Women are often invisible when official religious peacebuilding efforts are effectuated. However, religious women, even though often not allowed into official religious peace initiatives, are still active peacebuilders. The religious peacebuilding efforts of men have been subject to academic discussions and theorization during past decades, while the peace work of religious women has frequently been empirically described but to a much lesser extent theorized. This essay seeks to contribute to theorizing the peace work of religious women to enable more conceptual discussions on how their contribution to peace can be understood. Drawing upon older and more recent empirical descriptions of religious peacebuilding efforts led by women, I suggest that we consider how religious norms, identities, and religious organization are utilized to strengthen and create social capital in these efforts. This is a valuable perspective when seeking to understand peacebuilding efforts by religious women.


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pp. 55-75
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