CHARTING PEACE

From the Conventional to the Christic

PREFACE

This is an abbreviated and slightly amended version of the original publications (1992 & 1993) of the same name. The illustrations are not included. In those earlier, short runs, I outlined some of the principal aspects of Peace Studies examined in tertiary institutions.

The academic concept of peace was widened, and so was that of holism, which so many of us who study peace hold to be the way to fuller understanding.

The accounts include aspects of topics I developed in in a semester length course on the “Geography of Peace and Conflict” that I once gave at the University of New England, Armidale, NSW.

Bernard Swan

August, 2017.

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INTRODUCTION

Peace is a universal aspiration. To some peace is possible, to others it is only a sigh. In its quest some are more diligent than others, some more vocal. The majority of us are circumspect in its pursuit. We dance around it, sing songs extolling peace, but will not approach it through fear that peace might be more than we bargain for, that too much might be required of us if we accept its embrace. Yet everywhere the cry is for ‘Peace’.

During the heady days following the Gorbachev initiatives, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and of Communism and the Soviet Union itself, people everywhere thought their dreams had come true, and that they could relax because global nuclear war no longer threatened. But although the geopolitical order has changed, peace has not arrived and the nuclear threat has become more ominous as more nations seek to develop such weapons and the means for their delivery in the belief that through them security and their ambitions will be assured.

Signs of unpeacefulness manifest themselves without let and refuse to be swept under the carpet. There remain the conflicts, enmities and hatreds, the violence, the injustices, the greed, the hunger and poverty, the gross violations of human rights, the power-struggles, the arms buildups, the wars, the unremitting degradation of the earth’s life-support systems. All these and more throw many into profound pessimism. Despite analyses which warn that the world is in crisis (Johnston & Taylor 1989) and that peace remains the impossible dream, there are people who live in the hope of peace and seek peace as they construe it and endeavour to share their insights with others in formal or non-formal ways.

In these pages are examined ways in which peace is perceived, particularly in Peace Studies: paths that are followed and paths that are overlooked or ignored, although worthy of fuller exploration (Swan 1992, 1988a, 1984)

WHAT IS PEACE?

Peace is a multi-dimensional concept, involving the organisation of space, society and planet; existence and being; body, mind and spirit. At the individual level peace is widely regarded as wellbeing: interior and exterior calm, pleasant, satisfying relationships, access to desired goods and services, security, a minimum of trouble and misfortune and good health and long-life to enjoy it all. Collectivities share somewhat similar views although scales are different. The number of those included in the circle whose well-being is desired and sought varies from one collectivity to another. The family, the interest group, the company, the conglomerate, the sub-nationality, the state, the alliance, all have differing perspectives of peace.

For centuries, religion was regarded as affording the richest insights into peace. These duly conflicted with the views of the temporal ruler, today typified by the secular sovereign state and its government, which claimed, as they still do, responsibility for peace in the earthly realm, attempting both to confine the jurisdiction of religion to the spiritual realm as defined by the secular sovereign, and to use, where expedient, religious and moral arguments to justify their policies (e.g. Ruston 1986). The separation of the secular from the religious was facilitated by theories of temporal power.

One set of these accorded the ruler the right and duty to pursue the interests of state untrammelled by moral considerations (Machiavelli). Another consisted of teachings which maintained that God had ordained two governments on earth, one spiritual and the other secular, one of the spirit and the other of the sword, and that both were necessary (Martin Luther). Where accepted, such views tended to privatise religion, to cloud conscience and to induce the good citizen to take, at the public level, the voice of Caesar as the voice of God (Alt, 1985, Swan 1987 & 1988b)

THE EMERGENCE OF PEACE STUDIES

The Peace Movement was the grass-roots response to war and militarism and after the Second World War to the growing nuclear threat. That threat was followed by the emergence of Peace Studies within academia, undertaken by those who saw the need for research into what militated against peace and what would be conducive to it, and for disseminating their findings through educational processes.

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It is necessary for a prince

wishing to hold his own

to know how to do wrong,

and to make use of it or not

according to necessity.

Niccolo Machiavelli 1532,

The Prince, Chapter 15.

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We must divide all the children of Adam into two classes; the first belong to the kingdom of God, the second to the kingdom of the world.

The Gospel teaches, governs, and contains God’s kingdom.. These people need no secular sword or law.

All who are not Christians belong to the kingdom of the world and are under the law. God has provided for non-Christians a different government and has subjected. them to the sword, so that they cannot practise their wickedness, and that, if they do, they may not do it without fear nor in peace and prosperity.

These two kingdoms must be sharply distinguished, and both be permitted to remain. Neither is sufficient in the world without the other.

A true Christian serves the State, which he himself does not need but because others need it. There must be those who arrest, accuse, slay and destroy the wicked, and protect, acquit, defend and save the good.

When a prince is in the wrong are his people bound to follow him…? I answer, No. How is it when the subjects do not know whether the prince is right or not? I answer, as long as they cannot know nor find out by any possible means, they may obey without peril to their souls.

Martin Luther, 1523

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On account of the persistence of war as an institution, as politics by other means, and because of the horrors of modem warfare, early peace research based itself upon the assumption that peace should be narrowly defined as the absence of war. To this was added for later the idea that peace presupposed human rights and the absence of distributive injustice.

These two definitions did not sit comfortably together because it was thought by some researchers that only through organised violence could injustice be effectively combated. Today, peace has more positive connotations as well: the building of a better more humane world respectful of ecological imperatives and needs. Not only is the past dwelt upon in empirical studies of peace and conflict, and the present critically appraised so as to understand the causes of unpeacefulness and to help resolve conflict, but in the interests of peace for the morrow peace strategies are explored as well. (See also Galtung 1985: 153).

Although Peace Studies and the Peace Movement were not the same, there was between them considerable affinity. Following the end of the Cold War between the two superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, interest both in Peace Studies and the Peace Movement waned, on account of the removal of the stimulus to both that the threat of global nuclear holocaust had afforded. However, new causes were soon espoused in addition to many traditional ones. These included the threat of environmental degradation and of growing ethno-cultura1 intolerance. Furthermore, several special-interest lobbies found the Peace Movement a convenient roof under which they could shelter and draw attention to themselves. Thus the Peace Movement, and duly Peace Studies, found many clamouring for recognition as voices of peace, and championing the rights and causes, such as of the feminist movement, the New Age movement, the homosexual lobby, of those who advocated the rights of the unborn, the rights of animals, the right to abortion and the right to euthanasia, to name but some.

Whereas in principle there is no reason why Peace Studies should not address more issues, merely lengthening the list of topics that might be examined is likely to continue to distract Peace Studies from a study it never really undertook.

Peace Studies has yet to clarify what peace is and how best it might be sought; whether it is a goal, a process or both. Further procrastination is likely if the red-herrings afforded by special groups with their own agenda are substituted for the fuller study of peace. On the last point Nigel Young (1981) emphasised the importance of ‘educating the peace educators’, advice worthy of fuller consideration.

THE PEACE OF PEACE STUDIES

Peace, as interpreted by those who study it formally, has many meanings. For present purposes these are categorised below.

State peace:

negative peace type (i)

First, there is the peace acknowledged by the state and the general public: peace born of law and order in the realm; peace as the absence of war between states and of violence within the state or against the government on the part of those living within it. Peace, however, is not the uppermost of the state’s priorities. More important to the state are its own integrity, security and well-being, held to be the national interest. War itself, as demonstrated repeatedly through history, may be engaged in when ‘necessary’: the means of ‘last resort’ not only in the face of aggression by another state, but also for the resolution of seemingly intractable problems or for satisfying needs that other means might take longer to achieve, if at all. Especially noteworthy is the pragmatism and a-morality of the state, which forbids violence and killing by its citizens but condones it and indeed demands it in defence of the national interest.

As a general precept, peace is to be maintained and enhanced through diplomacy, trade, and economic progress. It has to be defended also, by weapons to deter aggression and by arms control to curb arms races which such deterrence might stimulate. Because of the importance to the state of access to goods and services, in countries where the state itself does not monopolise these it is expedient for the state to uphold the interests of those who produce or deliver them. A symbiotic relationship tends to develop between the state and big business. The former endeavours to safeguard and promote the latter through direct or indirect action. In many instances the affinity is more immediate. Members of the government or members of their families are to be often found on the boards or directorates of companies, corporations or large financial institutions. This concept of peace finds acceptance in many academic and applied sciences, such as political, international, strategic and military studies, or where Peace Studies itself is beholden to sponsorship by the state or big-business. Offshoots of this philosophy of peace, in vogue even within Peace Studies conducted in tertiary institutions, include conflict management, conflict limitation, conflict resolution and mediation research: for the necessary and commendable skills to induce contending parties-to talk to one another, often through the offices of a neutral third party, to defuse tension, to duly arrive at a compromise and a settlement of their differences, and thereby to dispense with the ‘need’ for direct violence.

Negative peace type (ii)

Through analysing the world system, those aspects of it which undermine peace and those which are conducive to peace, Peace Studies may question the thinking of the state, of entrepreneurs and fellow-travellers and find these wanting. Through its analysis of peace and through identifying its requisites, Peace Studies points to the need for going beyond the limits of the conventional wisdom, so that peace and what facilitates its realisation may duly supersede whatever works against it

State peace values and strategies are transcended when Peace Studies argues for alternative defence, such as disarmament, transarmament, mutual confidence-building measures and non-military and even non-violent means of defence, culminating in the abolition of war itself (Sharp 1987, Summy 1987, Martin 1987, Jones 1989).

Where there is insistence on this elementary transcendence, Peace Studies risks incurring the suspicion and opprobrium of the state and of those who believe that in military methods and organised violence lie the ultimate source of power to defend, protect, safeguard and recover that which is worthy, even the very things of God.

Oppositional peace 

Transcendent thinking is heightened when it is recognised that the abolition of international war is no guarantee of peace: that the deeper-seated causes of unpeacefulness must be addressed as well. These are regarded as stemming from the silent violence and oppression perpetuated by the privileged and the powerful upon the underprivileged and the weak, through systems of social, economic and political organisation and control (Galtung 1971, Wallerstein 1980, Taylor 1985, Thrift 1989).

Such indirect violence, which marginalises, impoverishes and eventually kills, usually from a distance, through deprivation of basic requirements of life, needs to be recognized, confronted and eliminated along with direct violence, argue exponents of oppositional peace, if meaningful peace is to be achieved between and within nations.

Insistence that there can be no peace worthy of the name without transcending indirect violence encounters resistance from the state and from those committed to maintaining the status quo. It comes also from those peace researchers who prefer to concentrate on peace as the absence of war (e.g. Boulding 1978).

In the contestation of indirect violence not all agree over how to do so. Some argue according to the logic of Karl Marx, which subsumes the logic of the state, that in pursuing desired ends whatever means are necessary may be adopted. They point out that both Prince and Merchant form a resolute and unyielding duo in the defence of sectoral wealth, power and privilege, and can only be overthrown by force. Yet others declare that where the yoke of oppression cannot be cast aside by other means the Just War clause of last resort might be invoked to justify recourse to direct violence. However, there exists also a class of peace researchers and educators who maintain that violence of any kind begets further violence, and warn that exchanging tyrannies is not the way to peace. These advocate nonviolent methods for overcoming oppression and injustice.

Positive Peace 

Positive Peace constitutes the topmost of the tiers familiar to Peace Studies. It is usually seen as resting on the second (peace through opposing the status quo) upon which it builds towards humane development, liberation and fulfillment. It is sometimes placed directly upon the bottom tier (peace as the absence of war) by those who wish to by-pass some of the more confrontational aspects of the second tier, in the hope that the problems which the struggle against injustice and oppression would radically deal with would duly dissolve in the harmonious milieu of positive peace. For not only is war rejected as an instrument of policy for peace and deliverance from oppression and injustice and the structures of violence that support them rejected also, but peace-making is accepted as a positive dynamic. It is the building of a better world: the fruit of education for peace of justice, respect for human rights and human dignity, respect for the environment, and the quest for development that is humane and ecologically sustainable, a development that is qualitative rather than quantitative. The debate here is over what constitutes humane development, and how to achieve it.

