Cover image for Healing the heart of conflict : 8 crucial steps to making peace with yourself and others
Healing the heart of conflict : 8 crucial steps to making peace with yourself and others
Gopin, Marc.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Emmaus, Pennsylvania : Rodale, [2004]

Physical Description:
300 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HM1126 .G66 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Rabbi and international mediator Marc Gopin presents an 8-step process-based on great religious traditions, philosophy, and psychology-for healing even the most destructive, and seemingly intractable, conflicts.

For more than 20 years Marc Gopin has sought to resolve bitter disputes in a variety of domestic and international settings. What he has learned-working for peace in sticky world trouble spots such as the Middle East and Northern Ireland, or helping his congregants through the business and personal conflicts that can destroy lives-is that some conflicts, rooted in the deepest, most primal emotions, cannot be solved by "rational" discussion and negotiation. Instead the answer lies along a path of self-examination and spiritual growth.

In his new book, Marc Gopin details a process that will help people free themselves from the soul-poisoning effects of destructive conflict. The 8 steps he describes teach us how to: examine our inner lives so that our character becomes a true ally of healing; pay close attention to the power of our emotions and those of others in conflict; understand the dynamics of what is really going on in difficult situations; truly listen to others in new ways; view troubled relationships from a fresh perspective; imagine creative possibilities that no one dared see; take powerful action that completely transforms hopeless situations; and speak in a way that uses the power of the word not to injure but to heal and create new realities.

Serious and profound, beautifully written and sorely needed, this book can lead anyone to a healing of the heart that works equally well in the family, professional, and geopolitical spheres.

Author Notes

Marc Gopin is the James H. Laue Professor of World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Arlington, Virginia.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gopin's guide transcends many self-help books by drawing on his two decades of experience in the field of conflict resolution worldwide, including the Middle East, Northern Ireland and Africa. Through his work and understanding of the dynamics and stages of international conflict, Gopin, a rabbi and director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, has learned how the same tools and approaches can be used to address and resolve day-to-day conflicts in business and personal relationships. "Destructive conflicts," he writes, "are based on primal emotions and cannot be solved by rational discussion and negotiation." They call, instead, for addressing and healing feelings of dishonor and humiliation, which in turn requires "self-examination and spiritual growth." Using wide-ranging anecdotes, Gopin presents eight primary steps, including recognizing the emotions at the heart of the conflict, learning how to listen to all sides of an issue, setting goals that represent the future needs and desires of all parties and keeping dialogue open and ongoing. He illustrates how these principles can be applied in work situations, within family relationships and in local community dynamics. Gopin (Holy War, Holy Peace) addresses how differences in politics, religion, gender, race and personal beliefs can serve as catalysts for conflict and how one might approach delicate situations with understanding so that opportunity for conflict is reduced. Though the eight steps are summarized with simple words (Feel, Understand, Hear, etc.), Gopin's solution is not a simple or easy one-but it is psychologically and spiritually grounded, compassionate and compelling. Agent, Esmond Harmsworth. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Having served under several U.S. administrations on peace efforts in troubled areas such as the Middle East and Northern Ireland, as well as having counseled congregants in family conflicts, Rabbi Gopin (Between Eden and Armageddon) understands destructive conflict and here posits a strategy toward lasting resolution. Since what happens between people cannot be separated from what is happening within people, the road to peace must start with the individual. The author presents eight action-oriented steps for self-examination and spiritual growth: Be, Feel, Understand, Hear, See, Imagine, Do, and Speak. Using varied and numerous examples, Gopin brings the message home to parents, grown children, spouses, co-workers, family members, and friends. The challenge is for readers to be open to accepting new ways of being and acting-no small task-but Gopin writes clearly, which makes the whole process seem achievable. Anyone high school age and above can find something helpful here. Recommended for public libraries.-Deborah Bigelow, Leonia P.L., NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xiii
Part 1 The Eight Steps
Chapter 1 Be: Identity and Characterp. 3
Chapter 2 Feel: Emotions as the Heart of Conflict and Peacemakingp. 33
Chapter 3 Understand: Knowing Your Conflictsp. 59
Chapter 4 Hear: The Art of Listeningp. 83
Chapter 5 See: The Art of Observationp. 105
Chapter 6 Imagine: Visions of the Futurep. 127
Chapter 7 Do: The Transformational Power of Deeds and Gesturesp. 153
Chapter 8 Speak: The Challenge of Dialogue and Communicationp. 177
Part 2 The Eight Steps Applied
Chapter 9 Work: The Eight Steps in Making a Livingp. 199
Chapter 10 Love: The Eight Steps at Homep. 223
Chapter 11 Harmonize The Eight Steps in the Communityp. 257
Resourcesp. 295