Our dreams for nurturing relationships, creative work, and experiencing beloved community are often shattered by situations of conflict. Although “conflict” is blamed for such broken outcomes, more fundamental matters are the real culprits. Avoiding conflict, rushing to resolution, political maneuvering, character assassination, and remaining anxious and silent are just some of the dysfunctional behaviors in disputes. With skills to befriend conflict, even at times to initiate it, we can create transformational opportunities that enact our dreams. Through presentations, discussions, video, and role-play, we will engage concepts and processes that enable us to live faithfully in conflict.
Luther Smith is Professor Emeritus of Church and Community at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University. He speaks and writes extensively on Howard Thurman’s legacy, spirituality, church practices, and social transformation. Throughout his career Luther has been active with issues of reconciliation, interfaith collaboration, child advocacy, poverty, and people with intellectual disabilities.