Saturday, March 5, 2011

Extra Credit (Week Eight): What do you identify as your primary discipline? How do you see this as fitting with Peace and Conflict Studies?

            “Peace studies flows across many disciplines” (Alger 299). This has certainly been the case in my life, with Peace & Conflict Studies sharing a reciprocal relationship with my primary discipline of Biblical Studies. My Peace & Conflict Studies minor has served as motivation to explore themes of peace and justice through the lens of Scripture; on the other hand, my study of Scripture has also contributed to my understanding of peace. As a whole, my academic experience, combining Biblical Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies, has proven the value of the interdisciplinary study of peace. In my experience, both disciplines have been strengthened because of their interaction.
            Looking beyond my undergraduate education at Bluffton, I also see Biblical Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies fitting together in the long-term. I hope to pursue master’s degrees in both Bible and Peace Studies, intentionally continuing the relationship between these two disciplines. Ultimately, I imagine one of the disciplines will become my more dominant career, but it is difficult for me to imagine one without the other. If I become a biblical scholar, I would be a biblical scholar with a focus on peace and justice. And if I pursue peacebuilding as a career, my theory and practice would be unashamedly rooted in Scripture.
            On the whole, the combination of Biblical Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies has proven for me to be far more than an interdisciplinary academic project; in fact, the place where these two disciplines meet has greatly contributed to my identity and self-understanding. While the academic results have been positive ones, it is the personal results that have been life-changing. Like Druckman, I celebrate the interdisciplinary nature of Peace & Conflict Studies, and I am living proof that the interplay between the “complexity” and “coherence” of the field is ultimately life-giving and refreshing (305).

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