Declaration on Just Peace by the Graduating year of 2008 Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Dunedin, New Zealand

In order to speak of ‘Just Peace' we begin with God's self-disclosure in Jesus Christ. He is the bearer and telos of our humanity. In Him, with Him and through Him we are drawn into God's Story; the Story where ‘Just Peace' finds its deepest meaning and grounding.

We speak as New Zealanders, residents of a land not afflicted by war or revolution. Yet as Tangata Whenua, ‘People of the Land' (Indigenous) and Manuhiri, ‘Visitors' (Subsequent Settlers), bound together by the Treaty of Waitangi, we understand that it is not only bullets that can disrupt peace. Injustice and conflict take many forms and as a Church we have too often remained silent. Here in Aotearoa, ‘Just Peace' has a bearing on how we live together as many peoples in one land; it helps us move beyond scrambling for what is ‘ours' and toward living generous, open lives with those neighbours God has blessed us with; it helps us honour and draw out the Imago Dei which every person bears.

We believe Just Peace:

Is Trinitarian

Relationality is essential to God's own being as Trinity. We are not called to mimic the harmony and unity of the Trinity, but to be drawn up into it through the work of the Spirit. Consequently we are not called to create our own ‘Just Peace', but to embrace, and be embraced by the peace of the Godhead.

Embodies Shalom

‘Just Peace' will not merely be the absence of conflict, but will ensure holistic wellbeing for persons, families, communities, nations and the rest of the created order. To this final end, ‘Just Peace' must include a commitment to the stewardship and healing of the natural world.

Is God's Initiative and Commitment to humanity

The realisation of ‘Just Peace' is an outworking of God's covenant commitment to humanity.

Is Redemptive and Grace-full

God is the one primarily violated by sin, yet He freely reconciles the world to Himself, and calls us to join Him in this task.1 Consequently ‘Just Peace' cannot be reduced to the meeting of certain conditions, but is received grace-fully and worked out grace-fully.

Is Restorative

In a world torn apart by corruption and enmity, we proclaim that in Christ, God desires restoration. ‘Just Peace' will not ignore sin, or pretend that it is insignificant, but will declare that in Christ, sin is overcome and death no longer has the final word.

Is Intentional

There is nothing accidental about ‘Just Peace' in the coming Kingdom of Heaven. God intends for us to love mercy, do justice and walk humbly with Him.2 Our purposes must be aligned with His. Those committed to ‘Just Peace' will participate in Christ's ministry of reconciliation, and so become peacemakers.3

Shows Partiality

True justice is not blindfolded, it cannot be confused with ‘fairness'. In God's story we see special care for the vulnerable, the poor and the ostracised.4 We are called to be a part of God's desire to redress imbalances, which will involve working and praying for justice for the oppressed and liberation for the oppressors.

Is Doxological

‘Just Peace' is not to be reduced to human activism but rather is bound up with the act of worship as God's people celebrate God's reconciling work through Christ in the world.

Is Eschatological

The Church uniquely proclaims to the world God's vision for ‘Just Peace' and prays for its realisation as it embodies the reality of the ‘already but not yet' nature of the Kingdom of God.



1 2 Cor 5:18-20

2 Micah 6:8

3 Matthew 5:9

4 Matthew 5


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