o: Against romanticizing local understandings and practices of peace in Mozambique

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In the wake of massive atrocities, religious or cosmologic expressions and practices may provide a tremendous resource for healing or transitional justice for both the individual and the collective. Yet all too often, such practices and ideas end up being portrayed in reified, romanticized and one-dimensional ways. This chapter presents the much-celebrated purification rituals of ex-combatants in postwar Mozambique as a phenomenon that has been subject to such “romanticizing”. It provides a thick description of intersections of violence and healing and the spiritual world and thereby presents three elements deemed essential for ethnographic peace research: 1) a multiplicity of interpretations, 2) a caution not to assume that local peace initiatives are inherently inclusive and harmonious, and 3) a long-term or multi-temporal focus.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthnographic Peace Research
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches and tensions
EditorsGearoid Millar
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-65563-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-65562-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameRethinking Peace and Conflict Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


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