May 30-31, 2014: Nonviolent Action Amidst Violent Conflict – A conference sponsored by the Peace & Justice Studies Initiative at Stanford
Attention to nonviolence in theory and practice has gone far beyond pious invocations of Gandhi or sonorous soundbites from Martin Luther King. Nonviolent action, or civil resistance, is studied and practiced on a spectrum from principled to pragmatic. It calls forth interest from political scientists, strategists, activists, historians, ethicists, and psychologists, among others. How effective is it? How do nonviolent and armed resistance intersect in particular struggles? What does morality have to do with it? How far-reaching are the transformations that are being sought?
This conference begins with an overview of nonviolent resistance by a scholar who argues that “strategic nonviolent action has become a force more powerful than war.” It continues with an evaluation of nonviolent and armed resistance in the movement that ultimately overthrew the apartheid regime in South Africa. It concludes with an examination of nonviolent strategies in the Palestinian movement to end the Israeli military occupation and finally resolve that long, violent conflict. The closing session pays special attention to the hotly debated nonviolent strategies of boycott, divestment, and sanctions.
Venue: Fisher Conference Center at the Arillaga Alumni Center
Bread & Belonging
Bread & Belonging, a weekly student gathering for dinner and conversation, meets every Tuesday, 5:30-7:00, usually in The CIRCLE Common Room on the 3rd floor of The Old Union Building, throughout Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. This quarter, we are discussing questions related to Progressive Christianity; what is it and why should we care? Join us as we discuss questions like the difference between the theology of Jesus and the theology of Paul. What is the connection between faith and science? Come explore these and other questions with us.
Peace+Justice Studies Initiative
Peace & Justice Studies is an interdisciplinary academic field that emphasizes the study of nonviolent and transformative approaches to problems such as injustice and violence. Areas of study include the following. During the 2012-13 academic year, several faculty, students and UCCM Pastor Geoff collaborated to submit a grant proposal to develop several new courses related to peace and justice studies and to identify courses that already exist that support this academic and scholarly inquiry. In May of 2013 this group of faculty and students received a 3-year grant to develop these courses and identify other courses that are already being taught that conform to these guidelines:
- Nonviolence, violence, and civil resistance: theories and meanings of nonviolence and violence; history, principles and methods of dissent, communication, art, organizing, and individual and social change.
- Peacemaking:seeking to prevent, resolve, or transform conflicts — including war, genocide, human rights violations, non-state and state terrorism, and ecological destruction — through nonviolent means.
- Transformative justice: liberation, restoration, reparations, healing, and reconciliation as alternatives to retribution.
- Well-being: creating and sustaining health and quality of life in individuals, groups, societies, and ecosystems.
If you would like to learn more about this initiative, please follow our progress at the Peace+Justice Studies Initiative website.
Issues in Liberation Class
The Issues in Liberation Class is a class through the Religious Studies department with Professor Tom Sheehan. Pastor Geoff Browning and Dr. Kathleen Coll co-teach the class with Professor Sheehan. The class focuses on El Salvador with an interdisciplinary format studying the political, historical, economical and religious history of the country. Then over spring break, we take the entire class to El Salvador so the students can integrate their learning. This is the fifth year that we have offered this class. You can follow our journey while we are in El Salvador by connecting with our Stanford In El Salvador blog.