New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
Being Peace, by Thich Nhat Hanh, Edited by Arnold Kotler. Berkeley,
California: Parallax Press. 1987.
In this book Thich Nhat Hanh challenges the peace movement in the
United States to move from more than protest, and actually work in peaceful
ways with presumed opponents. He urges more work to prevent armed
Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Poliitcs, by
Reinhold Niebuhr, Westminster John Knox. 1932.
Influential critique of nonviolence. Theological and ethical basis
for neoconservative approaches.
The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative, by Thomas King, Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press, 2003. See especially chapter one and chapter
four, pages 110 - 119.
Thomas King was the first Native American to deliver Canada's
prestigious Massey Lectures. Those lectures are published in this volume, and
received Canada's highest literary honor, the Trillium Award, in the same
year. In chapter one and chapter four he eloquently juxtaposes Native and
Biblical creation stories, Native and Western views of good and evil, and
explores the roots of militarism and imperialism. He also explores what is
required to transform a militaristic culture.
Peacemaking: The Believers' Calling, from the United Presbyterian Church in
the United States of America. The 192nd General Assembly (1980).
This report was commissioned by the 187th General Assembly (1975) to
reassess the concept of peacemaking and the direction of the United States'
foreign policy in the light of Presbyterian biblical and confessional faith
and a markedly changed situation in the world in the late 1970s. The
recommendations of report called for an offering to be received to support
peacemaking initiatives and peace education throughout the
Resistance and Contemplation, by James Douglas, Doubleday, 1972
Douglass finds inspiration for personal dedication to nonviolent action in Christian and Buddhist sources. While some may find the liberation
theology language and references to be dated, the yin-yang metaphor of personal transformation with social activism is a useful theological
approach for UUs. The call to risk prison and death in self-giving
challenges our usual degree of devotion.
Liberating Faith: Religious Voices for Justice, Peace, and Ecological
Wisdom, by Roger Gottlieb, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003.
This anthology shows how religion has joined with and learned from
movements for social justice, peace, and ecological wisdom. It includes
theology, social critique, position papers, denominational statements,
manifestos, rituals, prayers, biographical accounts, and journalistic
descriptions from a wide range of authors, including feminist theologians
and proponents of nonviolence such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and
Thich Nhat Hanh. The text also includes a survey of ethical teachings from Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Jainism and Native
Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of
Domination, by Walter Wink, Augsburg Fortress, 1992.
Powers involving self-denial and dominance with origins in deeply embedded
cultural mythology have gone unrecognized for too long, and now control us
unconsciously. They must be seen and engaged in order to be redeemed and
transformed. Wink makes clear that these are not only spiritual or only
psychological or only material. He explores their manifestations in violence
and identifies what he calls "Jesus' Third Way," the path out of the
contagious cycle, not only through the example of Jesus but through
examples in history of others who have succeeded through nonviolent
means. See also by Walter Wink: When the Powers Fall: Reconciliation and
Healing of Nations and The Powers That Be: Theology for a New
For the Peace of the World: A Christian Curriculum on International
Relations, by the National Council of Churches.
This curriculum seeks answers questions of international relations
and provides a esource for further reflection. The study guide weaves
together many strands of Christian faith that would inform the discussion of
current events. It is meant to be the centerpiece of a larger, long-term
conversation that, as a nation, and as people of faith within this nation,
we will have for many years to come.
Peace is the Way, by Deepak Chopra, Harmony Publishers, 2005.
"Today is a good day for war to end," says the articulate mind-body
teacher and outstanding spiritual leader of these times. Peace can be
achieved, he says, not by opposing violence, but by remembering our life's
true purpose and adopting a philosophy that supports harming no one. Chopra
reminds us that the choices we face everyday, inner choices that set us on
the path of war or on the path of awareness and peace. In addition to a
thorough spiritual and psychological analysis, he offers daily practices of
meditation, thought and actions on behalf of others as a way to live
the truth of Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote: "There is no way to peace. Peace
is the way." Ultimately the ego itself has to be disarmed to live the way of
peace, he says. If our goal has to be seen as a peacemaking strategy, one way
might be to say: peace has long been losing the battle with war. War gets
major federal funding, Army recruiting ads, and a nationally televised
infomercial in the State of the Union address. Peace gets local news
coverage of angry mobs waving signs. "Real peace isn't the warlike behavior
of antiwar demonstrations," says Chopra. "It's taking care of the
environment, helping the poor achieve economic parity, making sure
human rights are protected, and finding nonviolent means of conflict
Studying Gandhi's life grounds UU peacemakers in the common story of a spiritually-motivated and fallible person whose "experiments with truth" identified the power of nonviolent activism. The
feminist critique of Gandhi's inadequate parenting and sexual dis-ease can be acknowledged without destroying his value to peace making. Familiarity
with Gandhi's life and creative approaches gives a common framework and Language for linking with global nonviolent activists.
The translated language and style of Gandhi's original writings can be
tedious for contemporary U.S. readers. Beacon Press published his
autobiography, My Experiments with Truth, in 1957. UU minister Homer
Jack compiled The Wit and Wisdom of Gandhi, published by Beacon in
1951 and The Gandhi Reader: A Sourcebook of His Life and Writings, in
One spiritually-oriented collection of his words is The Way to
God, Berkeley Hills Books, Albany, CA, 1999.
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Last updated on Friday, May 3, 2013.
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