Overcoming Violence

OVERCOMING VIOLENCE:

PRACTICAL THEOLOGY AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

 HDS 2829, Spring 2007

 Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00-11:30 (plus film series & hour to be arranged)

Harvard Divinity School, Andover Hall, Room 102

Professors: M. Christian Green (HDS), Rodney Petersen (BTI), Thomas Massaro (WJST), Ed Rodman (EDS), Samuel Johnson (BUSTh), and Ann Riggs (NCCC)

 COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES

The twentieth century has been described as the most violent century in history. The problem of violence has recurred anew in this century with the “War on Terror” and genocide in Darfur.  Two international bodies, the World Council of Churches and the World Health Organization, began the new millennium by calling for renewed attention to violence and for theological and political solutions.   Yet, despite recent calls for apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation, our policies and theologies continue to waver between retributive and restorative approaches. This course will survey classic understandings of violence and its effects, along with contemporary writings in theology, law, politics, and public policy.  In exploring various movements in political theology, restorative justice, and conflict resolution, we will examine violence as a problem of deep religious and spiritual significance for Christian churches and other religious traditions, and for the health of the human community in the 21st century.

 SCHEDULE OF CLASSES AND READINGS

 Week 1—Introduction

January 31— Introduction (Green, Petersen, Massaro, Rodman, Johnson, Riggs)

  • Opening statements and introduction by the faculty members.

 Suggestions for Practical Theology:

A class folder is available on line for resources and suggestions in practical theology. Initial suggestions are noted in this syllabus.

Ron Kraybill, Transforming the Peacebuilder, 2006 Version (See course instructors for copies).

Professor, Conflict Transformation Program, Eastern Mennonite University

UNIT I – PHILOSOPHICAL AND THEOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO VIOLENCE

 Week 2— The Phenomenon of Violence: Philosophy, Sociology, and Psychology

February 5 – Evolutionary Biological and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives (Green)

Readings:

  • Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression (1963), chs 3-5 (What Aggression Is Good For; The Spontaneity of Aggression; Habit, Ritual, and Magic)
  • Martin Daly and Margo Wilson, Homicide, chs. 1 (Homicide and Human Nature), 10 (Retaliation and Revenge), and 12 (On Cultural Variation)
  • Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, Philosophy in a Time of Terror, pp. 25-43 (Dialogue with Jürgen Habermas) and 85-136 (Dialogue with Jacques Derrida)
  • Judith Butler, Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence, chs. 2 (Violence, Mourning, and Politics) and 5 (Precarious Life).

 February 7 – Twentieth Century Classics (Petersen)

Readings:

  • Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, chs. 5-8 (selections on aggressiveness, death instinct, civilization, guilt, instincts, repetition compulsion, religion, unconsciousness).
  • Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence (1908), chs. III (Prejudices Against Violence), VI (Ethics of Violence), and Appendix II (Apology for Violence)
  • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, pp. 35-106 (Concerning Violence).
  • Hannah Arendt, On Violence, ch.1.
  • Jacques Ellul, Violence, ch. 1.

 Week 3 – The Phenomenon of Violence: Theological Considerations

February 12 – Violence Portrayed in Religious Traditions (Petersen)

Readings

  • George Huntston Williams, “Four Modalities of Violence,” 16:1-2 Journal of Church and State (1974) Pt. 1 and Pts. 2-3, 1:14-30, 2:237-61.
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, II, 5 (The Beatitudes).
  • Marjorie Suchocki, The Fall to Violence, Chs. 2 (Rebellion Against Creation) and 5 (Sin Through Violence)
  • Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace, pp. 13-98, 99-165.
  • Rodney Petersen, “Branding Identity: Church as Neighborhood Center for Forgiveness and Reconciliation and for Restorative Justice,” in Emmanuel Clapsis, ed., Violence and Christian Spirituality

February 14 –Rene Girard, Violence, and the Sacred (Guest: Prof. Robert Daly, BC)

Readings:

  • Rene Girard, Violence and the Sacred, chs. 1 (The Sacrifice), 2 (The Sacrificial Crisis), 4 (The Origins of Myth and Ritual), 10 (The Gods, the Dead, the Sacred, and Sacrificial Substitution), and 11 (The Unity of All Rites).
  • Mark Heim, Saved from Sacrifice. A Theology of the Cross (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006): 1-36.
  • Fred Smith, “A Prophetic Religious Education for Y2K and Beyond: And Black Boys Shall See Visions,” in Rodney Petersen, ed., Theological Literacy for the Twenty-first Century (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002): 292-310.

