Voices of Nonviolence


Ellen Ott Marshall, Candler School of Theology, with Indya Childs, dancer and choreographer

About the Course

ES 673: Voices of Nonviolence

This course offers an introduction to theories, theologies, and practice of nonviolence by studying the life and work of individuals and organizations that purposefully employed and employ nonviolent approaches to social change. We survey a range of actors in a variety of historical and cultural contexts. The first part of the course covers formative, historical figures. The second part of the semester engages current movements and emerging leaders. Students also conduct and share independent research on actors of their choosing, which broadens our range of voices even further. Through all of this variety, we trace four themes in the form of questions that persist in studies of nonviolence: Where is the line between nonviolence and violence? What should be the role of suffering in nonviolent movements? How do we think about effectiveness in the context of nonviolent social change? What religious convictions and practices sustain these actors; and what can they teach us about theology and formation?