Spirituality, Religion, and Peace Education

Edited by:
Edward J. Brantmeier, James Madison University
Jing Lin, University of Maryland
John P. Miller, University of Toronto

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

Published 2010

Spirituality, Religion, and Peace Education attempts to deeply explore the universal and particular dimensions of education for inner and communal peace. This co-edited book contains fifteen chapters on world spiritual traditions, religions, and their connections and relevance to peacebuilding and peacemaking. This book examines the teachings and practices of Confucius, of Judaism, Islamic Sufism, Christianity, Quakerism, Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and of Indigenous spirituality. Secondly, it explores teaching and learning processes rooted in self discovery, skill development, and contemplative practices for peace. Topics in various chapters include: the Buddhist practice of tonglen; an indigenous Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono for forgiveness and conflict resolution; pilgrimage and labyrinth walking for right action; Twelve Step Programs for peace; teaching from a religious/spiritual perspective; narrative inquiry, Daoism, and peace curriculum; Gandhi, deep ecology, and multicultural peace education in teacher education; peacemaking and spirituality in undergraduate courses; and wisdom-based learning in teacher education. Peace education practices stemming from wisdom traditions can promote stillness as well as enliven, awaken, and urge reconciliation, connection, wisdom cultivation, and transformation and change in both teachers and students in diverse educational contexts.

In various chapters of this book, a critique of competition, consumerism, and materialism undergird the analysis. More than just a critique, some chapters provide both conceptual and practical clarity for deeper engagement in peaceful action and change in society. Cultural awareness and understanding are fostered through a focus on the positive aspects of wisdom traditions rather than the negative aspects and historical complexities of violence and conflict as result of religious hegemony.

Introduction: Toward an Integrated Spirituality for Peace, Edward J. Brantmeier. PART I: GREAT WISDOM TRADITIONS AND PEACE EDUCATION. Confucius’ Teaching of Virtues: Implications for World Peace and Peace Education, Jing Lin and Yingji Wang. Islamic Sufism and Education for Peace, Michelle Ayazi. A Jewish Perspective on Peace Education, Reuben Jacobson and Moishe Steigmann. How Christianity Addresses Peace and What This Means for Education, Rebecca L. Oxford. Peace Education and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Mary Lee Morrison and Ian Harris. Hinduism and Peace Education, Priyankar Upadhyaya. A Tibetan Peace Perspective, Jia Luo. Indigenous Spirituality as a Source for Peaceful Relations, Four Arrows, aka Don Trent Jacobs. PART II: PEACE EDUCATION, TEACHING AND LEARNING, AND SPIRITUALITY. Contemplative Practices in Counseling and Education: A Course in Nonviolent Intervention for Counselors and Teachers, Nathalie Kees. Finding Peace via Reconciliation and Awakening: 12-Step Programs and Education for Religion, Spirituality, and Peace, D. Brent Edwards Jr. The Place of Spirituality in the Life and Work of Ismaili Teachers of Central Asia, Sarfaroz Niyozov and Zahra Punja. Daoism, Narrative Inquiry, and a Curriculum of Peace, Xin Li. Peacemaking and Spirituality: Bridging Faith, Values, Understanding and Life Skills, William M. Timpson. “Self” Re-Education for Teachers: Gandhi, Deep Ecology, & Multicultural Peace Education, Edward J. Brantmeier. Educating for Wisdom, John P. Miller. About the Authors. Index.

"This collective volume co-edited by three experts in the field offers a rich overview of the ways in which spirituality can serve as the core of peace education. Part I, “Great Wisdom Traditions and Peace Education,” offers a series of insights concerning what some of the great spiritual traditions can offer to counteract some of the excesses of the dominant contemporary educational system, such as materialism, consumerism, competition or nationalism. We are reminded of the spiritual roots of some famous peace educators, activists and leaders, and learn about less known ones. Part II, “Peace Education, Teaching and Learning, and Spirituality,” introduces spiritual themes that are conducive to peace, related to a spiritual tradition or not. This book explains and illustrates how the concept of interdependence, found in all spiritual traditions and numerous practices and activities that have a spiritual quality, is the key for peace education towards a better future for humanity and our planet. This book offers excellent insight for those who are already engaged in peace education as well as for people just starting to touch the surface of this topic." Dr. Olivier Urbain Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research