My Favorite books on NonViolence
I was on facebook the other night and my friend Justin reminded me of a quote my Stanley Haurewas which said, “The problem with Christian Nonviolence is that sometimes you have to watch others suffer for your convictions.”
Of course, this as been the major topic of conversation for the last two days because everyone knows that when I am working through an idea, I am talking to everyone who will listen.
I stumbled across a list of Nonviolent books today and thought that I would make a list of my own favorites as well. These are not all books about nonviolence, but it is a list of books that brought me to my ideas on war, peace and violence.
In no particular order:
1. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
In the early chapters of the book is a wonderful story about how a priest handled an instance of theft from his home. His response changed the direction of a man’s life forever. I understand that this is literature, but I think that one action can still have that power in reality.
2. The Politics of Jesus – John Howard Yoder
Reshaped the way I view political institutions in America and is one of the most cited books by writers on the issue today.
3. A Different Drum: Communitymaking and Peace – Scott Peck
Peck’s book deals mostly with how we live in peace with the people around us in order to make our whole community more Christ-like.
4. Jesus and Nonviolence – Walter Wink
Usually when a person writes a book on an issue, thenit is followed up with another book on the same idea, they tend to be the same book. This is not the case with this and the previous book by Yoder. Though essentially the same premise, this book packs new theological insights.
5. The Rifle – Gary Paulsen
Sometimes you read a book or see a movie and something about the time you read it, something about when you find it, has an effect on you that ripples through the rest of your life. This book was one of those. It follows the life of a rifle made for the Civil War. From battle, to closet, to attic, the hanging over a fireplace, but it’s a reminder that no matter what you decide to do with a gun, there is really one thing that they are made for.
6. The Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
This book, like The Rifle was something I read when I was young but changed my thinking pretty deeply. The book follows a kid who has to decide if he’s going to follow in the practices of his community or questions whether or not they are right.