IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Some more on nonviolence

Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.day (probably everybody knows that this year!), so I thought it would be timely to look into some of Dr. King’s ideas about nonviolence.  Here is an interesting summary of his views (not from Wikipedia this time 🙂 ) . The connection with Gandhi is clear and interesting:

“While at the seminary, King also read about Gandhi and his teachings. King was struck by the concept of satyagraha, which means truth-force or love-force. He realized that ‘the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom.” ‘  As this site explains, it took some time for Dr. King to be convinced that Gandhi’s methods could work in the U.S…but once he was committed the world changed.

Dr. King wrote about “six principles of nonviolence”, but a few hops around the Net reveal that they are not always listed in exactly the same way.  Here is a short summary from the King Center:

“Fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence described in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom. The six principles include: (1.) Nonviolence is not passive, but requires courage; (2.) Nonviolence seeks reconciliation, not defeat of an adversary; (3.) Nonviolent action is directed at eliminating evil, not destroying an evil-doer; (4.) A willingness to accept suffering for the cause, if necessary, but never to inflict it; (5.) A rejection of hatred, animosity or violence of the spirit, as well as refusal to commit physical violence; and (6.) Faith that justice will prevail.”

We all know what Dr. King achieved, and how he lived these principles.   It is clear in his approach that Faith and self-sacrifice are key elements in changing enemies into friends and replacing conflict with reconciliation.


January 19, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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