The Biblical roots of peacekeeping
Dr. Robert Joustra on the Biblical roots of the United Nations.
2 min. read
February 2, 2016

One of the most influential international institutions is the United Nations. As part of a collection exploring the role of the Bible in global affairs, Dr. Robert Joustra, Assistant Professor of International Studies, has contributed a piece about the Biblical roots of the U.N.

The chapter he penned, “The Isaiah Wall and the world: Origins and outlook of the Bible and U.N. peacekeeping,” was published in the International Bible Advocacy Centre’s latest publication, Democracy, Conflict & the Bible: Reflections on the Role of the Bible in International Affairs.

“The Bible matters for global affairs,” writes Joustra. “It matters not only because it was influential, once up a time, but because it is a living, serious book which shapes hearts, minds, systems, and institutions even in the present day.” In the chapter, Joustra shows how Biblical ideas of justice shaped the “just and durable peace” envisioned by political leaders after World War II and how this vision supported and enabled the practice of peacekeeping.

“They will beat their swords into
ploughshares and their spears
into pruning hooks.”

Isaiah 2:4

Joustra argues that there is still a role for peacekeeping as a part of global governance. “Through a continued Biblically-engaged approach to peacekeeping, we recognize the possibilities for realizing Isaiah’s ancient invocation to ‘beat swords into ploughshares.'”

Democracy, Conflict & the Bible: Reflections on the Role of the Bible in International Affairs is available as a PDF at and has been excerpted in Capital Commentary, a digital publication of the Center for Public Justice.

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