A Few Favorite Books on Peace

Living Peace, by John Dear SJ

A resource for would-be peacemakers from the former director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. In it, John Dear presents a roadmap for practice, a guide to developing the inner peace and building the spiritual resources needed to sustain the work of peacemaking and bridge building:

“…whatever eyes I look into, I see another child of God. Here is another sister, another brother. How we live in the world depends on how we see ourselves and the world itself. If we believe life has no ultimate meaning, that the world will always be in chaos, and that we can get ahead of others by whatever means necessary, then we will self-destruct along with the world.”

Dear, John, SJ. Living Peace; A Spirituality of Contemplation and Action.  New York: Doubleday (2004).

Practicing Peace; A Devotional Walk through the Quaker Tradition

Quaker excerpts and meditations are compiled in this introduction to Quaker peacemaker wisdom and practice in all areas of life. Loving nonviolent action, pactifism, simplicity, patience, faith and hope are explored as are attudes towards money, beauty, joy, and gratitude. The practice of peace in the face of obstacles including evil and fear is discussed at length.

Whitmire, Catherine. Practicing Peace; A Devotional Walk through the Quaker Tradition. Notre Dame: Sorin (2007).

Being Peace – Thich Nhat Hanh

A resource for all seekers of peace from Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh. He counsels loving speech, asking the peace movement to “be peace before doing peace,” to evoke a nonviolent response activists need to learn to write loving letters that “bring a new dimension” to reconciliation. He outlines the seven practices of reconciliation, formed in the Buddhist monasteries over millennia: face-to-Face sharing, remembrance (the entire history of the conflict), non-stubbornness (trying your best), covering mud with straw (one monk on each side, who addresses the assembly, mending and de-escalating), voluntary confession (beginning with a very minor one to free the other side to a similar voluntarily admission), consensual decision and acceptance of the verdict.

Hanh, Thich Nhat. Being Peace. Berkeley, Parallax Press (1987).

Categories Peacemaking | Tags: | Posted on April 15, 2013

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