 Suggestions for Practical Theology

Why Violence? Why Not Peace? A Study Guide to help individuals and groups in the churches to reflect and act in the Decade to overcome Violence (Geneva: WCC Publications, 2002): 24 pp.

 

UNIT II – LEGAL AND STRUCTURAL REMEDIES TO VIOLENCE

 Week 4 – Violence Viewed Within Broader Christian Theological Frameworks

February 19—NO CLASS—PRESIDENTS’ DAY

February 21 – The Functions of Law and Grace (Massaro, Riggs)

Readings:

  • J. Denny Weaver, “Atonement and the Gospel of Peace,” in Enns, Holland and Riggs, eds, Seeking Cultures of Peace, pp.109-123.
  • Deenabandhu Manchala, ed. Nurturing Peace
  • John D. Rempel  and Jeffrey Gros, eds., The Fragmentation of the Church and Its Unity in Peacemaking, chs. by Eric W. Gritsch, “Church Unity and Peacemaking: A Lutheran Perspective,” and John D. Rempel, “The Unity of the Church and the Christian Peace Witness: A Mennonite Perspective.”

Korean Christianity is one of the most dynamic forms of Christianity alive in the world today. Korean Christians see themselves as “mediators” between the first and third worlds. Issues of relationship between North and South Korea are also shaping global politics. Our interest in violence needs to take into account a Korean perspective for religious and political reasons.

2006-2007 Costas Consultation in Global Mission

“Mission and Reconciliation in the Korean Church”

Dates:   23 – 24 February (22 February advance KIATS Session)

Location: Schools of the Boston Theological Institute, including HDS (Thursday) and Andover Newton Theological School (Friday afternoon and Saturday morning).

Note: In association with the Korean Institute for Advanced Theological Studies the

Suggestions for Practical Theology

Restorative justice exercises: Begin with Howard Zehr, The Little Book of Restorative Justice (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2002). Additional exercises for use among small groups will be handed out in class.

Korean Christianity is one of the most dynamic forms of Christianity alive in the world today. Korean Christians see themselves as “mediators” between the first and third worlds. Issues of relationship between North and South Korea are also shaping global politics. Our interest in violence needs to take into account a Korean perspective for religious and political reasons.

 

2006-2007 Costas Consultation in Global Mission

“Mission and Reconciliation in the Korean Church”

 

Dates:   23 – 24 February (22 February advance KIATS Session)

Location: Schools of the Boston Theological Institute, including HDS (Thursday) and Andover Newton Theological School (Friday afternoon and Saturday morning).

 

Week 5 –Law, Religion, and Restorative Justice

February 26—Violence and the Law (Green)

Readings:

  • Robert Cover, “Violence and the Word,” in Narrative, Violence, and the Law, pp. 203-38.
  • Patricia Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights, chs. 4 (Teleology on the Rocks) and 12 (On Being the Object of Property)
  • Martha Minow, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness, esp. chs. 2 (Vengeance and Forgiveness) and 6 (Facing History)
  • Austin Sarat, ed. Law, Violence, and the Possibility of Justice, chs. 1 (Situating Law Between the Realities of Violence and the Claims of Justice), 2 (The Vicissitudes of Law’s Violence), and 6 (Why the Law is Also Nonviolent)

February 28—From Retributive to Restorative Justice (Petersen)       

Readings:

  • Michael Hadley, ed., The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice, pp.1-30, 119-142.
  • Christopher Marshall, Beyond Retribution, pp. 1-144.
  • Daniel Van Ness and Karen Strong, Restoring Justice, pp. 1-30.
  • Walter Wink, The Powers That Be, pp. 1-62. 

 Suggestions for Practical Theology

 Restorative justice exercises: Begin with Howard Zehr, The Little Book of Restorative Justice (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2002). Additional exercises for use among small groups will be handed out in class.

 

UNIT III – MODELS, MOVEMENTS, AND MEANS

Week 6 – Models, Movements and Means to Overcoming Violence

March 5 – Mahatma Gandhi, Howard Thurman, and the Centennial of Nonviolence (Petersen and Rodman)

Readings:

  • Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall, A Force More Powerful, pp. 61-112, 305-334.
  • Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited
  • Anthony da Silva, SJ, “Through Nonviolence to Truth: Gandhi’s Vision of Reconciliation,” in Helmick and Petersen, Forgiveness and Reconciliation, pp. 305-327.