QUESTIONING THE STUDY OF PEACE

Peace studies originated as a western academic reaction to problems generated largely by the west and by those who take their cue from the west. Western values permeate Peace Studies, as do Western ways of thinking, seeing and doing. Emphasis is on problem-solving and the pragmatic attainment of goals. There is considerable appreciation, indeed exhaustive analysis of conflicts and of the signs and the consequences of unpeacefulness at meso (medium) and macro scales of societal being. There is awareness of much of what Peace Studies should help lead away from (educo). There is less confidence over what such studies should lead to (ad-duco), excepting that it should be to peace, and if possible, in peace.

However, in an age when the world is increasingly seen as a single system, where everything is related to and has an effect either directly or indirectly upon everything else, there is increasing acknowledgement of the idea that peace is indivisible, a seamless garment. This points to the need for a genuinely holistic approach to the subject, which would only be possible if peace researchers and educators are liberated from cultural shackles which constrain them, but of which many are oblivious.

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A Question of Excellence

If international behaviour is often hypocritical, and standards of public morality are low, if there is inconsistency in respect for principle and for law, if people are treated as no more than pawns in the struggle for wealth and power, if violence and war continue to be used as the handmaid and extension of politics by other means, it needs to be recognised that responsibility rests squarely with those nations which (have) set themselves up and masquerade(d) as models of excellence.

Excellence in the art of getting their way, by hook or by crook. Excellence in the skills of neo-colonialism. Excellence in military technology and its application. Excellence in humbug, in turning a blind eye or pretending not to notice, depending on their interests. Excellence in the ways of using others and discarding them once their usefulness is over. Excellence in the methods of propaganda, mis-information, disinformation and suppression of the truth. Excellence in converting military technology and weapons, including obsolescent ones, into profit, selling to whoever is prepared to pay the price and no questions asked. Excellence in the deception of posing as paragons of integrity worthy of emulation, and thereby infecting those who take their cue from them with their own myopia and amorality. Excellence in creating idols and in contriving to make that which is holy pay homage to them.

To challenge and change the status quo, not to serve it, to discover the basis of a new moral order and make known the paths to a peace that is just and authentic, constitute the fundamental duty of education.

Is this what we are about in this land of the Southern Cross? Is this what we are about?

B.S.

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In the study of peace there is the tendency to compartmentalise and examine or seek peace at one level or another. Such separation may be convenient for academic or political purposes. It would be more realistic is to accept that peace is indivisible. What goes on at one scale affects what happens at others.

One such limiting factor is the commitment on the part of Peace Studies to search conducted in the secular mode: so very noticeable in the academic journals on peace. Little heed is paid to the lessons of metaphysics, theology and religion on peace, and a vast body of literature and thought on the subject is left untapped or barely so, an attitude quite inconsistent with the holistic ideal which abhors fences and fragmentation. There appears to be subscription to the notion that metaphysics, theology and religion afford insights that are less amenable to proof in terms of the revered methods of the social sciences, and that as such they are perhaps removed from realpolitik, practicality and even credibility.

This is in part attributable to the academic training of peace researchers and educators, in which reason and the scientific method and its social-science variant have long been upheld as the appropriate and reliable means of seeking objective truth and achieving credibility in intellectual circles. This tradition, which claims to be ‘value-free’ rejects as subjective, untestable and therefore unreliable or invalid, those activities of the brain thought to be associated with right-lobe functions: intuition, feeling, spiritual and mystical cognisance, the sense of compassion, mercy, justice and the like (Swan 1990). Apart from the fact that the so-called ‘cerebral’ approach which accepts mind knowledge but not heart knowledge as a means of understanding reality is at best only quasi-cerebral, it is neither holistic nor value free for it supports a hidden agenda.

Similarly, data, phenomena and other evidence that cannot be replicated or analysed and tested by the twin probes of science and reason (Laurentin & Joyeux 1987, McKenna 1987: 27, Martins 1989, Medical Bureau Lourdes 1990) often tend to be rejected or overlooked. This is not because such data are false or spurious as such, but because neither the scientific method nor reason are capable of dealing with them. Curiously, there is failure to recognise or admit that such practices and approaches to learning themselves constitute a rejection of both fact and logic. Even where scientific observation demonstrates the fact of the inexplicable, or of the miraculous, many who regard themselves as scientists or realists pretend not to notice or consign such evidence to black-boxes, clinging to a more traditional ‘scientific’ vision of reality.

This too is changing as growing numbers of scientists see religion and science converging (Franklin 1987, 1986, Fox & Swimme 1982, de Chardin 1950). Some admit that behind the logic and the mathematical perfection of the universe there is a law and a genius that is not self-explanatory (Davies 1990). Furthermore, despite its normative emphases, peace studies tends to positivism, in that peace is regarded as a goal to be achieved through analysis, appropriate methodology, effort and perseverance, with peace itself construed in social, economic and political terms. There is occasional reference to and commendation of spiritual values, but these are seen primarily as aids to empowerment and the attainment of objectives, rather than as themselves worthy of fuller investigation and adoption in relation to peace.

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LEGACY OF THE SCIENTIST -RATIONALIST TRADITION

(a la Newton and the Enlightenment)

*Belief that the wholes either the sum of some parts, or no more than the sum of its parts.

*Such vision has begotten a mechanistic, utilitarian outlook which is also reductionist

*The universe, the world and the human are no more than complex machines which mathematics, science and the appropriate technology will explain and help to control and manipulate

*The mentality fostered makes for fragmentation both without and within

*There are no fundamental values, only laws which govern the behaviour of structures, components and processes

*There is no consistency in principles or in the ethic of life, only pragmatism and ‘ad hoc-ery’.

*Education is regarded almost exclusively as a function of the intellect

* Experiential, heart-based learning is devalued or ignored.

*The Yin is isolated from the Yang, there are notes but no music, there are words but no poetry, there are facts but no mystery

*There is brilliance, but is there wisdom?

(’tis all in peeces, all coherence gone’  (John Donne)

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TOWARDS BALANCED ENQUIRY

Peace researchers and educators espouse certain values which are seeds of potential transformation,for widening and deepening the subject. Some emphasise the desirability of ‘heart-based’ learning (experiential and normative) to complement purely cerebral knowledge, and maintain that in order to balance learning and knowing and render these more fully human, left-lobe and right-lobe functions of the brain should both be exercised and respected by academics and realists.

They believe that without sacrificing the obligation to think rationally and logically, it should be accepted that in the study of peace both mind and heart must have a place, that with this should come the admission that knowledge based on scientific and rational means alone is incomplete and therefore partially true at best.

A co-idea emphasises the importance of holistic search if peace is to be better understood. This too calls to question the capability and adequacy of positivist-reductionist methods of seeking truth and generating light about peace. It also challenges the peace researcher to ask how holistic the holism espoused in the process really is. This is because holism is sometimes seen as no more than the enlarging of the existing canvas, encompassing more, but strictly along the same plane. Fuller holism includes the discovery and exploration of new dimensions or other planes and the integration of these meaningfully. Holistic thinking goes further to recognise that Peace Studies should not function merely as a lens through which the world ‘out there’ is to be examined and found wanting, but also as a mirror, which signals the need for self-appraisal and for fuller conversion and maturity on the part of all who would speak for peace.

None of this exempts the student of peace from rational thought. Rather, it demands honest and deep commitment to it. However, holistic search demonstrates that reason itself has limits, carrying the searcher to the threshold of greater knowing and urging that this be crossed for the sake of that knowledge and truth. The realm beyond is of faith, revelation and religion (Panikkar 1968: 92-98).

Choices

Although negative, oppositional and positive peace are the principal categories recognised in Peace Studies, with ecopeace (greenpeace) impinging upon all three, the entire subject of peace may be approached in either of two ways. One is pragmatic. The other is principled and explicitly or implicitly religious. In the first instance, peace, however construed, is a goal which clear analysis and understanding and appropriate strategies could lead to. The prime need is to get suitable policies in place, envisage alternative scenarios and have contingency plans ready in the event of the unexpected occurring. In this endeavour, reality, the empirical world is seen not as an absolute to be accounted for but one among several worlds, which might become our tomorrow depending on the choices we make today. To the peace researcher the future could be one of many possibilities: the outcome of inertia: the outcome of positivism which attempts to mould the future, or the outcome of inexorable determinism. There is belief also that peace education itself could have a decisive, beneficial impact on the future.

On the other hand there is the religious alternative, which to many is more hopeful and empowering. Here the future may be regarded as the function of the time ahead, of present action and inaction, the legacy of the past and the hand of Divine Providence (Swan 1992). Some difficulty in accepting the notion of Providence may be experienced by those steeped in secular intellectualism and in the worlds of commercialism and advanced technologic discovery. Among them confidence in human ability to be the effective arbiter of its destiny is matched only by despair over the futility of such an enormous enterprise as the quest for peace on earth.

PEACE AND RELIGION

Discussion of the relevance of religion to peace raises the question as to what religion is. At one level it could be regarded as that which leads to an experiential encounter with the mystical, where the term mystical is construed as that which evokes devotion, that which is profoundly moving and re-vitalising.

Quasi-religion is rooted in nature or the human spirit “Religious” experience and fervour could be generated through a social encounter, a political speech, a sporting event, a panorama, an opera or music, a humanitarian action. It might even be induced chemically or sexually. At this level virtually anything could become the object of adulation or the catalyst in the experience. The encounter may be moving but does not necessarily effect commitment or change on the part of the ‘worshipper’. On the other hand it may result in this, even leading to political or social altruism. It could work on or draw upon the best in human nature with ‘faith’ expressed in life and deed.

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Possibilities for Peace through the Secular Mode 

A. School of high hopes 

The human : its own light, semi-divine

: can solve its problems

: can build peace

Requisites : ideals, vision, goals, strategies, effort

Peace is possible

B. School of despondency 

The human

: weak, foolish, flawed

: selfish, aggressive

: a crisis animal, reacts to short-term problems rather than long-term needs

: impaled upon its weaknesses

: dependent on weapons, including cyber war

Requisites: 

: diplomacy

: disaster and crisis management,

: conflict management,

: conflict resolution if possible.

Peace is utopian, an unrealistic ideal.

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Religion may also be seen as “… a social and individual relationship, vitally realized in a tradition and community, with something that transcends or encompasses man and his world, with something always to be understood as the utterly final true reality (the Absolute, God, Nirvana) …religion is concerned at once with a message of salvation and the way to salvation” (Küng 1987). In this case the something that transcends or encompasses man and his world may be a philosophy, a moral code, the response to which results in self-change, the burgeoning of virtue and selflessness: the way of Tao and of Buddhism. Or, that which is seen to transcend or encompass man and his world may be identified in ecological or cosmic terms rooted in nature or universal energy and universal relationships, then ‘deified’ in a Gaia sense, where the principles and precepts, the language and the deity are humanly derived and constructed. Yet others cross the threshold of faith to enter a realm of reality and possibility where the human engages in a relationship with Some One: a dynamic that is consuming, sustaining, exhilarating, inspiring, worshipful, reverent, prayerful, reconciling, healing, loving, trusting and empowering. For those who take religion seriously, peace becomes increasingly a journey rather than a destination, a concomitant of a process that must be enjoined for an even greater reason.

Expediency and the primacy of achieving goals are rejected. The quest for peace is integrated into the quest for integrity, honesty and truth . However, where religion does not include God or the supernatural but emphasises principles, a moral code or ethic, inconsistencies and contradictions may arise.

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It is He who gave me true knowledge

Of the forces of nature,

What the world is made of,

How the elements behave,

How the calendar is determined

By the movements of the sun,

The changing seasons,

The constellations,

And the cycles of the years.

He has taught me

About the nature of living creatures,

The behaviour of wild animals,

The force of the winds,

The reasoning power of human beings,

The different kinds of plants

And the use of their roots in medicines.

I learned things that were well-known,

And things that had never been known before.

People look at the good things around them

And still fail to see the living God

They study the things he has made,

But they do not recognise

The one who made-them.

