May 23, 2024, Cambridge, UK – The Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD) at Cambridge University held a Roundtable, bringing together academics, faith-leaders and practitioners, to discuss faith-based traditions and their deliberative processes for peacebuilding. The twenty-nine participants included guest lightning speakers His Excellency Paul Gomez HC, Bhai Sahib (Prof) Mohinder Singh OBE KSG, Dr Nasim Mavaddat. The workshop focused on gaining empirical evidence to allow for a cross-discipline as well as multi-faith framework. 

The central question addressed by the Roundtable was How have different faith-based traditions inspired and informed deliberative processes for peacebuilding? 

Many of the world’s conflicts have a faith-based element. To counter this, the 56 member countries of the Commonwealth have committed to using faith as a pathway to peace, starting with the launch of the Commonwealth Faith Festival in March 2024. As part of this initiative, the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD), at the University of Cambridge has partnered with the Commonwealth Secretariat, with the support of the Khalili Foundation, to build faith-inspired peace tools and methods. 

Our Roundtable involved scholars from the fields of sociology, theology, anthropology, and international relations. We asked participants for their input in three steps. First, identifying the relevant research concepts and topics to identify the scope of the research and establish analytical boundaries for further research. Second, asking who benefits from the research in order to identify stakeholders and discover key features of the system. Third, honing the appropriate areas for future research. Overall the Roundtable focussed on exploring the deliberative methods and processes that a wide range of different faith-based traditions have used and continue to use in order to create interfaith peacebuilding dialogue.

This Roundtable will inform our continuing action-research project in partnership with the Khalili Foundation and the Commonwealth Secretariat on how to apply dynamic systems methods to create deliberative space to improve collective decision making towards sustainable peace. This groundbreaking research would not have been possible without Khalili Foundation funding support.

Here are some of the comments form the high-level experts came out in our post-workshop feedback (anonymised): 

The CRSD did an excellent job of bringing some interesting people together around an important issue. I learned a lot about some interesting examples of religion's roles in peacebuilding. The facilitators were excellent, and I am grateful to have been invited.


The best moment was when we could discuss with the participants at our table. We had a very insightful discussion and the sharing of ideas was very fruitful.


My favourite moment during the Roundtable was the collective analysis of case studies brought forward by participants. It was truly inspiring to witness the synergy created by the diverse expertise, ideas, and experiences around the table. Everyone's unique perspective enriched the discussion and led to insightful solutions for the presented challenges. This inclusive dialogue highlighted the power of collaboration and how much more we can achieve when we learn from each other.


For more information, see Exploring Faith-Based Deliberative Spaces for Peacebuilding | Department of Land Economy ( Our hope is that a new paradigm for approaching faith-based peacebuilding may be developed, and applied to situations within the Commonwealth and beyond.

For more information, or to participate in future events in this theme, please contact Professor Nazia M. Habib,