August 6 is the second anniversary of EngagingPeace.com and the 67th anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima and much of its population by an atomic bomb.
Today’s post focuses on celebrating efforts to end the threat of nuclear weapons, as well as cluster bombs, landmines, and drones. It celebrates initiatives to achieve lasting peace through the only effective method: non-violence.
We begin another case study on moral engagement, focusing specifically on the Peace Abbey of Sherborn, MA (soon to be housed in the Healey Library at UMass/Boston). We have mentioned the Peace Abbey in several previous posts and begin today with their mission statement:
“The Peace Abbey is dedicated to creating innovative models for society that empower individuals on the paths of nonviolence, peacemaking, and cruelty-free living. We offer a variety of programs and resources that teach, inspire and encourage one to speak out and act on issues of peace and social justice. Faith in action is the cornerstone of our fellowship and activist pacifism is our creed. The Peace Abbey serves as a model for religious organizations, communities, and individuals seeking non-violent, pacifist pathways to peace and social justice.”
Many renowned peace advocates, including Mother Teresa, Howard Zinn, Maya Angelou, David Dellinger, Muhammad Ali, Daniel Berrigan, Barry Crimmins, and Thich Nhat Hanh, visited the Peace Abbey facilities in Sherborn.
Looking back on Hiroshima Day in 1945, writes Noam Chomsky, the world learned that “humans, in their dedicated quest to extend their capacities for destruction, had finally found a way to approach the ultimate limit.” Chomsky also reminds us of the many occasions since 1945 that the world has been on the brink of nuclear war and the annihilation of much of the human race and other life forms.
Today let us be grateful for organizations such as the Peace Abbey that are working to replace the threat of war with the possibility of peace.
Kathie Malley-Morrison, Professor of Psychology