Nonviolence in Theory and Practice
Multi-disciplinary conference will be held Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 9-4:30 on the campus of Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio
Nonviolence includes a wide variety of philosophies, theologies, practices, and strategies. It commands different levels of commitment from adherents, whether tied to absolute and unconditional core beliefs or tactical and ad hoc methods for achieving social and political change. Some advocates link nonviolence to convictions about the way things are: to wager everything on it is to experiment with truth itself; its practitioners are working with the grain of the universe. Others point to the success of nonviolent movements, greater justice for vulnerable groups, and more equitable arrangements of and access to power, often also linking nonviolence with democratic participation.
Whether primarily thought of as a kind of philosophy or an approach to political arrangements, reflection on nonviolence leads to a range of questions that are being taken up in today’s world, often with great urgency. What are the sources of nonviolence, both philosophically and historically? How do different approaches to nonviolence (such as Eastern versus Western) differ from each other? How do these different perspectives learn from each other? What about when nonviolence fails or appears to fail? What are the most effective ways to promote nonviolent alternatives to retributive responses to injustice? How should we evaluate the outcomes of violence and other conflicts in light of these alternatives?
The goal of this one day conference is to address questions such as these by displaying and analyzing many of the ways that people, communities, and traditions think about and embrace nonviolence.