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Nobel Peacemaker Prophesizes Peace in 21st Century
an article by Tony Dominski

In a September 2004 symposium, in Milan, Italy Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan gave an inspiring talk calling for a non-violent world. She traced her roots as a peacemaker through from a vision in a Church to the daily violence she experienced in Northern Ireland: "It was out of my belief in the sacredness of life, and that there is an alternative to violence, that in August l976, when my sister Anne’s children were killed, that I got the courage to stand up and say STOP to all the violence."

Corrigan challenged St. Augustine’s doctrine of a just war created during the time of the Roman Empire. "The policies of the Roman Empire were War, Domination, and Occupation," she said. The just war doctrine was in her view a departure from the early Christian practices of non-violence. Corrigan added: "It is truly shameful to acknowledge (and repent) that Christians have been, and continue to be, amongst the bloodiest warriors, throughout history." However, Corrigan expressed optimism that Christian churches could reject violence and the just war theory. She said: "I believe that in this Century we will see War abolished."

She outlined the strong link between peace and global justice issues involving the unholy trinity of "unethical globalization, corporate capitalism and environmental degradation." In considering the marginalization of woman in church and state, she asked: "Why are 50% of human beings denied the dignity and rights that are accorded to the other 50%, not just in the Catholic Church but in some of the other religions as well?"

The full text of Corrigan’s presentation follows in the discussion section. Her organization -- The Peace People can be contacted at: 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT96GE, N. Ireland; ; e-mail:


Question(s) related to this article:

Will nonviolence be embraced by the world's religions?,

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Latest reader comment:

On religion and peace, most agree that religion can be used to promote peace and harmony among people. However, historically it has been misused by many and created more conflict. The solution to the problem lies in encouraging interfaith initiatives.

This report was posted on October 23, 2004.