Marc Gopin—a veteran and seasoned practitioner of citizen diplomacy—has written an important book, that reminds policymakers and non-policymakers alike of the critical role that ordinary people can and do play in helping to resolve conflicts. By setting in motion, in his words, a 'constellation of relationships, cultural gestures and communications', citizen diplomats literally can bring walls of mistrust and hatred tumbling down. Gopin's book focuses on the most challenging arena of all, religious militancy, and brings forth lessons learned that are well worth assimilating in our current diplomacy. (Daniel Kurtzer)
Rabbi Marc Gopin heartens peacemakers by showing how relationships forged across the fault lines of religion emphasize faith's power to be part of the solution when it is part of the problem, and create bonds of hope against the divisive demon of despair. (Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf)
When Mark Gopin, a peacemaker and a rabbi, found himself speaking to 3,000 congregants at the great mosque in Aleppo with the Grand Mufti of Syria by his side, he knew that something very special was happening. To Make the Earth Whole
is a profoundly moving and gripping account of one man's attempt to practice citizen diplomacy in an unlikely and dangerous environment. More than that, it is a brilliant brief for peacemaking by inspired practitioners able to heal shattered relationships by building new social and spiritual networks. Gopin's tone is wise and personal: the voice of a modern sage. His book makes one understand that there is no real conflict between worldly realism and radical hope. (Richard E. Rubenstein)
Gopin's effort to bring his religious work into conflict resolution makes an interesting read. . . . Recommended. (Choice
To say this is a case-study of 'citizen diplomacy'—itself a far too bland description of what is going on here—is to miss the other virtues of this work. It is at once a study of the role in militant religion in intractable conflicts, a look inside the complexity of contemporary Syria and Syrian-U.S. and Israeli relations, a primer on social network theory, a sophisticated discussion of the ethics of third parties who are outsiders to other peoples' deadly conflicts and, like so much of Gopin's work, a deeply felt account of his life's journey in peacemaking and peacebuilding. Margaret Mead once wrote, 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.' In describing his own efforts and those of a remarkable group of individuals in the Middle East and elsewhere, Marc Gopin has written a book that shows both the truth of that statement and offers insight into how it is done. (Avruch, Kevin)
About the Author
Marc Gopin is the James H. Laue Professor of Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution, and the director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. He is also an ordained rabbi. His website is www.marcgopin.com.