The unresolved issue of blood feuds in post-Communist Albania and a Christian radical response
LE3 .A278 2019
Parushev, Parush R.
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
The aim of this thesis is to develop a ‘Just Peacemaking theological response’ to the tragic situation of Albanian blood feuds. In the first chapter is a description of what the blood feud is and also its context. It is an honour killing which differs in nature from other killings. I used some specific interviews to explore more in depth the situation of those who have faced this tragedy. Social and family pressures are the driving forces sustaining the practice of blood feuds. Social pressure can be useful to stop blood feuds but cannot heal memories and does not restore justice and bring back the honour of a person or family. In the second chapter I will explore what the Canon is, how it came to exist and the reasons it has been used as a bedrock and justification for blood feuds. The Canon is not the main source to be blamed for these bloody killings, but this distorted human traditionis built around it. The Canonis the first constitution of a wider legal system which organized the socio-political life and inner-legal autonomy of Albanian communities, enabling them to survive for several centuries under foreign occupation. Thus, today it disserves to be seriously studied. In the third chapter, the theory of Just Peacemaking outlined by Glen H. Stassen is studied. A deeper and a thicker understanding of the historical Jesus bridges the gap of dualism and strongly encourages the church to practice ‘transforming initiatives’ and to participate in society for peacemaking and social transformation, so much needed in our post-communist societies. Lastly, I present the Just Peacemaking theory as a public discourse which seeks social transformation. I develop a specific study resource and a survey which revealed that attitudes of people can generally be influenced positively. By teaching and expanding Just Peacemaking, the transforming initiatives of the Sermon on the Mount may form solid convictions in people to resist the pressure to commit blood feuds and also to be able to forgive and offer peace. Finally, some of the findings and contributions of the thesis are presented with recommendations for further research on this social field.
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