(The Wisdom of Solomon

Ch.7:17-21;13:1 )

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MATTERS OF MORALITY

Unpeacefulness signals that all is not well with the human condition, that something better is necessary. What that something is requires the exercise of moral judgment which assumes a moral sense and ability to distinguish between justice and injustice, honesty and deceit, right and wrong, good and evil. There is required on the part of the peace researcher and educator continual moral evaluation of situations and actions and options for tomorrow. This poses a question often left unanswered. It is whether morality is relative and grounded in expediency and appropriateness to situations, or whether in its application there should be consistency.

This begets another question which asks whether an exclusively secular view of the world can accommodate or generate a moral sense that is anything other than relative and reflecting only the mores and cultures of the times. For example, among those who educate for peace are persons who hold life sacred and would not belittle or destroy it: Ahimsa, There are others who say ‘Peace’, but who would limit their call for Ahimsa to the middle of the spectrum of human life, insisting on the right to practise Himsa at one or both ends of that spectrum.

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The world is built for truth.

Gospel of the Buddha:

The Purpose of Being: 19

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I am the way

The truth

And the Life.

John 14:6

Conversely, yet others who speak in the name of morality and insist on Ahimsa, decrying abortion and euthanasia, admit of exceptions to their rules regarding the sanctity of life, in the face of possible threats to national or group security and well-being.

This raises the question as to whether there could be any morality, other than that which is relative and socially engineered, if the human were no more than a chance phenomenon destined for oblivion, and whose material substance would be duly recycled through the ecosystem. Were that the case, the honestly secular rational view should be that human morals are illusory, though perhaps useful social constructs, and that there is no call for moral indignation in the event of the recycling process alluded to above being expedited through acts of volition, violence or neglect: these may be uncomfortable for the recipients but would be neither right nor wrong of themselves. It is just difficult to discover logic or internal consistency in the notion of morals without religion as in that of religion without morals.

It is here held that moral sense would only have validity if there is a spiritual principle in the human, a principle that transcends the limitations of recyclable matter: one which is nonmaterial and therefore not subject to the consequences of bodily death and breakdown. Moreover, morality implies not an inanimate something or a value which is impugned and insulted through non-moral behaviour, but Some One, exterior to and beyond the human and to whom the human is accountable. Accountability and its consequential implications cannot be with reference to an automaton, a force or an abstraction, but to Who Is.

Moral Violence 

In this context, violence and non-violence too acquire new meaning. Firstly, the notion of violence may be expanded. Johan Galtung along with-many others has stated that the opposite of peace is violence.

In his (1990) paper on ‘Cultural Violence’ he refers to the violence triangle which consists of direct violence, structural violence and cultural violence. The first is overt. The second institutionalises indirect violence, which thus becomes intrinsic to the socio-economic and political system. The third colours the values of people rendering the other types of violence morally justifiable, or at least morally neutral.

However, there needs to be recognised a fourth category of violence which underlies other classes of violence, making the violence triangle a violence tetrahedron. This is moral violence, the ethic of ethical inconsistency. It is violence that originates in the belief that the human is its own point of reference and the sole arbiter and judge of what is right and wrong, reducing morality to personal or social preference and need. Morality is then seen as relative. Moral violence manipulates and neutralises notions of right and wrong or changes their moral colour, as is the case with Galtung’s cultural violence. It goes further, becoming the subterfuge which substitutes, often in the name of expediency and even of good, the spurious for the genuine, the inferior for the superior, the shadow for the substance, the creature for the Creator. Moral violence confuses and culminates in societies where the blind lead the blind. By so doing, it militates against peace, for it may infect and indeed poison nations, societies, organisations, groups and individuals, whether secular or religious, and even those who would speak for peace (Swan 1992b ).

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To the evil-doer

Wrong appears sweet as honey;

He looks upon it as pleasant

As long as it bears no fruit;

But when its fruit ripens,

He looks upon it as wrong.

The Dhammapada: 24

——————————Duality in Nonviolence

Non-violence is coming to be increasingly seen as the more constructive and civilized way of dealing with a range of problems where there are conflicting interests and positions (Smoker et alia 1990; Fahey & Armstrong 1987). However the question, as to how nonviolent non-violence is, was raised by Ostergaard (1977) who saw non-violence as dualistic.

On the one hand non-violence may be employed as a technique to obtain compliance with one’s will. The method may be suasion, which changes the other’s viewpoint, or coercion short of recourse to physical injury or threat of injury, to force the other into submission. Nonviolence in such contexts may be adopted because the user is weak and dare not adopt violent strategies against the strong, because they would probably redound on the user. The rationale behind such non-violence is essentially utilitarian.

On the other hand there is principled non-violence, which is practised with rather than against an opponent, in the hope of achieving not just a specified goal but also higher truth, mutual growth and conversion for all parties to the encounter. Principled non-violence is humble, courageous and merciful, equates means with ends, indeed values means more than ends and is seen not in strategic terms but as a way of life to be practised consistently, and if necessary, unilaterally. Its essence is in the recognition of the inviolable dignity of the other, always cognisant of the divine in the other, however hidden and suppressed; of the other as a child of God, and capable of changing to someone better. There is also willingness to risk suffering and apparent failure in being faithful to the quest for truth and justice. Taught and lived by Jesus, the Christ, and more recently by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, principled non-violence is founded in religious belief and sustained by openness to God’s grace, although many who admire such non-violence attempt to adopt its methods and techniques, but by-pass the underlying spirituality and faith in God.

Quasi Ghandian Peace

Mahatma Gandhi, in the 20th century, achieved the wedding of faith and principle to politics, because they were inseparable in his holistic thinking and living. As mentioned above, many who admired his methods, recognised, but did not accept or subscribe to the faith-content that gave rise to them. For purposes of the present discussion, the diminished vision of his peace, as a process based on truth, non-violence and self-suffering, with an implicit but largely disregarded basis of religious faith, is alluded to as Quasi-Gandhian, rather than Gandhian.

The conclusion reached in this discussion is that if it is admitted that there are moral and spiritual dimensions to the human and also to peace, ignoring or glossing over these in the study of peace would be irresponsible. To admit of these is to recognise that the study of peace necessarily requires entry into the realm of religion, belief and action.

TOWARDS CHRISTIC PEACE

Of those who regard peace as a supreme human value, some have no particular belief either in the supernatural or in an after-life, and may even be skeptical about religion. Others believe that both in the now and in life after death, and take religion seriously. Both groups subscribe to ideals and values that are grounded in religious faith. Both groups see in religious values and ideals principled and humane means for political struggle and for the resolution of conflict and extol these. Their inspiration comes from people of faith who confronted imperialism, oppression and injustice without compromising their integrity and their religion. Non-violence and commitment to truth are the fundamental values embraced, and with them concomitant virtues, such as readiness to engage in dialogue with and to forgive adversaries, and courage and willingness to suffer in the cause of right.

There is, however, a difference in the concept of peace where religious belief is explicit, where faith is not in principle, ethic or idea but is a relationship, a total trusting commitment to Some One, an unequivocal ‘Yes’ to God: peace consists in the individual and society becoming that assent which places God above and before all else. This is here termed Christic Peace, because it was wholly and perfectly exemplified in the life, death, person and teaching of Jesus Christ and so patently in the lived fiat of Mary his mother.

—————————–

The Lord, and the Lord alone

Is our God.

Love the Lord your God

With all your heart

With all your soul

and with all your strength.

Deuteronomy 6: 4-6

—————————————–

It is also the quintessence of theistic scriptures and is paralleled in its ideals in the Dhammapada of Buddhism. The term Christic is not to be confused with the term Christian, because the peace that Christians conceive of may have many meanings, often culturally tempered, and sometimes far removed from the Christic concept as such. This perspective brings with it the realisation that the opposite of peace is not so much war or violence, which are only symptoms of a deeper disorder. The opposite is sin, personal and social, the outcome of the conscious or unwitting ‘no’ to God, and ‘yes’ to someone or something else. The term sin itself is unpalatable and not used in academic discussion.

Sin, in the present context, is where primacy is accorded the created (usually self, in either its personal or collective guise) instead of the Creator, an option commonly exercised in the quest of what is perceived to be ‘good’ rather than a perverse preference for evil as such. It may be the result of pseudo innocence or of the stunting caused by the human refusal to seek, to learn, to change and to grow. Christic peace is through entry into the dynamic partnership and co-operation with God to which all are invited. The expression of that peace is ‘Shalom’: holistic peace which includes health, healing transformations and relations where micro-peace begets macro-peace and macro-peace supports micro-peace. It is not peace as the ‘world’ (that which claims to be without any need of God) gives, but richer and more comprehensive. Christic Peace bestows what other types of peace cannot. Not only does it liberate (starting from within) from all that enslaves and dehumanises, but it vests even the darkest darkness with light, bringing hope and meaning to areas and situations that often occasion bitterness, despair or hurt silence, as where there is pain and suffering, privation, neglect, abandonment, failure and death. It brings vision, expectancy, strength, endurance and courage. It shuns all retaliation and recourse to strategies of power. Instead, it offers forgiveness, love, even unilateral love of enemy, and through these, healing and healed relationships. Its fruits are integrity, wholeness and holiness, which displace inner discord and fragmentation, dishonesty, dualisms and compromises with whatever is false.

———————–

Obstinate are the trammels,

But my heart aches

When I try to break them.

Freedom is all I want …

I am certain that

Priceless wealth is in Thee

And that Thou art my best friend,

But I have not the heart

To sweep away the tinsel

That fills my room.

Rabindranath Tagore, 1913: Gitanjali: 2

————————-

Peace on earth is seen as contingent upon the individual and society moving from ‘No’ towards ‘Yes’ to God. Through openness to God, through placing God above and before all else, comes peace, the concomitant of such dynamic surrender and partnership. Through this all other aspects of peace search are rediscovered. Commitment to them is renewed. In this context, peace is not a goal, it is a process, intelligence, fitness, organisational skills, strategies and general capability of recipients, but in their willingness to act rather than to react; to seek integrity through acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with their God.

Christic peace flows-from belief and trust in God. The world is seen as good, God-given, not made in vain, but to be lived in. It is the divine milieu, where our humanity is to mature and find full and authentic expression.

———————–

Peace is not a flower that springs

Spontaneously from our dry earth …

Peace is the fruit of a moral

Transformation of mankind.

It demands a cultivation that is

Conceptual, ethical, psychological,

Pedagogical and juridical.

There is no improvising a true peace…

Peace must be human…

Peace is slow,

precisely because it presumes

a spiritual evolution,

a higher education,

a new vision of human history.

Peace demands … also

a change of heart.

Pope Paul VI

—————–

To those who seek Christic Peace, God is their saviour, their destiny and their prize. There is neither feverish desire nor need to taste as many of the world’s apparent delights as possible, lest something slips past and is missed. Their confidence flies in the face of ‘only-this-worldliness. Christic Peace is possible, because it is not self-generated. It is a gift from God, offered freely to individuals and societies, regardless of race, colour, creed or status, who would welcome it and live accordingly inspired, upheld and transformed by the prayer of mind, of heart and of life. As such, its potential for renewal lies not in the intelligence, fitness, organisational skills, strategies and general capability of recipients, but in their willingness to act rather than to react; to seek integrity through acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with their God.

The way of Christic Peace exacts a price: the cross of selflessness, of self-giving which seeks no reward other than loving God and doing God’s will. From this flow empowerment and dedication to peace. Clearly, this is the realm of grace.

Break through

Your shell of selfishness.

If you do not know yourself,

You will never know others.

Selfishness

Is the deepest root

Of all unhappiness:

Your own

And that of the whole world.

It feeds an insatiable hunger,

That first eats up

everything belonging to others,

and then causes a creature

to devour itself.

Dom Helder Camara, 1984:5

———————————

CONCOMITANTS

Christic Peace and paths to it illumine and increasingly call to peace at all other levels. It invites to peace and salutes the divine in all people, especially those of goodwill. It renders explicit the idea that truth as an abstract concept and non-violence as a virtue make sense only where there is acknowledgement of a Supreme Reality and the spiritual principle in the human. The contribution to positive peace is, inter alia, the Christic enrichment of the principles for humane development. The intrinsic dignity of men and women is underlined. Each human being is seen as a child of God, hence the validity of notions of a human family, each member of which is vested with inviolable dignity and inalienable rights, including the right to life from its inception to its natural termination. It is recognised also that the human is the fruit of billions of years of cosmic evolution, that being in whom earth and universe attain reflexive consciousness, the only known being on earth and of the cosmos able to reflect upon the abstract and the non-material, per se .

