October 2 is the International Day of Nonviolence, birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of nonviolence. Almost a hundred and fifty years on, the call to the Christian community to engage in study, formation and the practice of nonviolence is being reaffirmed by Pope Francis.
Pax Christi International with the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, has been working with academics, practitioners, grassroots workers and church workers to deepen an understanding of nonviolence.
In his 2017 World Peace Day Message Pope Francis called nonviolence, 'a style of politics for peace', and he returns to this theme time and again: in speaking to the Diplomatic Corps in January 2017 and most recently in his speech at a gathering of interfaith world leaders in Germany: "As religious leaders, particularly at this present moment of history, we also have a special responsibility to be and to
live as people of peace, bearing insistent witness that God detests war, that war is never holy, and that violence can never be perpetrated or justified in the name of God. We are likewise called to trouble consciences, to spread hope, to encourage and support peacemakers everywhere."
To further explore what this might mean in practice, Pax Christi is bringing two well-known international peace practitioners and academics to the UK between 2 - 5 October for a series of seminars entitled Nonviolence Works!
Marie Denis is an author and co-president of Pax Christi International. Maria has a wealth of international peace-making experience, with her work with Pax Christi International since 2007 and with her work Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. Marie played a key role in the joint Vatican and Pax Christi initiative on Nonviolence and Just Peace and is much in demand in the United States for her continued work on this project with the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.
Maria Stephan is senior policy fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. Maria was lead foreign affairs officer in the US State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, where she worked on both policy and operations. Her last assignment entailed engaging the Syrian opposition in Turkey. In her current role, Maria focuses on the dynamics of civil resistance ad its relevance for violent conflict prevention and democratic development.
The Seminars are open to all
2 October, 2.30-5pm
London: Amigo Hall, St George's Cathedral,
Southwark, Open event,
Info & RSVP: Pax Christi, firstname.lastname@example.org
3 October, 5.30 - 7.30pm
Leeds: Leeds Beckett University
Info & RSVP: https://tinyurl.com/ybx62pxj
4 October, 5.30 - 8pm
Birmingham: Newman University, Birmingham . Lecture room DW101,
Newman University, Bartley Green Birmingham B32
Info & RSVP: David McLoughlin D.B.McLoughlin@staff.newman.ac.uk
5 October, 2.45- 5pm
Liverpool: University of Livepool, Stanley Theatre, Guild of Students,
160 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, L3 5TR
Open even. Please RSVP: email@example.com