Breakout session on 'Religion, Peace and Conflict.' Second talk: Dr David Tombs, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College, Dublin. on 'Christianity, Peace and Conflict in Northern Ireland'.
The role of religion in 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland has been a topic of considerable debate. Differences over religion were not themselves a direct cause of 'the Troubles', and on one level the Christian churches have consistently opposed violence. Nonetheless, at another level, Northern Ireland's religious divisions between Catholics and Protestants have played a significant role in enabling, sustaining and shaping the political conflict. This paper examines the role of religion in both the course of the conflict, and in the current search for peace and reconciliation.