Associate Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies

Nathan FunkContact:
(519) 885-0220 ext. 24295
Office:  CGUC 4205

BA, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1994
PhD, American University, 2000


<--break->Scholarly and Professional Activities:

Board Chair, Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada (PACS-Can) (2019-present)

Founding Board Member, PACS-Can (2015-present)

Lead Researcher, Centre for the Study of Religion and Peace (2011-2014)

Board Member, Project Ploughshares (2008-2014)

Board Member, Peacebuild: The Canadian Peacebuilding Network (2008-2012)

Research Areas:

Cross-cultural conflict resolution; Religion in conflict and peacemaking; The contemporary Middle East; Sustained dialogue; Peace and conflict theory; and Local capacities for peacebuilding.

Courses Taught:

PACS 201 - Roots of Conflict, Violence and Peace
PACS 316 - Violence, Non-violence and War
PACS 326 - Religion and Peace-building
PACS 327 - Cultural Approaches to Conflict Resolution

PACS 604 - Conflict Analysis
PACS 605 - Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding
PACS 612 - Culture, Religion, and Peacebuilding


Nathan Funk is an associate professor of Peace and Conflict Studies.  He has served on the boards of two Canadian NGOs, Project Ploughshares and Peacebuild: The Canadian Peacebuilding Network, and currently acts as a board member for the Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada.  He has authored a number of writings on peacebuilding and international conflict resolution, with a special focus on the contemporary Middle East, Islamic-Western relations, identity conflict, sustained dialogue, and the role of cultural and religious factors in localized peacebuilding and social change processes.

Selected Publications:

  • "Constructing Civic Space: Civil Resistance, Sustainable Citizen Empowerment, and Transitional Justice as Pathways of Change in Contemporary Arab Politics." In Arab Spring: Modernity, Indenity, and Change, ed. Eid Mohamed and Dalia Fahmi (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), pp. 257-277.
  • “Religion and Peaceful Relations: Negotiating the Sacred,” coauthored with Yelena Gyulkhandanyan. In The Routledge Companion to the Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies, ed. Sean Byrne, Thomas Matyok, and Imani Michelle Scott (Routledge Publishers, 2019).
  • “Positive Dynamics Amid Complex Identity Conflict: The Case of Islam and the West.” In Conflict Management and Transformation: Theory and Practice, ed. Ho-Won Jeong (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).
  • “Just Peacemaking as a Bridge to Ecumenical and Interfaith Solidarity for Peace.” In Pacifism’s Appeal: Ethos, History, Politics, ed. Jorg Kustermans, Tom Sauer, Dominiek Lootens, and Barbara Segaert (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
  • "Ameen Rihani's Intercultural Vision" (Chapter 7). In The Book of Khalid: A Critical Edition, by Ameen Rihani, ed. Todd Fine (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2016), pp. 401-416.
  • “Islam and Peace and Conflict Studies.”  In Peace on Earth:  The Role of Religion in Peace and Conflict Studies, ed. Sean Byrne, Thomas Matyók, and Jessica Senehi (Lanham, MD:  Lexington Books, 2014), pp. 121-142.

  • “Building on What’s Already There:  Valuing the Local in International Peacebuilding,"  International Journal, Vol. 67, No. 2 (Spring 2012):  391-408.

  • "Religion and Peace and Conflict Studies," co-authored with Christina J. Woolner. In Critical Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies, ed. Tom Matyók, Jesica Senehi, and Sean Byrne (Lanham, MD: Lexingtong Books, 2011), pp. 349-369.
  • "Applying Canadian Principles to Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East," In Canada and the Middle East: In Theory and Practice, ed. Paul Heinbecker and Bessma Momani (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007), pp. 25-44.

Selected Activities: 

Conference Papers and Addresses

  • “Just Peacemaking as a Bridge to Ecumenical and Interfaith Solidarity for Peace,” paper presented at UCSIA International Workshop entitled “Pacifism,” University of Antwerp, Belgium, December 7, 2017.
  • “Constructing Civic Space: Civil Resistance, Transitional Justice, and Sustainable Citizen Empowerment in Contemporary Arab Politics,” paper presented at the conference, “Arab Spring and the Quest for New Metaphors: Modernity, Identity, and Change,” University of Guelph, Nov. 11, 2017.
  • “Making Peace with Islam,” plenary presentation at a conference of the European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (“Religion and Politics in the Crisis of Engagement: Toward the Relevance of Intercultural Theologies and Interreligious Studies”) in Muenster, Germany, April 28, 2017.
  • “Sacred Sites and Peacemaking: Challenges and Opportunities,” International Studies Association's 57th Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, March 18, 2016. 
  • “Localizing Peace:  Engaging Religion, Culture and Identity for Sustainable Peacebuilding,” presented at the Peace and Justice Studies Association’s 2010 Annual Conference, Winnipeg, MB, October 2, 2010.

  • "Peacemaking Among the Religions of Abraham: Overcoming Obstacles to Coexistence" (with Meena Sharify-Funk), presented at the conference "Children of Abraham: A Trialogue of Civilizations," hosted by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 22, 2007.
  • "Reframing Interreligious Dialogue: Opportunities for Muslim-Christian and Abrahamic Peacemaking," presented at the American Academy of Religion Eastern International Region Annual Conference in Waterloo, Ontario, May 4, 2007.

Public Speaking

  • Panelist on “Faith, History, Culture, and Dispute Resolution” at the “Global Dispute Resolution” conference, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, November 23, 2019.
  • “Peace and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” presentation at St. John’s Kilmarnock School, Breslau, Ontario on March 6, 2019.
  • “Can We Talk?: Dialogue and Social Change,” presentation to youth leaders at an event organized in Hamilton, Ontario by Global Peace Centre Canada on June 8, 2018.
  • Canada and the Middle East:  Supporting the Emergence of a New Story,” presented at the roundtable, “Between Revolution and Repression:  Democratic Transition in the Middle East and North Africa?” sponsored by the International Development Research Centre and Peacebuild:  The Canadian Peacebuilding Network, Ottawa, ON, June 2, 2011.
  • “Ethnic Conflict Analysis and Resolution,” lecture at the University of Ulster—Magee, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, October 22, 2008.
  • Presenter at “Religion and Geopolitics” workshop, Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Policy Research Division, Ottawa, ON, February 16, 2007.  
  • “Roundtable:  Peace and Conflict Studies in Canada” (co-convened with Richard McCutcheon), Peace and Justice Studies Association Annual Conference, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, October 18, 2013.

  • “Approaches to Peace in a Global and Cross-Cultural Context,” Ideas and Issues Lecture Series, Kitchener Public Library, Kitchener, ON, March 8, 2010. 

  • "Religion and Peacebuilding," lecture at the Kitchener Public Library, Kitchener, ON, February 11, 2008.
  • "Meeting in Peace: Basis for Muslim-Christian Cooperation," presented at the annual convention of Mennonite Economic Development Associates, Toronto ("Trust in a World of Change"), Ontario, November 2, 2007.
  • "The Muslim World Today," Lecture at Steinmann Mennonite Church, Baden, ON. April 20, 2008.
  • Gave the keynote presentation for "Peace Action 2007," a program of the Y Service Clubs of Central Canada, YMCA Cedar Glen Conference Centre, Nobleton, ON, September 28, 2007.
  • "Finding Peace," speech for the 32nd Annual Community Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Kitchener-Waterloo council of Churches and the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, at the Waterloo Inn in Waterloo, ON, May 7, 2007.
University of Waterloo

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