March 7 –Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the American Civil Rights Movement (Rodman and Riggs)

Readings:

  • Susan E. Davies and Sister Paul Teresa Hennessee, SA, eds., Ending Racism in the Church
  • Malcolm X, George Breitman, ed., Malcolm X Speaks (readings TBA)
  • Michael Haynes, Models for Ministry Series, Ministry in the 21st Century Series, BTI, 2004. 
  • Martin Luther King, James M. Washington, ed., Testament of Hope, (readings to be announced)

 Week 7 – Models, Movements and Means to Overcoming Violence

March 12 – The Democratic Tide and the Age of Apology (Petersen and Green)

Readings:

  • Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall, A Force More Powerful, pp. 457-506.
  • R.L. Brooks “The Age of Apology,” in R. L. Brooks, ed., When Sorry Isn’t Enough, pp. 3-11.
  • Daniel Philpott, “Beyond Politics as Usual,” and Nicholas Wolterstorff, “The Place of Forgiveness in the Actions of the State,” in Philpott, ed., The Politics of Past Evil, pp. 11-44, 87-112.
  • Tina Rosenberg, The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism,, “Introduction” and “Haunted Lands”

March 14 – No Justice, No Peace: Economic and Environmental Rights as Nonviolence (Green, Rodman and Riggs)

Readings:

  • Mohammad Yunus.  Banker to the Poor, pp. 33-83, 191-212.
  • Wangari Maathai.  Unbowed (Knopf, 2006): 154-229, 277-295.
  • Rigoberta Menchu.  I, Rigoberta Menchu, ch. 7, 13, 17-19, 24, 27, 30, 33-34.
  • Nicholas Hildyard, “Blood, Babies and the Social Roots of Conflict,” in Mohammed Suliman, ed., Ecology, Politics and Violent Conflict, pp. 3-24.
  • Wangari Maathai, “Planting the Future,” (interview with Wangari Maathai) Speaking of Faith, December 21, 2006.
  • MohammadYunus, “Nobel Lecture,” December 10, 2006.

 Suggestions for Practical Theology

 A Mennonite Statement and Study on Violence (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1998); see also Dale W. Brown, Biblical Pacifism (Elgin, IL: Brethren Press, 2003)

 

UNIT IV – ISSUES

 Week 8 – Personal and Domestic Violence

March 19—Suicide, Martyrdom and Self-Destruction (Petersen)

Readings:

  • Emil Durkheim, Suicide, pp. 57-144.
  • James Gilligan, Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic

March 21—Sexual and Domestic Violence (Green)

Readings:

  • Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse, Pt. III (Power, Status, and Hate)
  • John Stoltenberg, Refusing to Be a Man, Part I (The Ethics of Male Sexual Identity)
  • Catharine MacKinnon, Are Women Human?, 18 (Rape, Genocide, and Women’s Human Rights) 22 (Genocide’s Sexuality)
  • Marie Fortune, Sexual Violence: The Sin Revisited, Chs. 1-4(can skim biblical  material in first half of Ch. 3) 

 NO CLASS MARCH 26 & 28—HDS SPRING BREAK

 Week 9 – Health and the Environment

April 2 – Violence and Health (Green)

Readings:

  • World Health Organization, World Report on Violence and Health, executive summary
  • Sandra Bloom, Creating Sanctuary, esp. ch. 1 (Trauma Theory: Deconstructing the Social) and 4 (Creating Sanctuary: Reconstructing the Social)
  • Gary Gunderson, Deeply Woven Roots, Ch. 1

April 4 – Spoiling the “Tent”: Brown Fields in Urban Boston (Rodman and Massaro)

Readings:

Holy Week for Orthodox, Latin & Protestant Christians

 Week 10 — Issues of Ethnicity and Race

April 9 –Destruction of Neighbor: Ethnicity and Identity (Guest: Keelan Downton, NCC)

Readings:

  • Theo Tschuy, “Focal Points for Further Reflection,” in Ethnic Conflict and Religion. Challenge to the Churches, pp.135-156. 
  • Raymond Helmick, SJ, “Does Religion Fuel or Heal in Conflicts?” and Geraldine Smyth, OP, “Brokenness, Forgiveness, Healing and Peace in Ireland,” in Helmick and Petersen, eds., Forgiveness and Reconciliation, pp. 81-96, 329-360.

