Religion in war and peace: unravelling Mary’s intervention in the Bougainville crisis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of religion in generating violent conflict and peace is a major topic in public, political and scholarly debates. However, despite a burgeoning field of literature, this relationship remains inadequately explained. In general, social and religious studies tend to focus on macro-analyses, resulting in essentialist and even ethnocentric notions of religion, violent conflict and peace. By using the Bougainville crisis as a case study, this article argues that as long as we disregard people's ‘lived religion’, local realities remain intangible and, furthermore, no insight is gained into the actual processes by which religion may generate conflict and peace. In particular, I show how the Bougainville crisis was conceptualised as a Holy War, revealing how Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, inspired people to fight against oppression and for peace at the same time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-289
Number of pages19
JournalCulture and Religion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Christianity
  • Marian devotion
  • Bougainville
  • conflict
  • peace


Dive into the research topics of 'Religion in war and peace: unravelling Mary’s intervention in the Bougainville crisis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this