Christic vision sees human dignity compromised and sullied and people re-ified wherever governments, commerce, industry, research bodies and people’s organisations define progress and development primarily in quantitative, materialistic, technological, consumerist and temporal terms; wherever goods and services, and hedonism and licence are offered as the substance of happiness and freedom. The Christic peace paradigm rejects such interpretations of development, pointing out that these dazzle, disorient and de-humanise as they become false gods, set up by the values of the day, gods which people are urged to venerate, serve and defend. It recognises that it is more important for people to be more rather than to have more. It also perceives that men and women need to mature and grow in order to receive and make use of goods and services, if they are not to be overwhelmed by them; that the problems of providing and distributing goods and services is secondary to the problem of preparing people for them: a matter ignored by most purveyors of ‘development’. The paradigm emphasises essential development needs, enhancement goods of a qualitative and spiritual order, and the need for personal and collective integrity through commitment to a consistent ethic of life, in the place of double standards and pragmatism, as the sine qua non of development. Development becomes the forging of new values and new civilisations in settings where most existing institutions tend to stultify the human potential, or reduce it to solely temporal or selfish terms (Lebret in Goulet 1974.)

—————————

Intelligence without love can only breed

A brutalising technocracy which crushes people,

Whereas love without disciplined intelligence is inefficient,

Leading to amateurism, well-intentioned bungling,

And ultimately catastrophe …

Chronic structural evils cannot be corrected

By subjective goodwill, but only by a

Concerted transformation of structures…

L.J. Lebret

————————————

For those who concentrate on oppositional peace, the confrontation of injustice and inequity, Christic Peace challenges all selfishness and greed that seeks well-being and prosperity at the expense of others (Australian Bishops, 1992). There is no hesitation to proclaim that no one, no country, is entitled to keep for its exclusive use what is not needed, when others lack necessities. Not only should  the superfluous wealth of rich countries be placed at the service of poor nations, but no country may claim to keep its wealth for itself alone (Window 18). eace, justice and development are seen as an indivisible trinity, which demands radical innovations and transformations. Yet, when justice is defined in Christic terms, it is neither purely legalistic nor in terms of distributive economics alone.While justice is the rejection of exploitation and imperialisms of all kinds, it is inseparable from love, mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation. A Christic theology of liberation seeks not only the liberation of the materially poor and the socio-politically downtrodden (Balasuriya 1989), but also liberation from the multitude of poverties that keep people in chains, including those of their own making. The good news is for all the poor, for it offers deliverance from the poverty of affluence and for those afflicted by insidious bankruptcies of the spirit. The emphasis is on depassement: the ability, through trust in the power of God’sgrace, for individual and collectivity to rise above their limitations. For those who address issues of war, defenceand direct violence for the sake of peace, Christic vision calls away from casuistry, retaliation and the use of power, pressure and force, even in the name of good. Even more, it teaches the unity of life; that ends and the means adopted for their attainment should be consistent. Christic peace beckons beyond minimalist notions of and piece-meal approaches to peace. It invites beyond de facto despair to hope and expectancy, for in it there is no place for the half-heartedness that accepts peace only as an eschatological possibility, and which therefore exonerates ‘believers’ from the duty to work unremittingly for peace on earth, here and now. Nor is there room for the de facto atheism that is comfortable with the ‘faith’ that makes God redundant by accepting that God is God only of the possible; or for the agnosticism which holds that even if God exists he is not interested; or for the dualism of privatised religion which encourages worship of God at one level of being, while at another condones the substitution of Caesar, self or Mammon for God.

————————–

The world is given to all,

Not only to the rich …

Private property does not constitute for anyone

An absolute and unconditional right …

The right to private property

Must never be exercised

To the detriment of the common good.

No country can claim …

To keep its wealth

For itself alone.

Paul VI, 1967:

Encyclical, Populorum Progressio: 23, 48

———————-

God destined the earth

And all it contains

For the use of every individual

And all peoples.

Vatican II: Gaudium et Spes: 69, 1965

The new hermeneutic

Inherent in ‘theologies of liberation’

Leads to an essentially political

Re-reading of the Scriptures …

The mistake here is not in bringing attention

To a political dimension

Of the readings of Scripture,

But in making of this one dimension

The principal or exclusive component

This leads to a reductionist reading

of the Bible.

Likewise, one places oneself

within the perspective o a temporal messianism,

which is one of the most radical

of the expressions

of secularisation of the Kingdom of God

and of its absorption

into the immanence of human history.

Ratzinger and Bovone 1984 :10-5 & 6.

————————–

Christic peace is founded in respect for people, for life and for planet, because, as the Book of Genesis asserts, ‘God saw all that he had made, and indeed it was very good’. The same book also makes it clear that the human was required to take care of what God had entrusted to him, but that in going deliberately against the Creator’s plan, by opting for self-interest instead, alienation and disorientation resulted, within the human, between human beings and between humankind and nature. Not only are the consequences of human delinquency with regard to the stewardship to be exercised over the earth abundantly evident, but the disorder within infects all other relationships. As long as selfishness dominates personal or collective practice, as long as the human is not at peace with God, the earth itself cannot be at peace. Its abuse will continue.

As the prophet Hosea observes, “…there is no fidelity, no tenderness, no knowledge of God in the country, only perjury and lies, slaughter, theft, adultery and violence, murder after murder, That is why the country is in mourning, and all who live in it pine away, even the wild animals and the birds of heaven; the fish of the sea themselves are perishing.”

————————

You love everything that exists.

You do not despise anything

That you have made.

You love every living thing.

Wisdom of Solomon 11: 24,26

———————-

All this signals that wise, responsible stewardship over nature is a condition for reconciliation between human society and God. It widens the notion of environment, to include not merely the physical, natural environment, but also the hearts and minds of people, themselves under threat of pollution, a contamination within that would inevitably result in a harvest of bitter fruit. It implies also that people have an active and positive role to play, invited as they are to seek and work in every possible way in co-operation with God, so that “Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. The tenor of the scriptures is that this can only come about through sacrifice, the acceptance of God’s grace for the sake of peace and the institution of a new heaven and a new earth.

CONCLUSION

Although it sometimes seems so in the literature, Peace Studies is not the same as contemporary politics, international studies, conflict studies or development studies. It includes aspects of these but is more. For long, peace studies was pre-occupied with the ‘e-duco’ aspect of peace education: to ‘lead away’ from war, violence and destructive conflict: peace ‘sensu constricto’. It has to explore more fully the ‘ad-duco’ aspects of peace education that ‘lead towards’ peace. During the height of the nuclear threat to humankind, peace-researchers advised proponents of nuclear deterrence to get away from the thinking that maintained “If you want peace, prepare for war” and to shift instead to the idea that “If you want peace, prepare for peace”.

————————–

The ultimate weakness of violence

Is that it is a descending spiral,

Begetting the very thing

It seeks to destroy.

Instead of diminishing evil,

It multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar

but you cannot murder the lie,

nor establish the truth.

Through violence you murder the hater,

but you do not murder hate.

In fact, violence merely increases hate…

Returning violence for violence

multiplies violence,

adding deeper darkness

to a night already devoid of stars.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness.

Only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate:

Only love can do that.

Martin Luther King.

————————

If this commendable advice is taken seriously by those who seek peace today, it would impel them to carry the search further, even to the highest levels of transcendence. For, increasing numbers are beginning to realise that peace not only demands passage from the modern, which seeks answers in commerce and technology, to the post-modern green alternative, but even more important from the secular to the post-secular. Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount is seen, more and more, by visionary activists such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, as the source of the soundest constructive political realism for the world beyond 2000 (Alt 1985).

Peace is a process to be enjoined at all levels of societal being. To do less would be to indulge in make-believe. ‘Peace’ would be still-born. The process needs to be internalised, so that it may be externalised honestly and credibly. This is an exercise in lived faith, inspired and nourished by the grace of God, whether one is a theist or not, not an exercise in pragmatism or political acumen.

————————————–

He always had

The nature of God ..

Of his own free will …

He gave up all he had

and took the nature

Of a servant …

He was humble

And walked the path of obedience’

All the way to death,

Death on the cross.

Philippians 2: 5,7,8

————————————

Christic peace integrates and enriches the quest for peace at all levels of being. This is because it maintains that interconnectedness, interaction and interdependence are fundamental to life of peace, whether visible or invisible. It holds that all being originated in and is held together by God, and that God is ever with, hears the cries and supplies the needs of his people. It is for people to grow aware of and to respond to the gifts and grace freely and continually offered to them.

Christic peace is the totally reasonable act of faith which is absolute, beyond all human calculations, which empowers and thereby gives ground for rational hope for peace on earth, drawing attention not only to symptoms of unpeacefulness but to their underlying causes. Above all, it maps peace in its fullness, in the way of peace

————————–

Even though the fig does not blossom,

Nor fruit grow on the vine;

Even though the olive crop fail

And fields yield no harvest;

Even though flocks vanish from the folds

And stalls stand empty of cattle;

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord

And exult in God my saviour.

The Lord my God is my strength.

He makes me leap like the deer.

He guides me to the high places.

Habakuk 3: 17-19

———————-

That I want Thee, only Thee,

Let my heart repeat without end …

As the night keeps hidden in its gloom

The petition for light,

Even thus in the depths of my unconsciousness

Rings the cry:

“l want Thee, only Thee.”

As the storm

Still seeks its end in peace,

When it strikes against peace

With all its might, –

Even thus my rebellion

Strikes against Thy love,

And still its cry is

“I want Thee, only Thee.”

Rabindranath Tagore, 1913

Gitanjali: 38

———————–

APPENDIX

Christic Peace  (a Biblical meditation)

God has called us

To a life of peace.

1 Corinthians 7:15

The Lord says,

“The plans I have for you

Are peace, not disaster.”

Jeremiah29:11

“I offer peace to all,

Both near and far.”

Isaiah 57:19

“l myself will teach your people

And give them prosperity and peace.”

Isaiah 54:13

“This is my beloved Son

With whom I am well pleased;

Listen to him.”

Matthew 17:5

Jesus said,

“The Father and I are one.

John 10:30

“Whoever sees me

Sees the Father”.

John 14:9

“I am the light of the world.

Whoever follows me

Will have the light of life,

And will never walk in darkness.”

John 8:12

“I am the way, the truth

And the life.”

John 14:6

“Peace I leave with you;

My peace I give to you;

Not as the world gives

Do I give to you”.

John 14:27

“Love the Lord your God

With all your heart,

With all your soul,

With all your mind

And with all your strength.”

Mark 12:30

“Love your neighbour as yourself’

Matthew 22:39

“I love you

Just as the Father loves me.”

John 15:9

“Love one another

Just as I love you.”

John 15:12

“I say to you who hear me:

Luke 6:27

“Forgive…from your heart”.

Matthew 18:35

“Love your enemies.

Pray for those who persecute you.

Do good to those who hate you.”

Luke 6:27

“Be merciful,

Just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:36

——————————

The Lord calls all to Peace through Peace

“My thoughts”, says the Lord,

“Are not like yours,

And my ways are different from yours.”

Isaiah 55:8

“All you that have reverence for the Lord,

And obey the words of his servant,

The path you walk may be dark indeed,

But trust in the Lord,

Rely on your God.”

Isaiah 50:10

“Come back to me.

I am the one who saves you.

I alone am the Lord.

The only one who can save you.”

Isaiah 43:11

“Peace I leave with you;

My peace I give to you;

Not as the world gives

Do I give to you.”

John 14:27

“Do not be afraid;

I will save you.

I have called you by name;

You are mine.

When you pass through deep waters

I will be with you;

Your troubles will not overwhelm you.

When you pass through fire

You will not be burned.

The hard trials that come

Will not hurt you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2

“My grace is all you need.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

“Act justly,

Love tenderly

And walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

——————————–

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank Megan Wheeler, Administrative Assistant, and Grahame Fry, Cartographer, of the Department of Geography & Planning, University of New England, for helping with aspects of the presentation of this work.

