The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence: Interfaith Understanding for a Future Without War

Religion and violence—the two concepts seem incompatible given the emphasis in religion on virtue, love, forgiveness and compassion. Yet many scriptures contain martial images and stories of god-inspired military conquest. The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence confronts this theological contradiction, arguing that martial images and symbols found in religious texts are often meant to be interpreted as metaphors for an inner spiritual struggle and should never be used as a justification for war. The analysis is undertaken from an interfaith perspective that explains many of the paradoxical concepts found in theories of nonviolence. Professor Wolfe also presents a compelling case for the sustainability paradigm and for offering peace education and interreligious dialogue on a global scale. He probes the scriptures of the world proving that nonviolence is a shared virtue and that the real enemy we must battle against and ultimately defeat is actually within us.

“An excellent introduction to spiritually-based principled nonviolence. Professor Wolfe’s blend of different wisdom traditions is especially useful”—Dr. Michael Nagler, Professor Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley.

“George Wolfe has put the blame for proliferating violence in the world where it belongs, on the crass interpretation of religion. A thought-provoking book”—Arun Gandhi, President, Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence.

“Truly an enlightening book”—Judy O’Bannon, Former First Lady of Indiana.

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