Dining with Diplomats, Praying with Gunmen: Experiences of International Conciliation for a New Generation of Peacemakers

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Sunday 3 December 2023

Bennett, Anne. London: Quaker Books, 2020.

Dining with Diplomats, Praying with Gunmen explores the recent history of Quaker peacebuilding efforts, the principles it is based on and its specific strengths. Much of this peacebuilding has to take place in total confidentiality, with the book offering valuable insight into the experiences of many facilitators, particularly in the context of the Nigerian Civil War and The Troubles. There are multiple strands of Quaker peacework, with Bennett exploring grassroots work to expand the capacity of local peacemakers, rather than top-level negotiation facilitated through the Quaker United Nations Office or Quaker Council on European Affairs. This model of peacemaking involves long-term commitments, utmost confidentiality and deep local understanding; all of these are enabled by Friends’ trusted reputation for honesty and non-violence. The book is a fascinating exploration of the strengths of religious organisations in peacemaking, as well as a reasoned and thorough examination of general good practice for conciliation.

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