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CHARTING PEACE

From the Conventional to the Christic

PREFACE

This is an abbreviated and amended version of the original publication (1993) , into which typographical errors  and omissions had crept.

In that short account I tried to outline some of the principal aspects of Peace Studies examined in tertiary institutions, and to suggest areas that in my thinking were and still are worthy of inclusion. The academic concept of peace is widened, and so is that of holism, which so many of us who study peace hold to be the way to fuller understanding.

The account includes topics I developed in varying degrees, in a semester length course on the “Geography of Peace and Conflict” that I once gave at the University of New England, Armidale, NSW.

I have not included the illustrations here.

Bernard Swan

July, 2017.

—————————————————————————-

INTRODUCTION

Peace is a universal aspiration. To some peace is possible, to others it is only a sigh. In its quest some are more diligent than others, some more vocal. The majority of us are circumspect in its pursuit. We dance around it, sing songs extolling peace, but will not approach it through fear that peace might be more than we bargain for, that too much might be required of us if we accept its embrace. Yet everywhere the cry is for ‘Peace’.

During the heady days following the Gorbachev initiatives, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and of Communism and the Soviet Union itself, people everywhere thought their dreams had come true, and that they could relax because global nuclear war no longer threatened. But although the geopolitical order has changed, peace has not arrived and the nuclear threat has become more ominous as more nations seek to develop such weapons and the means for their delivery in the belief that through them security and their ambitions will be assured.

Signs of unpeacefulness manifest themselves without let and refuse to be swept under the carpet. There remain the conflicts, enmities and hatreds, the violence, the injustices, the greed, the hunger and poverty, the gross violations of human rights, the power-struggles, the arms buildups, the wars, the unremitting degradation of the earth’s life-support systems. All these and more throw many into profound pessimism. Despite analyses which warn that the world is in crisis (Johnston & Taylor 1989) and that peace remains the impossible dream, there are people who live in the hope of peace and seek peace as they construe it and endeavour to share their insights with others in formal or non-formal ways.

In these pages are examined ways in which peace is perceived, particularly in Peace Studies: paths that are followed and paths that are overlooked or ignored, although worthy of fuller exploration (Swan 1992, 1988a, 1984)

WHAT IS PEACE?

Peace is a multi-dimensional concept, involving the organisation of space, society and planet; existence and being; body, mind and spirit. At the individual level peace is widely regarded as wellbeing: interior and exterior calm, pleasant, satisfying relationships, access to desired goods and services, security, a minimum of trouble and misfortune and good health and long-life to enjoy it all. Collectivities share somewhat similar views although scales are different. The number of those included in the circle whose well-being is desired and sought varies from one collectivity to another. The family, the interest group, the company, the conglomerate, the sub-nationality, the state, the alliance, all have differing perspectives of peace.

For centuries, religion was regarded as affording the richest insights into peace. These duly conflicted with the views of the temporal ruler, today typified by the secular sovereign state and its government, which claimed, as they still do, responsibility for peace in the earthly realm, attempting both to confine the jurisdiction of religion to the spiritual realm as defined by the secular sovereign, and to use, where expedient, religious and moral arguments to justify their policies (e.g. Ruston 1986). The separation of the secular from the religious was facilitated by theories of temporal power.

One set of these accorded the ruler the right and duty to pursue the interests of state untrammelled by moral considerations (Machiavelli). Another consisted of teachings which maintained that God had ordained two governments on earth, one spiritual and the other secular, one of the spirit and the other of the sword, and that both were necessary (Martin Luther). Where accepted, such views tended to privatise religion, to cloud conscience and to induce the good citizen to take, at the public level, the voice of Caesar as the voice of God (Alt, 1985, Swan 1987 & 1988b)

THE EMERGENCE OF PEACE STUDIES

The Peace Movement was the grass-roots response to war and militarism and after the Second World War to the growing nuclear threat. That threat was followed by the emergence of Peace Studies within academia, undertaken by those who saw the need for research into what militated against peace and what would be conducive to it, and for disseminating their findings through educational processes.

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It is necessary for a prince

wishing to hold his own

to know how to do wrong,

and to make use of it or not

according to necessity.

Niccolo Machiavelli 1532,

The Prince, Chapter 15.

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We must divide all the children of Adam into two classes; the first belong to the kingdom of God, the second to the kingdom of the world.

The Gospel teaches, governs, and contains God’s kingdom.. These people need no secular sword or law.

All who are not Christians belong to the kingdom of the world and are under the law. God has provided for non-Christians a different government and has subjected. them to the sword, so that they cannot practise their wickedness, and that, if they do, they may not do it without fear nor in peace and prosperity.

These two kingdoms must be sharply distinguished, and both be permitted to remain. Neither is sufficient in the world without the other.

A true Christian serves the State, which he himself does not need but because others need it. There must be those who arrest, accuse, slay and destroy the wicked, and protect, acquit, defend and save the good.

When a prince is in the wrong are his people bound to follow him…? I answer, No. How is it when the subjects do not know whether the prince is right or not? I answer, as long as they cannot know nor find out by any possible means, they may obey without peril to their souls.

Martin Luther, 1523

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On account of the persistence of war as an institution, as politics by other means, and because of the horrors of modem warfare, early peace research based itself upon the assumption that peace should be narrowly defined as the absence of war. To this was added for later the idea that peace presupposed human rights and the absence of distributive injustice.

These two definitions did not sit comfortably together because it was thought by some researchers that only through organised violence could injustice be effectively combated. Today, peace has more positive connotations as well: the building of a better more humane world respectful of ecological imperatives and needs. Not only is the past dwelt upon in empirical studies of peace and conflict, and the present critically appraised so as to understand the causes of unpeacefulness and to help resolve conflict, but in the interests of peace for the morrow peace strategies are explored as well. (See also Galtung 1985: 153).

Although Peace Studies and the Peace Movement were not the same, there was between them considerable affinity. Following the end of the Cold War between the two superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, interest both in Peace Studies and the Peace Movement waned, on account of the removal of the stimulus to both that the threat of global nuclear holocaust had afforded. However, new causes were soon espoused in addition to many traditional ones. These included the threat of environmental degradation and of growing ethno-cultura1 intolerance. Furthermore, several special-interest lobbies found the Peace Movement a convenient roof under which they could shelter and draw attention to themselves. Thus the Peace Movement, and duly Peace Studies, found many clamouring for recognition as voices of peace, and championing the rights and causes, such as of the feminist movement, the New Age movement, the homosexual lobby, of those who advocated the rights of the unborn, the rights of animals, the right to abortion and the right to euthanasia, to name but some.

Whereas in principle there is no reason why Peace Studies should not address more issues, merely lengthening the list of topics that might be examined is likely to continue to distract Peace Studies from a study it never really undertook.

Peace Studies has yet to clarify what peace is and how best it might be sought; whether it is a goal, a process or both. Further procrastination is likely if the red-herrings afforded by special groups with their own agenda are substituted for the fuller study of peace. On the last point Nigel Young (1981) emphasised the importance of ‘educating the peace educators’, advice worthy of fuller consideration.

THE PEACE OF PEACE STUDIES

Peace, as interpreted by those who study it formally, has many meanings. For present purposes these are categorised below.

State peace:

negative peace type (i)

First, there is the peace acknowledged by the state and the general public: peace born of law and order in the realm; peace as the absence of war between states and of violence within the state or against the government on the part of those living within it. Peace, however, is not the uppermost of the state’s priorities. More important to the state are its own integrity, security and well-being, held to be the national interest. War itself, as demonstrated repeatedly through history, may be engaged in when ‘necessary’: the means of ‘last resort’ not only in the face of aggression by another state, but also for the resolution of seemingly intractable problems or for satisfying needs that other means might take longer to achieve, if at all. Especially noteworthy is the pragmatism and a-morality of the state, which forbids violence and killing by its citizens but condones it and indeed demands it in defence of the national interest.

As a general precept, peace is to be maintained and enhanced through diplomacy, trade, and economic progress. It has to be defended also, by weapons to deter aggression and by arms control to curb arms races which such deterrence might stimulate. Because of the importance to the state of access to goods and services, in countries where the state itself does not monopolise these it is expedient for the state to uphold the interests of those who produce or deliver them. A symbiotic relationship tends to develop between the state and big business. The former endeavours to safeguard and promote the latter through direct or indirect action. In many instances the affinity is more immediate. Members of the government or members of their families are to be often found on the boards or directorates of companies, corporations or large financial institutions. This concept of peace finds acceptance in many academic and applied sciences, such as political, international, strategic and military studies, or where Peace Studies itself is beholden to sponsorship by the state or big-business. Offshoots of this philosophy of peace, in vogue even within Peace Studies conducted in tertiary institutions, include conflict management, conflict limitation, conflict resolution and mediation research: for the necessary and commendable skills to induce contending parties-to talk to one another, often through the offices of a neutral third party, to defuse tension, to duly arrive at a compromise and a settlement of their differences, and thereby to dispense with the ‘need’ for direct violence.

Negative peace type (ii)

Through analysing the world system, those aspects of it which undermine peace and those which are conducive to peace, Peace Studies may question the thinking of the state, of entrepreneurs and fellow-travellers and find these wanting. Through its analysis of peace and through identifying its requisites, Peace Studies points to the need for going beyond the limits of the conventional wisdom, so that peace and what facilitates its realisation may duly supersede whatever works against it

State peace values and strategies are transcended when Peace Studies argues for alternative defence, such as disarmament, transarmament, mutual confidence-building measures and non-military and even non-violent means of defence, culminating in the abolition of war itself (Sharp 1987, Summy 1987, Martin 1987, Jones 1989).

Where there is insistence on this elementary transcendence, Peace Studies risks incurring the suspicion and opprobrium of the state and of those who believe that in military methods and organised violence lie the ultimate source of power to defend, protect, safeguard and recover that which is worthy, even the very things of God.

Oppositional peace 

Transcendent thinking is heightened when it is recognised that the abolition of international war is no guarantee of peace: that the deeper-seated causes of unpeacefulness must be addressed as well. These are regarded as stemming from the silent violence and oppression perpetuated by the privileged and the powerful upon the underprivileged and the weak, through systems of social, economic and political organisation and control (Galtung 1971, Wallerstein 1980, Taylor 1985, Thrift 1989).

Such indirect violence, which marginalises, impoverishes and eventually kills, usually from a distance, through deprivation of basic requirements of life, needs to be recognized, confronted and eliminated along with direct violence, argue exponents of oppositional peace, if meaningful peace is to be achieved between and within nations.

Insistence that there can be no peace worthy of the name without transcending indirect violence encounters resistance from the state and from those committed to maintaining the status quo. It comes also from those peace researchers who prefer to concentrate on peace as the absence of war (e.g. Boulding 1978).

In the contestation of indirect violence not all agree over how to do so. Some argue according to the logic of Karl Marx, which subsumes the logic of the state, that in pursuing desired ends whatever means are necessary may be adopted. They point out that both Prince and Merchant form a resolute and unyielding duo in the defence of sectoral wealth, power and privilege, and can only be overthrown by force. Yet others declare that where the yoke of oppression cannot be cast aside by other means the Just War clause of last resort might be invoked to justify recourse to direct violence. However, there exists also a class of peace researchers and educators who maintain that violence of any kind begets further violence, and warn that exchanging tyrannies is not the way to peace. These advocate nonviolent methods for overcoming oppression and injustice.

Positive Peace 

Positive Peace constitutes the topmost of the tiers familiar to Peace Studies. It is usually seen as resting on the second (peace through opposing the status quo) upon which it builds towards humane development, liberation and fulfillment. It is sometimes placed directly upon the bottom tier (peace as the absence of war) by those who wish to by-pass some of the more confrontational aspects of the second tier, in the hope that the problems which the struggle against injustice and oppression would radically deal with would duly dissolve in the harmonious milieu of positive peace. For not only is war rejected as an instrument of policy for peace and deliverance from oppression and injustice and the structures of violence that support them rejected also, but peace-making is accepted as a positive dynamic. It is the building of a better world: the fruit of education for peace of justice, respect for human rights and human dignity, respect for the environment, and the quest for development that is humane and ecologically sustainable, a development that is qualitative rather than quantitative. The debate here is over what constitutes humane development, and how to achieve it.

