The Language of Peace

Communicating to Create Harmony

Edited by:
Rebecca L. Oxford, University of Maryland

A volume in the series: Peace Education. Editor(s): Laura L. Finley, Barry University. Robin Cooper, Nova Southeastern University.

Published 2013

The Language of Peace: Communicating to Create Harmony offers practical insights for educators, students, researchers, peace activists, and all others interested in communication for peace. This book is a perfect text for courses in peace education, communications, media, culture, and other fields. Individuals concerned about violence, war, and peace will find this volume both crucial and informative.

This book sheds light on peaceful versus destructive ways we use words, body language, and the language of visual images. Noted author and educator Rebecca L. Oxford guides us to use all these forms of language more positively and effectively, thereby generating greater possibilities for peace.

Peace has many dimensions: inner, interpersonal, intergroup, international, intercultural, and ecological. The language of peace helps us resolve conflicts, avoid violence, and reduce bullying, misogyny, war, terrorism, genocide, circus journalism, political deception, cultural misunderstanding, and social and ecological injustice. Peace language, along with positive intention, enables us to find harmony inside ourselves and with people around us, attain greater peace in the wider world, and halt environmental destruction. This insightful book reveals why and how.

PART A. FUNDAMENTALS OF COMMUNICATION FOR PEACE Chapter 1. Discovering the Language of Peace: Six Principles. Chapter 2. The Language of Peace in Action. Chapter 3. On Conflict. Chapter 4. Naming and Transforming Violence. PART B. LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF PEACE THROUGH WORDS AND IMAGES Chapter 5. Transforming Society: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech. Chapter 6. Peace Poetry: The Drum of Reality. Chapter 7. Becoming Artists of Life: Using Visual Images as a Language for Learning Multidimensional Peace. Chapter 8. Transforming War Journalism and Circus Journalism for Peace and Balance. PART C. USING PEACE LANGUAGE ACROSS CULTURES Chapter 9. Changing Minds: From Creating Enemies to Creating Unity and Understanding (Rebecca Oxford, Dorrie Hancock, and Julie Zdanoski) Chapter 10. Communicative Gold: Transforming Communication between Collectivist and Individualist Cultures. Chapter 11. Harmony and Discord across Cultural “Dialects” of Body Language (Rebecca Oxford and Lauren Mackenzie) PART D. THE LANGUAGE OF PEACE IN ALL OF US Chapter 12. The People’s Peace: Fresh Ideas and Images (Tasha Parrish and Rebecca Oxford)

"Invites students, educators, and researchers to think about language in new and challenging ways. . . . Highly original and refreshing, even inspiring . . . Insightful, positive. . . . Never shirks the big questions, or the bold statements: Oxford is unequivocal in her view that peace is a genuine possibility and considers the contributions we can all make through our discussions and our use of language. . . . . Subtly persuasive . . . . Voice switches between a committed activist’s enthusiasm and an effortless scholarly erudition, making for a lively, stimulating read. The thematic scope is truly impressive. . . . At no time does the author opt for the short cut and offer superficial overviews. The book is as deep as it is wide. . . . Made me stop and think about who I am and what I do . . . High praise indeed . . . . Unexpected and reinvigorating. . . . A highly positive, rewarding experience." Stephen Ryan Senshu University in Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching (Read full review)

"Sweeping and expansive. . . . Erudite yet accessible discussions of complex subjects. . . . Strengths of the book include its expansive and lucid coverage of many of the most complicated and misunderstood theoretical concepts of peace and justice studies . . . . The drawbacks of the book are few and would not be noticeable to novice readers learning about peace communication. . . . Written in an easy to read manner . . . . Would . . . work well as an advanced high school or lower division college reader in . . . peace and conflict studies, English language studies, and . . . communication and conflict management or intercultural communication. . . . Would enhance course units or seminars on feminist and gendered perspectives on peacebuilding . . . [and] also be very useful in multi- or non-denomination theological courses and workshops . . ." Ellen W. Gorsevski Bowling Green State University in Journal of Peace Education (Read full review)

"A substantive contribution . . . For any scholar wishing to bring both the theory and practice of peacemaking into the teaching of Comparative Education, these two volumes are indispensable. About The Language of Peace: Draws upon the fields of linguistics and critical discourse analysis to examine a wide range of literature related to issues of peace, war and conflict resolution . . . . Language becomes an irresistible force for social transformation. About Understanding Peace Cultures: Focus is on culture as opposed to language . . . The heart of the volume is . . . chapters introducing Buddhism, Islam and Confucianism as religions that build peace from an inner spiritual discipline that extends outward . . . . A striking feature of a number of other chapters is the way in which the reality of violence and discord is faced directly." Ruth Hayhoe University of Toronto in Comparative Education Review (Read full review)

"Finally, the book is a vital contribution to the literature in the field. It is not only a book for peace educators but also for peace studies teachers and students. The book is pregnant with conflict and conflict resolution research and teaching suggestions, and would be a useful companion for new and old peace scholars and practitioners alike." Mumbua Simon University for Peace in In Factis Peace (Read full review)