April 11 –Destruction of Neighbor: Race and Identity (Rodman)

Readings:

  • Alvin F. Poussaint and Amy Alexander, Lay My Burden Down (readings TBA)
  • Rodney Petersen, “Mission in the Context of Racism, Restorative Justice and Reconciliation,” in Jeyaraj, Pazmino and Petersen, The Antioch Agenda

 Week 11 – Just War, Terrorism and Peace

April 16 – Just War Theory in Evolution and Context (Massaro, Riggs and Simion)

Readings:

  • Lisa Cahill, Love Your Enemies, pp. 55-118.
  • John H. Erickson, “An Orthodox Peace Witness?” in Rempel andGros, eds., The Fragmentation of the Church and its Unity in Peacemaking, pp. 48-58.
  • Tom Massaro, Catholic Perspectives on War and Peace, 87-106, 107-121.
  • H.H. Pope Shenouda III “Diabolic Wars, ” pp. 1-189 (skim)
  • H.H. Pope Shenouda III “Contemplations on the Ten Commandments: Vol 3. The Sixth Commandment,”

April 18 – Terrorism and Humanitarian Relief (Guest Lecturers)

Readings:

  • Mark Juergensmayer. Terror in the Mind of God, Ch. 1 (Terror and God) and 7-11 (The Logic of Religious Violence)
  • David Little, ed.,  Peacemakers in Action (reading TBA)
  • Jessica Stern, Terror in the Name of God, Pt. I, esp. chs. 1 (Alienation) and 2 (Humiliation)
  • Samantha Power, A Problem from Hell (optional reading)

 

UNIT V – CONSTRUCTING A PRACTICAL THEOLOGY

Week 12 – Religion, Identity and Violence

April 23—Self/Other Conflict and Personal Identity (Petersen)

Readings:

  • Marjorie Suchocki, The Fall to Violence, ch. 8 (Guilt and Freedom) and 9 (Forgiveness and Transformation)
  • Donna Hicks, “The Role of Identity Reconstruction in Promoting Reconciliation,” in Helmick and Petersen, Forgiveness and Reconciliation, pp.129-150.
  • Geiko Muller-Fahrenholz, The Art of Forgiveness.

April 25—Memory, Forgiveness, and Social Identity (Green)

Readings:

  • Paul Ricoeur, Memory, History, Forgetting, Pt. III, ch. 3 and Epilogue
  • Miroslav Volf, The End of Memory (chapters of interest TBA)
  • Flora Keshgegian, Redeeming Memories, chs. 3 (“I Remember, It Happened”: Retrieving Voices and Reconstructing Histories), 4 (The Call to Remembrance and Witness in Contemporary Theology), and 5 (The Church as a Community of Remembrance and Witness)
  • Flora Keshgegian, Time for Hope, chs. 2 (Outside the Lines: Contemporary Threats and Challenges)  and 4 (Black Holes and Fractured Fairy Tales)

 NO CLASSES AFTER THIS TIME

 TEXTS AND RESOURCES

 Books Available at the Bookstore for Purchase (“REQUIRED”)

Davies, Susan, and Paul Teresa Hennessee, eds., Ending Racism in the Church (Cleveland:

United Church Press, 1998).

Keshgegian, Flora.  Redeeming Memories: A Theology of Healing and Transformation

(Nashville: Abingdon, 2000).

Gilligan, James. Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic (New York: Vintage, 1996).

Juergensmayer, Mark. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, 3rd ed.

(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003)

Manchala, Deenabandhu, ed. Nurturing Peace: Theological Reflections on Overcoming

Violence (Geneva:  WCC Publications, 2005)

Minow, Martha. Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass

Murder (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999)

Volf, Miroslav. The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World (Grand Rapids:

Eerdmans, 2006)

Books Available at the Bookstore for Purchase (“RECOMMENDED”)

Arendt, Hannah. On Violence (Harvest Books, 1970)

Girard, Rene. Violence and the Sacred, Patrick Gregory, trans. (Johns Hopkins University Press,

1979)

Jeffrey Gros and John D. Rempel, eds., The Fragmentation of the Church and Its Unity in

Peacemaking (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).

Fortune, Marie M. Sexual Violence: The Sin Revisited (Pilgrim Press, 2005)

Keshgegian, Flora. Time for Hope: Practices for Living in Today’s World (Continuum, 2006)

Massaro, Thomas. Catholic Perspectives on War and Peace (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003)

Muller-Fahrenholz, Geiko. Art of Forgiveness: Theological Reflections on Healing and

Reconciliation (WCC Publications, 1997)

Suchocki, Marjorie Hewitt.  The Fall to Violence: Original Sin in Relational Theology

(New York: Continuum, 1995)

Volf, Miroslav.  Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and

Reconciliation (Abingdon, 1996)

Advertisements