QUESTIONING THE STUDY OF PEACE

Peace studies originated as a western academic reaction to problems generated largely by the west and by those who take their cue from the west. Western values permeate Peace Studies, as do Western ways of thinking, seeing and doing. Emphasis is on problem-solving and the pragmatic attainment of goals. There is considerable appreciation, indeed exhaustive analysis of conflicts and of the signs and the consequences of unpeacefulness at meso (medium) and macro scales of societal being. There is awareness of much of what Peace Studies should help lead away from (educo). There is less confidence over what such studies should lead to (ad-duco), excepting that it should be to peace, and if possible, in peace.

However, in an age when the world is increasingly seen as a single system, where everything is related to and has an effect either directly or indirectly upon everything else, there is increasing acknowledgement of the idea that peace is indivisible, a seamless garment. This points to the need for a genuinely holistic approach to the subject, which would only be possible if peace researchers and educators are liberated from cultural shackles which constrain them, but of which many are oblivious.

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A Question of Excellence

If international behaviour is often hypocritical, and standards of public morality are low, if there is inconsistency in respect for principle and for law, if people are treated as no more than pawns in the struggle for wealth and power, if violence and war continue to be used as the handmaid and extension of politics by other means, it needs to be recognised that responsibility rests squarely with those nations which (have) set themselves up and masquerade(d) as models of excellence.

Excellence in the art of getting their way, by hook or by crook. Excellence in the skills of neo-colonialism. Excellence in military technology and its application. Excellence in humbug, in turning a blind eye or pretending not to notice, depending on their interests.Excellence in the ways of using others and discarding them once their usefulness is over. Excellence in the methods of propaganda, mis-information, disinformation and suppression of the truth. Excellence in converting military technology and weapons, including obsolescent ones, into profit, selling to whoever is prepared to pay the price and no questions asked. Excellence in the deception of posing as paragons of integrity worthy of emulation, and thereby infecting those who take their cue from them with their own myopia and amorality. Excellence in creating idols and in contriving to make that which is holy pay homage to them.

To challenge and change the status quo, not to serve it, to discover the basis of a new moral order and make known the paths to a peace that is just and authentic, constitute the fundamental duty of education.

Is this what we are about in this land of the Southern Cross? Is this what we are about?

B.S.

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In the study of peace there is the tendency to compartmentalise and examine or seek peace at one level or another. Such separation may be convenient for academic or political purposes. It would be more realistic is to accept that peace is indivisible. What goes on at one scale affects what happens at others.

One such limiting factor is the commitment on the part of Peace Studies to search conducted in the secular mode: so very noticeable in the academic journals on peace. Little heed is paid to the lessons of metaphysics, theology and religion on peace, and a vast body of literature and thought on the subject is left untapped or barely so, an attitude quite inconsistent with the holistic ideal which abhors fences and fragmentation. There appears to be subscription to the notion that metaphysics, theology and religion afford insights that are less amenable to proof in terms of the revered methods of the social sciences, and that as such they are perhaps removed from realpolitik, practicality and even credibility.

This is in part attributable to the academic training of peace researchers and educators, in which reason and the scientific method and its social-science variant have long been upheld as the appropriate and reliable means of seeking objective truth and achieving credibility in intellectual circles. This tradition, which claims to be ‘value-free’ rejects as subjective, untestable and therefore unreliable or invalid, those activities of the brain thought to be associated with right-lobe functions: intuition, feeling, spiritual and mystical cognisance, the sense of compassion, mercy, justice and the like (Swan 1990). Apart from the fact that the so-called ‘cerebral’ approach which accepts mind knowledge but not heart knowledge as a means of understanding reality is at best only quasi-cerebral, it is neither holistic nor value free for it supports a hidden agenda.

Similarly, data, phenomena and other evidence that cannot be replicated or analysed and tested by the twin probes of science and reason (Laurentin & Joyeux 1987, McKenna 1987: 27, Martins 1989, Medical Bureau Lourdes 1990) often tend to be rejected or overlooked. This is not because such data are false or spurious as such, but because neither the scientific method nor reason are capable of dealing with them. Curiously, there is failure to recognise or admit that such practices and approaches to learning themselves constitute a rejection of both fact and logic. Even where scientific observation demonstrates the fact of the inexplicable, or of the miraculous, many who regard themselves as scientists or realists pretend not to notice or consign such evidence to black-boxes, clinging to a more traditional ‘scientific’ vision of reality.

This too is changing as growing numbers of scientists see religion and science converging (Franklin 1987, 1986, Fox & Swimme 1982, de Chardin 1950). Some admit that behind the logic and the mathematical perfection of the universe there is a law and a genius that is not self-explanatory (Davies 1990). Furthermore, despite its normative emphases, peace studies tends to positivism, in that peace is regarded as a goal to be achieved through analysis, appropriate methodology, effort and perseverance, with peace itself construed in social, economic and political terms. There is occasional reference to and commendation of spiritual values, but these are seen primarily as aids to empowerment and the attainment of objectives, rather than as themselves worthy of fuller investigation and adoption in relation to peace.

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LEGACY OF THE SCIENTIST -RATIONALIST TRADITION

(a la Newton and the Enlightenment)

*Belief that the wholes either the sum of some parts, or no more than the sum of its parts.

*Such vision has begotten a mechanistic, utilitarian outlook which is also reductionist

*The universe, the world and the human are no more than complex machines which mathematics, science and the appropriate technology will explain and help to control and manipulate

*The mentality fostered makes for fragmentation both without and within

*There are no fundamental values, only laws which govern the behaviour of structures, components and processes

*There is no consistency in principles or in the ethic of life, only pragmatism and ‘ad hoc-ery’.

*Education is regarded almost exclusively as a function of the intellect

* Experiential, heart-based learning is devalued or ignored.

*The Yin is isolated from the Yang, there are notes but no music, there are words but no poetry, there are facts but no mystery

*There is brilliance, but is there wisdom?

(’tis all in peeces, all coherence gone’  (John Donne)

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TOWARDS BALANCED ENQUIRY

Peace researchers and educators espouse certain values which are seeds of potential transformation,for widening and deepening the subject. Some emphasise the desirability of ‘heart-based’ learning (experiential and normative) to complement purely cerebral knowledge, and maintain that in order to balance learning and knowing and render these more fully human, left-lobe and right-lobe functions of the brain should both be exercised and respected by academics and realists.

They believe that without sacrificing the obligation to think rationally and logically, it should be accepted that in the study of peace both mind and heart must have a place, that with this should come the admission that knowledge based on scientific and rational means alone is incomplete and therefore partially true at best.

A co-idea emphasises the importance of holistic search if peace is to be better understood. This too calls to question the capability and adequacy of positivist-reductionist methods of seeking truth and generating light about peace. It also challenges the peace researcher to ask how holistic the holism espoused in the process really is. This is because holism is sometimes seen as no more than the enlarging of the existing canvas, encompassing more, but strictly along the same plane. Fuller holism includes the discovery and exploration of new dimensions or other planes and the integration of these meaningfully. Holistic thinking goes further to recognise that Peace Studies should not function merely as a lens through which the world ‘out there’ is to be examined and found wanting, but also as a mirror, which signals the need for self-appraisal and for fuller conversion and maturity on the part of all who would speak for peace.

None of this exempts the student of peace from rational thought. Rather, it demands honest and deep commitment to it. However, holistic search demonstrates that reason itself has limits, carrying the searcher to the threshold of greater knowing and urging that this be crossed for the sake of that knowledge and truth. The realm beyond is of faith, revelation and religion (Panikkar 1968: 92-98).

Choices

Although negative, oppositional and positive peace are the principal categories recognised in Peace Studies, with ecopeace (greenpeace) impinging upon all three, the entire subject of peace may be approached in either of two ways. One is pragmatic. The other is principled and explicitly or implicitly religious. In the first instance, peace, however construed, is a goal which clear analysis and understanding and appropriate strategies could lead to. The prime need is to get suitable policies in place, envisage alternative scenarios and have contingency plans ready in the event of the unexpected occurring. In this endeavour, reality, the empirical world is seen not as an absolute to be accounted for but one among several worlds, which might become our tomorrow depending on the choices we make today. To the peace researcher the future could be one of many possibilities: the outcome of inertia: the outcome of positivism which attempts to mould the future, or the outcome of inexorable determinism. There is belief also that peace education itself could have a decisive, beneficial impact on the future.

On the other hand there is the religious alternative, which to many is more hopeful and empowering. Here the future may be regarded as the function of the time ahead, of present action and inaction, the legacy of the past and the hand of Divine Providence (Swan 1992). Some difficulty in accepting the notion of Providence may be experienced by those steeped in secular intellectualism and in the worlds of commercialism and advanced technologic discovery. Among them confidence in human ability to be the effective arbiter of its destiny is matched only by despair over the futility of such an enormous enterprise as the quest for peace on earth.

PEACE AND RELIGION

Discussion of the relevance of religion to peace raises the question as to what religion is. At one level it could be regarded as that which leads to an experiential encounter with the mystical, where the term mystical is construed as that which evokes devotion, that which is profoundly moving and re-vitalising.

Quasi-religion is rooted in nature or the human spirit “Religious” experience and fervour could be generated through a social encounter, a political speech, a sporting event, a panorama, an opera or music, a humanitarian action. It might even be induced chemically or sexually. At this level virtually anything could become the object of adulation or the catalyst in the experience. The encounter may be moving but does not necessarily effect commitment or change on the part of the ‘worshipper’. On the other hand it may result in this, even leading to political or social altruism. It could work on or draw upon the best in human nature with ‘faith’ expressed in life and deed.

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Possibilities for Peace through the Secular Mode

A. School of high hopes

The human : its own light, semi-divine

: can solve its problems

: can build peace

Requisites : ideals, vision, goals, strategies, effort

Peace is possible

B. School of despondency

The human

: weak, foolish, flawed

: selfish, aggressive

: a crisis animal, reacts to short-term problems rather than long-term needs

: impaled upon its weaknesses

: dependent on weapons,including cyber war

Requisites:

: diplomacy

: disaster and crisis management,

: conflict management,

: conflict resolution if possible.

Peace is utopian, an unrealistic ideal.

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Religion may also be seen as “… a social and individual relationship, vitally realized in a tradition and community, with something that transcends or encompasses man and his world, with something always to be understood as the utterly final true reality (the Absolute, God, Nirvana) …religion is concerned at once with a message of salvation and the way to salvation” (Küng 1987). In this case the something that transcends or encompasses man and his world may be a philosophy, a moral code, the response to which results in self-change, the burgeoning of virtue and selflessness: the way of Tao and of Buddhism. Or, that which is seen to transcend or encompass man and his world may be identified in ecological or cosmic terms rooted in nature or universal energy and universal relationships, then ‘deified’ in a Gaia sense, where the principles and precepts, the language and the deity are humanly derived and constructed. Yet others cross the threshold of faith to enter a realm of reality and possibility where the human engages in a relationship with Some One: a dynamic that is consuming, sustaining, exhilarating, inspiring, worshipful, reverent, prayerful, reconciling, healing, loving, trusting and empowering. For those who take religion seriously, peace becomes increasingly a journey rather than a destination, a concomitant of a process that must be enjoined for an even greater reason.

Expediency and the primacy of achieving goals are rejected. The quest for peace is integrated into the quest for integrity, honesty and truth . However, where religion does not include God or the supernatural but emphasises principles, a moral code or ethic, inconsistencies and contradictions may arise.

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It is He who gave me true knowledge

Of the forces of nature,

What the world is made of,

How the elements behave,

How the calendar is determined

By the movements of the sun,

The changing seasons,

The constellations,

And the cycles of the years.

He has taught me

About the nature of living creatures,

The behaviour of wild animals,

The force of the winds,

The reasoning power of human beings,

The different kinds of plants

And the use of their roots in medicines.

I learned things that were well-known,

And things that had never been known before.

People look at the good things around them

And still fail to see the living God

They study the things he has made,

But they do not recognise

The one who made-them.

