James Paharik, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology and faculty coordinator of the Genocide Studies and Holocaust Program at Seton Hill University, has written and published “The Long Journey: In Search of Justice and Peace in Jerusalem,” which is a collection of 24 interviews with Israelis and Palestinians woven into nine essays.

The 24 individuals interviewed are associated with a variety of peace organizations, both secular and religious, and represent, as a group, all three major faith traditions, Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim.

“When you are in Jerusalem you are identified by your religious affiliation. I realized my Catholic faith has deep roots in peacemaking. Catholics are looked to for peacemaking practices there because peacemaking is such a part of Christianity,” said Paharik, who also serves as the director of research and program development for Beit Benedict Peace Academy in Jerusalem.

Paharik’s work on this manuscript began in the spring of 2007, when he took a sabbatical to conduct the research and interviews in Israel and the West Bank. Paharik wanted to address Israeli/Palestinian grassroots conflict resolution activities.

“This [Jerusalem] is the holiest place on earth yet there is so much violence. I find this very disturbing. I wanted to learn more about the attempts at conflict resolution,” said Paharik.

While Paharik was on his sabbatical he maintained communication with the Seton Hill community through his online journal, The Long Journey, which chronicled his travels in Israel while providing historical context for his experiences and the stories relayed by his interviewees.

“The blog was to be an activity for me to stay in touch with Seton Hill and it turned into so much more. My entries were long and very detailed. When I returned home, I realized the entries could be the basis of a book,” said Paharik.

According to Liturgical Press, the book’s publisher, “‘The Long Journey’ takes us into the heart of Jerusalem-Mount Zion, the site of the Benedictine Dormition Monastery, a place where pilgrims, seekers, and peacemakers come for liturgies, prayer, and conversation. Our guide on this journey is James Paharik, who in nine closely woven essays leads us through the layers of history to expose the rich stories that are the foundation of the city. We meet not only Jews and Palestinians but also Armenian and Ethiopian Christians, émigrés, and expatriates, living and working in this polyglot place. Paharik reveals hearts damaged by violence but also brimming with hope …”

“Throughout all the years of conflict and despite the number of people affected, people do still have hope. They hope for the future for their children. The average person is very open to compromise and reconciliation,” said Paharik.

Paharik will host book signings for “The Long Journey” on Friday, April 3, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Parlors, which are located on the second floor of the Administration Building on Seton Hill University’s Greensburg, Pa. campus, and on Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at Barnes and Noble located on Route 30 in Greensburg, Pa.