Volume 1, Issue 1
Summer 2005

The Power to Transform a Culture

If you ask five pageant contestants the one thing they would wish for, at least four will say world peace. But if you ask five people what peace is, you will get at least six answers.

To paraphrase Johan Galtung, a founder of the peace studies field, “negative peace” is the absence of direct violent conflict, and “positive peace” is the presence of justice, community reconciliation, and sustainable relationships.

A beautiful vision, to be sure, but how do we get there? Is positive peace something that can be “achieved”? In the first issue of this publication, we begin the process of addressing these questions.

Our goal is to promote a greater understanding of principled nonviolence and conflict transformation at three levels: intrapersonal (within ourselves), interpersonal (in our relations), and paradigmatic (in our system of meaning and the way we view the world).

In this issue, Antonio Castillo and Eli Sasaran discuss practices to develop intrapersonal change – through meditation and a spiritual approach to peacemaking. Tal Palter’s analysis of the Israeli Refusnik movement mixes both intra- and interpersonal approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Guest contributor Tim Flinders discusses the world’s first nonviolent. army, a revolutionary approach to conflict that challenges the defunct paradigm that tries to convince us that the only way to defend a community or change society is through armed force.

But more than simply informing the campus community, we want to empower students to incorporate peaceful principles in their work for social change. Our focus on principled nonviolence is meant to inspire hope by showing a way out of war, injustice, and the logic of humiliation. We hope to provide a unique perspective, and open up a space for dialogue. We would love to hear your thoughts.

In their articles, many of our writers have included ways you can become part of the constructive process. One way to contribute is to join our team. We need writers, photographers, artists, and editors who are interested in conflict transformation, social change, nonviolence education and spirituality.

We are a group of students who are committed to articulating alternatives to violence and passivity. If you are worried about the state of the world, of your community, or of your heart, please join us. Together we can build a bridge to the future based on our greatest hopes and not our darkest fears.

In peace,
      The Editors