(The Wisdom of Solomon

Ch.7:17-21;13:1 )

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MATTERS OF MORALITY

Unpeacefulness signals that all is not well with the human condition, that something better is necessary. What that something is requires the exercise of moral judgment which assumes a moral sense and ability to distinguish between justice and injustice, honesty and deceit, right and wrong, good and evil. There is required on the part of the peace researcher and educator continual moral evaluation of situations and actions and options for tomorrow. This poses a question often left unanswered. It is whether morality is relative and grounded in expediency and appropriateness to situations, or whether in its application there should be consistency.

This begets another question which asks whether an exclusively secular view of the world can accommodate or generate a moral sense that is anything other than relative and reflecting only the mores and cultures of the times. For example, among those who educate for peace are persons who hold life sacred and would not belittle or destroy it: Ahimsa, There are others who say ‘Peace’, but who would limit their call for Ahimsa to the middle of the spectrum of human life, insisting on the right to practise Himsa at one or both ends of that spectrum.

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The world is built for truth.

Gospel of the Buddha:

The Purpose of Being: 19

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I am the way

The truth

And the Life.

John 14:6

Conversely, yet others who speak in the name of morality and insist on Ahimsa, decrying abortion and euthanasia, admit of exceptions to their rules regarding the sanctity of life, in the face of possible threats to national or group security and well-being.

This raises the question as to whether there could be any morality, other than that which is relative and socially engineered, if the human were no more than a chance phenomenon destined for oblivion, and whose material substance would be duly recycled through the ecosystem. Were that the case, the honestly secular rational view should be that human morals are illusory, though perhaps useful social constructs, and that there is no call for moral indignation in the event of the recycling process alluded to above being expedited through acts of volition, violence or neglect: these may be uncomfortable for the recipients but would be neither right nor wrong of themselves. It is just difficult to discover logic or internal consistency in the notion of morals without religion as in that of religion without morals.

It is here held that moral sense would only have validity if there is a spiritual principle in the human, a principle that transcends the limitations of recyclable matter: one which is nonmaterial and therefore not subject to the consequences of bodily death and breakdown. Moreover, morality implies not an inanimate something or a value which is impugned and insulted through non-moral behaviour, but Some One, exterior to and beyond the human and to whom the human is accountable. Accountability and its consequential implications cannot be with reference to an automaton, a force or an abstraction, but to Who Is.

Moral Violence 

In this context, violence and non-violence too acquire new meaning. Firstly, the notion of violence may be expanded. Johan Galtung along with-many others has stated that the opposite of peace is violence.

In his (1990) paper on ‘Cultural Violence’ he refers to the violence triangle which consists of direct violence, structural violence and cultural violence. The first is overt. The second institutionalises indirect violence, which thus becomes intrinsic to the socio-economic and political system. The third colours the values of people rendering the other types of violence morally justifiable, or at least morally neutral.

However, there needs to be recognised a fourth category of violence which underlies other classes of violence, making the violence triangle a violence tetrahedron. This is moral violence, the ethic of ethical inconsistency. It is violence that originates in the belief that the human is its own point of reference and the sole arbiter and judge of what is right and wrong, reducing morality to personal or social preference and need. Morality is then seen as relative. Moral violence manipulates and neutralises notions of right and wrong or changes their moral colour, as is the case with Galtung’s cultural violence. It goes further, becoming the subterfuge which substitutes, often in the name of expediency and even of good, the spurious for the genuine, the inferior for the superior, the shadow for the substance, the creature for the Creator. Moral violence confuses and culminates in societies where the blind lead the blind. By so doing, it militates against peace, for it may infect and indeed poison nations, societies, organisations, groups and individuals, whether secular or religious, and even those who would speak for peace (Swan 1992b ).

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To the evil-doer

Wrong appears sweet as honey;

He looks upon it as pleasant

As long as it bears no fruit;

But when its fruit ripens,

He looks upon it as wrong.

The Dhammapada: 24

——————————Duality in Nonviolence

Non-violence is coming to be increasingly seen as the more constructive and civilized way of dealing with a range of problems where there are conflicting interests and positions (Smoker et alia 1990; Fahey & Armstrong 1987). However the question, as to how nonviolent non-violence is, was raised by Ostergaard (1977) who saw non-violence as dualistic.

On the one hand non-violence may be employed as a technique to obtain compliance with one’s will. The method may be suasion, which changes the other’s viewpoint, or coercion short of recourse to physical injury or threat of injury, to force the other into submission. Nonviolence in such contexts may be adopted because the user is weak and dare not adopt violent strategies against the strong, because they would probably redound on the user. The rationale behind such non-violence is essentially utilitarian.

On the other hand there is principled non-violence, which is practised with rather than against an opponent, in the hope of achieving not just a specified goal but also higher truth, mutual growth and conversion for all parties to the encounter. Principled non-violence is humble, courageous and merciful, equates means with ends, indeed values means more than ends and is seen not in strategic terms but as a way of life to be practised consistently, and if necessary, unilaterally. Its essence is in the recognition of the inviolable dignity of the other, always cognisant of the divine in the other, however hidden and suppressed; of the other as a child of God, and capable of changing to someone better. There is also willingness to risk suffering and apparent failure in being faithful to the quest for truth and justice. Taught and lived by Jesus, the Christ, and more recently by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, principled non-violence is founded in religious belief and sustained by openness to God’s grace, although many who admire such non-violence attempt to adopt its methods and techniques, but by-pass the underlying spirituality and faith in God.

Quasi Ghandian Peace

Mahatma Gandhi, in the 20th century, achieved the wedding of faith and principle to politics, because they were inseparable in his holistic thinking and living. As mentioned above, many who admired his methods, recognised, but did not accept or subscribe to the faith-content that gave rise to them. For purposes of the present discussion, the diminished vision of his peace, as a process based on truth, non-violence and self-suffering, with an implicit but largely disregarded basis of religious faith, is alluded to as Quasi-Gandhian, rather than Gandhian.

The conclusion reached in this discussion is that if it is admitted that there are moral and spiritual dimensions to the human and also to peace, ignoring or glossing over these in the study of peace would be irresponsible. To admit of these is to recognise that the study of peace necessarily requires entry into the realm of religion, belief and action.

TOWARDS CHRISTIC PEACE

Of those who regard peace as a supreme human value, some have no particular belief either in the supernatural or in an after-life, and may even be skeptical about religion. Others believe that both in the now and in life after death, and take religion seriously. Both groups subscribe to ideals and values that are grounded in religious faith. Both groups see in religious values and ideals principled and humane means for political struggle and for the resolution of conflict and extol these. Their inspiration comes from people of faith who confronted imperialism, oppression and injustice without compromising their integrity and their religion. Non-violence and commitment to truth are the fundamental values embraced, and with them concomitant virtues, such as readiness to engage in dialogue with and to forgive adversaries, and courage and willingness to suffer in the cause of right.

There is, however, a difference in the concept of peace where religious belief is explicit, where faith is not in principle, ethic or idea but is a relationship, a total trusting commitment to Some One, an unequivocal ‘Yes’ to God: peace consists in the individual and society becoming that assent which places God above and before all else. This is here termed Christic Peace, because it was wholly and perfectly exemplified in the life, death, person and teaching of Jesus Christ and so patently in the lived fiat of Mary his mother.

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The Lord, and the Lord alone

Is our God.

Love the Lord your God

With all your heart

With all your soul

and with all your strength.

Deuteronomy 6: 4-6

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It is also the quintessence of theistic scriptures and is paralleled in its ideals in the Dhammapada of Buddhism. The term Christic is not to be confused with the term Christian, because the peace that Christians conceive of may have many meanings, often culturally tempered, and sometimes far removed from the Christic concept as such. This perspective brings with it the realisation that the opposite of peace is not so much war or violence, which are only symptoms of a deeper disorder. The opposite is sin, personal and social, the outcome of the conscious or unwitting ‘no’ to God, and ‘yes’ to someone or something else. The term sin itself is unpalatable and not used in academic discussion.

Sin, in the present context, is where primacy is accorded the created (usually self, in either its personal or collective guise) instead of the Creator, an option commonly exercised in the quest of what is perceived to be ‘good’ rather than a perverse preference for evil as such. It may be the result of pseudo innocence or of the stunting caused by the human refusal to seek, to learn, to change and to grow. Christic peace is through entry into the dynamic partnership and co-operation with God to which all are invited. The expression of that peace is ‘Shalom’: holistic peace which includes health, healing transformations and relations where micro-peace begets macro-peace and macro-peace supports micro-peace. It is not peace as the ‘world’ (that which claims to be without any need of God) gives, but richer and more comprehensive. Christic Peace bestows what other types of peace cannot. Not only does it liberate (starting from within) from all that enslaves and dehumanises, but it vests even the darkest darkness with light, bringing hope and meaning to areas and situations that often occasion bitterness, despair or hurt silence, as where there is pain and suffering, privation, neglect, abandonment, failure and death. It brings vision, expectancy, strength, endurance and courage. It shuns all retaliation and recourse to strategies of power. Instead, it offers forgiveness, love, even unilateral love of enemy, and through these, healing and healed relationships. Its fruits are integrity, wholeness and holiness, which displace inner discord and fragmentation, dishonesty, dualisms and compromises with whatever is false.

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Obstinate are the trammels,

But my heart aches

When I try to break them.

Freedom is all I want …

I am certain that

Priceless wealth is in Thee

And that Thou art my best friend,

But I have not the heart

To sweep away the tinsel

That fills my room.

Rabindranath Tagore, 1913: Gitanjali: 2

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Peace on earth is seen as contingent upon the individual and society moving from ‘No’ towards ‘Yes’ to God. Through openness to God, through placing God above and before all else, comes peace, the concomitant of such dynamic surrender and partnership. Through this all other aspects of peace search are rediscovered. Commitment to them is renewed. In this context, peace is not a goal, it is a process, intelligence, fitness, organisational skills, strategies and general capability of recipients, but in their willingness to act rather than to react; to seek integrity through acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with their God.

Christic peace flows-from belief and trust in God. The world is seen as good, God-given, not made in vain, but to be lived in. It is the divine milieu, where our humanity is to mature and find full and authentic expression.

———————–

Peace is not a flower that springs

Spontaneously from our dry earth …

Peace is the fruit of a moral

Transformation of mankind.

It demands a cultivation that is

Conceptual, ethical, psychological,

Pedagogical and juridical.

There is no improvising a true peace…

Peace must be human…

Peace is slow,

precisely because it presumes

a spiritual evolution,

a higher education,

a new vision of human history.

Peace demands … also

a change of heart.

Pope Paul VI

—————–

To those who seek Christic Peace, God is their saviour, their destiny and their prize. There is neither feverish desire nor need to taste as many of the world’s apparent delights as possible, lest something slips past and is missed. Their confidence flies in the face of ‘only-this-worldliness’.

Christic Peace is possible, because it is not self-generated. It is a gift from God, offered freely to individuals and societies, regardless of race, colour, creed or status, who would welcome it and strive to live accordingly; inspired, upheld and transformed by the prayer of mind, of heart and of life. As such, its potential for renewal lies not in the intelligence, fitness, organisational skills, strategies and general capability of recipients, but in their willingness to act rather than to react; to seek integrity through acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with their God.

The way of Christic Peace exacts a price: the cross of unselfishness, selflessness, of self-giving which seeks no reward other than loving God and doing God’s will. From this flow empowerment and dedication to peace. Clearly, this is the realm of grace.

Break through

Your shell of selfishness.

If you do not know yourself,

You will never know others.

Selfishness

Is the deepest root

Of all unhappiness:

Your own

And that of the whole world.

It feeds an insatiable hunger,

That first eats up

everything belonging to others,

and then causes a creature

to devour itself.

Dom Helder Camara, 1984:5

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CONCOMITANTS

Christic Peace and paths to it illumine and increasingly call to peace at all other levels. It invites to peace and salutes the divine in all people, especially those of goodwill. It renders explicit the idea that truth as an abstract concept and non-violence as a virtue make sense only where there is acknowledgement of a Supreme Reality and the spiritual principle in the human. The contribution to positive peace is, inter alia, the Christic enrichment of the principles for humane development. The intrinsic dignity of men and women is underlined. Each human being is seen as a child of God, hence the validity of notions of a human family, each member of which is vested with inviolable dignity and inalienable rights, including the right to life from its inception to its natural termination. It is recognised also that the human is the fruit of billions of years of cosmic evolution, that being in whom earth and universe attain reflexive consciousness, the only known being on earth and of the cosmos able to reflect upon the abstract and the non-material, per se .

