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Living Together in Difference: Upending Violence through Alternative Community-Building with Derick Wilson, D.Phil.

February 12 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


This class meets 3 times: Feb. 12 and Mar. 25; and Monday, Apr. 20; 7-9 p.m.

A fascination with violence, often fed by gossip and media attention, takes us away from exercising our power of agency, from developing projects that build peace and secure the common good. As people from diverse faith and humanitarian belief positions, our task is to create and sustain new ways of living together in difference. In this course, we will explore philosopher René Girard’s work, which invites us to look at Christian and other religious cultures that model freedom and possibilities between people, not isolationism and defense. Participants will be invited to share their own daily practice about how we might build communities of contrast, or alternative communities to those of violence, bias, and toxicity, along with their own experiences of building relationships of trust with different others. Over the sessions, it is hoped that individual initiatives might come to be viewed as having a collective voice and even be part of a wider public voice that stands for Living Together in Difference.

Derick Wilson, D.Phil., currently is the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at St Philip’s College, San Antonio, until May 2020. He has been involved in ecumenical reconciliation practice and academic research on peacebuilding in Northern Ireland since 1965 as: a detached youth worker; a principal lecturer in youth work; and as director of the Corrymeela Reconciliation Centre. A member of the dispersed Corrymeela Community, he has worked on long-term initiatives with: critical community policing dialogues; engagements with prison officers and Category A prisoners; cross-party programmes for locally elected councillors; and residential education programmes for schools and youth agencies. As a Reader in Education he co-led a team of researchers on how organisational cultures supportive of a more shared society might be developed. He has been an Equality Commissioner, Assistant Director of the UNESCO Centre, a research member of the six-country European Union ALTERNATIVE Restorative Justice Programme and has managed ‘Creative Change,’ promoting mutual understanding among ten primary schools.


SoL Center at University Presbyterian Church
300 Bushnell
San Antonio, TX 78212 United States
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