Keston Spring Panel Explores Possibilities for Peace in Times of War

February 15, 2024
Ad for Keston Spring Panel

On Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 104 of Baylor’s Moody Memorial Library, the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society welcomes an international panel to discuss “Seeking Peace in Times of War: Hope or Hopeless?” This panel discussion is free and open to the public. Audience Q&A, a reception with light refreshments, and conversation will follow the panel conversation.

"Peace appears a distant dream as the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches, conflicts in the Middle East seem unending, and more than 20 other pockets of conflict crisis and instability exist in Africa, Asia, South America, and other parts of the globe,” said Kathy Hillman, Associate Professor and Director of the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society. “Expert international panelists will expose some root causes of hostility and war, briefly examine strategies to mitigate armed conflict, and explore what hope the current state of the world offers."

The 2024 Keston Spring panel features:

  • Joanne Held Cummings, U.S. State Department (ret.), Director of Middle East Studies, and Lecturer, Baylor Department of Political Science and Baylor Interdisciplinary Core
  • Xenia Dennen, Chair, Keston Institute (UK)
  • Vladimer Narsia, Fulbright Scholar in Peace and Conflict Studies, St. Philip’s College and Assistant Professor of Theology and Canon Law, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia
  • George Njung, Assistant Professor, African Studies, Baylor Interdisciplinary Core

The panel will be moderated by David A. Smith, Senior Lecturer, History Department.

These panelists were chosen because of their wide-ranging knowledge and personal histories along with their wisdom and grasp of the past and present as related to the future of war and conflict in the geographic areas where they have lived, worked, or studied.

“In a time like today when wars seem more widespread than ever, it’s natural to reflect on the human condition. How can we maintain hope in a world of such intractable conflicts? Will war always be with us? Should the current state of the world should leave us hopeless? Our panel of experts will discuss some of the root causes of hostility and war, and seek out what hope the current state of the world offers us,” said Smith.

The 2024 Keston Spring Panel is sponsored by Baylor Libraries, J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor International Studies, History Department, Department of Religion, and the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures

The Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society of the Baylor Libraries receives, maintains, preserves, expands, and makes available to scholars the Keston Archives and Library, the world’s most comprehensive artificially assembled collection of materials on religious persecution under communist and other totalitarian regimes.

For more information about the 2024 Keston Spring Panel, visit