me in a thought experiment. Imagine a civil servant in the foreign ministry of an African country that has been immersed in a civil war that has lasted fifteen years and taken thousands of lives. The African Union and United Nations diplomats have each made efforts at mediation, but they have failed, and the fighting now looks likely to escalate.

Desperate for an effective mediator, the foreign ministry official places an advertisement in a listing that is likely to be read widely by governments, NGOs, and other organizations. “Wanted: An effective peacemaker,” it reads. The advertisement explains that the peacemaker ought to have a long-term presence among the country’s people and not be a powerful outside state or an NGO who is likely to operate for a short time and then leave, according to its political interests or the wishes of its donors. The person should be part of an organization that has deep ties and credibility among the grassroots of its country, as well as connections among intermediate and elite levels and in official international circles. The organization should not be tied closely with only one side of the conflict such that it would be seen as a partisan. The organization ought to have a strong mission statement that commits it to peacebuilding as one of its fundamental activities and roots this activity in its basic beliefs. And it ought to have top staff people who are experienced in building peace and negotiating in difficult conflicts. 


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Desmond Mpilo Tutu: In Memoriam

Desmond Mpilo Tutu (1931–2021) / Photo Courtesy by Kristen Opalinski

The series contains tributes to Archbishop Desmond Tutu who recently passed away. The posts commemorate Tutu’s life-long efforts to promote peace, reconciliation, and human dignity and reflect on his legacy as a theologian and human rights advocate.

Posts in the Series:

Christine Venter. Archbishop Tutu and the People Left in the Dust

Greg Marcar. Being (W)holy Selfish with Desmond Tutu

Lee-Shae Salma Scharnick Udemans. Religious Privilege and Intolerance: Unveiling the Rainbow Nation


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