Christic vision sees human dignity compromised and sullied and people re-ified wherever governments, commerce, industry, research bodies and people’s organisations define progress and development primarily in quantitative, materialistic, technological, consumerist and temporal terms; wherever goods and services, and hedonism and licence are offered as the substance of happiness and freedom. The Christic peace paradigm rejects such interpretations of development, pointing out that these dazzle, disorient and de-humanise as they become false gods, set up by the values of the day, gods which people are urged to venerate, serve and defend. It recognises that it is more important for people to be more rather than to have more. It also perceives that men and women need to mature and grow in order to receive and make use of goods and services, if they are not to be overwhelmed by them; that the problems of providing and distributing goods and services is secondary to the problem of preparing people for them: a matter ignored by most purveyors of ‘development’. The paradigm emphasises essential development needs, enhancement goods of a qualitative and spiritual order, and the need for personal and collective integrity through commitment to a consistent ethic of life, in the place of double standards and pragmatism, as the sine qua non of development. Development becomes the forging of new values and new civilisations in settings where most existing institutions tend to stultify the human potential, or reduce it to solely temporal or selfish terms (Lebret in Goulet 1974.)

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Intelligence without love can only breed

A brutalising technocracy which crushes people,

Whereas love without disciplined intelligence is inefficient,

Leading to amateurism, well-intentioned bungling,

And ultimately catastrophe …

Chronic structural evils cannot be corrected

By subjective goodwill, but only by a

Concerted transformation of structures…

L.J. Lebret

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For those who concentrate on oppositional peace, the confrontation of injustice and inequity, Christic Peace challenges all selfishness and greed that seeks well-being and prosperity at the expense of others (Australian Bishops, 1992). There is no hesitation to proclaim that no one, no country, is entitled to keep for its exclusive use what is not needed, when others lack necessities. Not only should  the superfluous wealth of rich countries be placed at the service of poor nations, but no country may claim to keep its wealth for itself alone (Window 18). eace, justice and development are seen as an indivisible trinity, which demands radical innovations and transformations. Yet, when justice is defined in Christic terms, it is neither purely legalistic nor in terms of distributive economics alone.While justice is the rejection of exploitation and imperialisms of all kinds, it is inseparable from love, mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation. A Christic theology of liberation seeks not only the liberation of the materially poor and the socio-politically downtrodden (Balasuriya 1989), but also liberation from the multitude of poverties that keep people in chains, including those of their own making. The good news is for all the poor, for it offers deliverance from the poverty of affluence and for those afflicted by insidious bankruptcies of the spirit. The emphasis is on depassement: the ability, through trust in the power of God’sgrace, for individual and collectivity to rise above their limitations. For those who address issues of war, defenceand direct violence for the sake of peace, Christic vision calls away from casuistry, retaliation and the use of power, pressure and force, even in the name of good. Even more, it teaches the unity of life; that ends and the means adopted for their attainment should be consistent. Christic peace beckons beyond minimalist notions of and piece-meal approaches to peace. It invites beyond de facto despair to hope and expectancy, for in it there is no place for the half-heartedness that accepts peace only as an eschatological possibility, and which therefore exonerates ‘believers’ from the duty to work unremittingly for peace on earth, here and now. Nor is there room for the de facto atheism that is comfortable with the ‘faith’ that makes God redundant by accepting that God is God only of the possible; or for the agnosticism which holds that even if God exists he is not interested; or for the dualism of privatised religion which encourages worship of God at one level of being, while at another condones the substitution of Caesar, self or Mammon for God.

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The world is given to all,

Not only to the rich …

Private property does not constitute for anyone

An absolute and unconditional right …

The right to private property

Must never be exercised

To the detriment of the common good.

No country can claim …

To keep its wealth

For itself alone.

Paul VI, 1967:

Encyclical, Populorum Progressio: 23, 48

———————-

God destined the earth

And all it contains

For the use of every individual

And all peoples.

Vatican II: Gaudium et Spes: 69, 1965

The new hermeneutic

Inherent in ‘theologies of liberation’

Leads to an essentially political

Re-reading of the Scriptures …

The mistake here is not in bringing attention

To a political dimension

Of the readings of Scripture,

But in making of this one dimension

The principal or exclusive component

This leads to a reductionist reading

of the Bible.

Likewise, one places oneself

within the perspective o a temporal messianism,

which is one of the most radical

of the expressions

of secularisation of the Kingdom of God

and of its absorption

into the immanence of human history.

Ratzinger and Bovone 1984 :10-5 & 6.

————————–

Christic peace is founded in respect for people, for life and for planet, because, as the Book of Genesis asserts, ‘God saw all that he had made, and indeed it was very good’. The same book also makes it clear that the human was required to take care of what God had entrusted to him, but that in going deliberately against the Creator’s plan, by opting for self-interest instead, alienation and disorientation resulted, within the human, between human beings and between humankind and nature. Not only are the consequences of human delinquency with regard to the stewardship to be exercised over the earth abundantly evident, but the disorder within infects all other relationships. As long as selfishness dominates personal or collective practice, as long as the human is not at peace with God, the earth itself cannot be at peace. Its abuse will continue.

As the prophet Hosea observes, “…there is no fidelity, no tenderness, no knowledge of God in the country, only perjury and lies, slaughter, theft, adultery and violence, murder after murder, That is why the country is in mourning, and all who live in it pine away, even the wild animals and the birds of heaven; the fish of the sea themselves are perishing.”

————————

You love everything that exists.

You do not despise anything

That you have made.

You love every living thing.

Wisdom of Solomon 11: 24,26

———————-

All this signals that wise, responsible stewardship over nature is a condition for reconciliation between human society and God. It widens the notion of environment, to include not merely the physical, natural environment, but also the hearts and minds of people, themselves under threat of pollution, a contamination within that would inevitably result in a harvest of bitter fruit. It implies also that people have an active and positive role to play, invited as they are to seek and work in every possible way in co-operation with God, so that “Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. The tenor of the scriptures is that this can only come about through sacrifice, the acceptance of God’s grace for the sake of peace and the institution of a new heaven and a new earth.

CONCLUSION

Although it sometimes seems so in the literature, Peace Studies is not the same as contemporary politics, international studies, conflict studies or development studies. It includes aspects of these but is more. For long, peace studies was pre-occupied with the ‘e-duco’ aspect of peace education: to ‘lead away’ from war, violence and destructive conflict: peace ‘sensu constricto’. It has to explore more fully the ‘ad-duco’ aspects of peace education that ‘lead towards’ peace. During the height of the nuclear threat to humankind, peace-researchers advised proponents of nuclear deterrence to get away from the thinking that maintained “If you want peace, prepare for war” and to shift instead to the idea that “If you want peace, prepare for peace”.

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The ultimate weakness of violence

Is that it is a descending spiral,

Begetting the very thing

It seeks to destroy.

Instead of diminishing evil,

It multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar

but you cannot murder the lie,

nor establish the truth.

Through violence you murder the hater,

but you do not murder hate.

In fact, violence merely increases hate…

Returning violence for violence

multiplies violence,

adding deeper darkness

to a night already devoid of stars.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness.

Only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate:

Only love can do that.

Martin Luther King.

————————

If this commendable advice is taken seriously by those who seek peace today, it would impel them to carry the search further, even to the highest levels of transcendence. For, increasing numbers are beginning to realise that peace not only demands passage from the modern, which seeks answers in commerce and technology, to the post-modern green alternative, but even more important from the secular to the post-secular. Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount is seen, more and more, by visionary activists such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, as the source of the soundest constructive political realism for the world beyond 2000 (Alt 1985).

Peace is a process to be enjoined at all levels of societal being. To do less would be to indulge in make-believe. ‘Peace’ would be still-born. The process needs to be internalised, so that it may be externalised honestly and credibly. This is an exercise in lived faith, inspired and nourished by the grace of God, whether one is a theist or not, not an exercise in pragmatism or political acumen.

————————————–

He always had

The nature of God ..

Of his own free will …

He gave up all he had

and took the nature

Of a servant …

He was humble

And walked the path of obedience’

All the way to death,

Death on the cross.

Philippians 2: 5,7,8

————————————

Christic peace integrates and enriches the quest for peace at all levels of being. This is because it maintains that interconnectedness, interaction and interdependence are fundamental to life of peace, whether visible or invisible. It holds that all being originated in and is held together by God, and that God is ever with, hears the cries and supplies the needs of his people. It is for people to grow aware of and to respond to the gifts and grace freely and continually offered to them.

Christic peace is the totally reasonable act of faith which is absolute, beyond all human calculations, which empowers and thereby gives ground for rational hope for peace on earth, drawing attention not only to symptoms of unpeacefulness but to their underlying causes. Above all, it maps peace in its fullness, in the way of peace

————————–

Even though the fig does not blossom,

Nor fruit grow on the vine;

Even though the olive crop fail

And fields yield no harvest;

Even though flocks vanish from the folds

And stalls stand empty of cattle;

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord

And exult in God my saviour.

The Lord my God is my strength.

He makes me leap like the deer.

He guides me to the high places.

Habakuk 3: 17-19

———————-

That I want Thee, only Thee,

Let my heart repeat without end …

As the night keeps hidden in its gloom

The petition for light,

Even thus in the depths of my unconsciousness

Rings the cry:

“l want Thee, only Thee.”

As the storm

Still seeks its end in peace,

When it strikes against peace

With all its might, –

Even thus my rebellion

Strikes against Thy love,

And still its cry is

“I want Thee, only Thee.”

Rabindranath Tagore, 1913

Gitanjali: 38

———————–

APPENDIX

Christic Peace  (a Biblical meditation)

God has called us

To a life of peace.

1 Corinthians 7:15

The Lord says,

“The plans I have for you

Are peace, not disaster.”

Jeremiah29:11

“I offer peace to all,

Both near and far.”

Isaiah 57:19

“l myself will teach your people

And give them prosperity and peace.”

Isaiah 54:13

“This is my beloved Son

With whom I am well pleased;

Listen to him.”

Matthew 17:5

Jesus said,

“The Father and I are one.

John 10:30

“Whoever sees me

Sees the Father”.

John 14:9

“I am the light of the world.

Whoever follows me

Will have the light of life,

And will never walk in darkness.”

John 8:12

“I am the way, the truth

And the life.”

John 14:6

“Peace I leave with you;

My peace I give to you;

Not as the world gives

Do I give to you”.

John 14:27

“Love the Lord your God

With all your heart,

With all your soul,

With all your mind

And with all your strength.”

Mark 12:30

“Love your neighbour as yourself’

Matthew 22:39

“I love you

Just as the Father loves me.”

John 15:9

“Love one another

Just as I love you.”

John 15:12

“I say to you who hear me:

Luke 6:27

“Forgive…from your heart”.

Matthew 18:35

“Love your enemies.

Pray for those who persecute you.

Do good to those who hate you.”

Luke 6:27

“Be merciful,

Just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:36

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The Lord calls all to Peace through Peace

“My thoughts”, says the Lord,

“Are not like yours,

And my ways are different from yours.”

Isaiah 55:8

“All you that have reverence for the Lord,

And obey the words of his servant,

The path you walk may be dark indeed,

But trust in the Lord,

Rely on your God.”

Isaiah 50:10

“Come back to me.

I am the one who saves you.

I alone am the Lord.

The only one who can save you.”

Isaiah 43:11

“Peace I leave with you;

My peace I give to you;

Not as the world gives

Do I give to you.”

John 14:27

“Do not be afraid;

I will save you.

I have called you by name;

You are mine.

When you pass through deep waters

I will be with you;

Your troubles will not overwhelm you.

When you pass through fire

You will not be burned.

The hard trials that come

Will not hurt you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2

“My grace is all you need.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

“Act justly,

Love tenderly

And walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank Megan Wheeler, Administrative Assistant, and Grahame Fry, Cartographer, of the Department of Geography & Planning, University of New England, for helping with aspects of the presentation of this work.

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