Practicing and Embodying Nonviolence HTE664

Published: October 23, 2021

Instructor: Malinda Elizabeth Berry, PhD

This course focuses on helping students learn and/or further their skills as reflective practitioners who integrate knowing, being, and doing in service of their commitment to peace theoethics. This course is also shaped by Richard J. Foster’s Streams of Living Water — the six spiritual traditions of Christian faith. We will focus on the social justice tradition in particular, the stream of Christianity that transforms us to live the Compassionate Life. Foster writes, “Compassionate Life takes place in all arenas of life, from personal to social to global. As with the other traditions, the actions we take are not the end goal. True compassion is motivated by a genuine heart, is empowered by the love of God, and embraces the possibility of positive change.”

More than an expression of activism, Christian nonviolence is an expression of the Compassionate Life, making this aspect of the Christian life a set of values and beliefs we express with our bodies. This is the reality we will explore by putting nonviolence into physical, emotional, and spiritual practice using Anabaptist understandings of themes such as incarnation, theological anthropology, atonement, and reconciliation as the theological foundation of our work. The theoretical components of the course include nonviolent communication, confessional Bible study, and theopoetics.