Angry Young Men and the Spiritual Intelligence of Peace-Building as a Youth-Work Practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Drawing on perspectives from youth work theory, conflict transformation,
restorative justice and peace-building, this chapter outlines an integrated
approach to assisting young people (particularly young men) to understand their instincts for justice and discover expressions that contribute to the
creation of “positive peace” instead of violent retribution (Galtung, 1969,
p. 183). It will argue that empowering young men to discover connections
between their personal sense of injustice and their deeper (often
unconscious) spiritual instincts will allow them to contribute to the
transformation of society. This approach is a more effective and ethical way of responding to youth violence than is the imposition of penalties
and/or mandated reforms such as forced attendance in an anger-
management programme. J.P. Lederach’s (2005) The Moral Imagination
offers a central focus for this conversation and a vocabulary to engage
these spiritual intuitions. Stripping away the dualistic assertions of the
dominant narrative on youth violence which promises formulaic outcomes,
this approach will emphasise the centrality of the spiritual practice of relationship building. In short, the youth worker’s job will be shown to be
one of awakening the spiritual instinct for peace and nurturing the capacity of young men to facilitate justice in their social environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpirituality for Youth-Work
Subtitle of host publicationNew Vocabulary, Concepts and Practices
EditorsPhil Daughtry, Stuart Devenish
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)1443894478, 9781443894470
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Young Men
  • Spiritual Intelligence
  • Peace-Building


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