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Choose Peace
with Johan Galtung

Choose Peace
Pub. Year



Pluto Press



Johan Galtung, founder of the International Peace Research Institute, and Daisaku Ikeda, president of the lay Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International, explore the interface between Buddhism and nonviolent solutions to global conflict.

The two men have in common bitter personal memories of World War II. During the German occupation of Norway, Galtung's father was imprisoned in a concentration camp for his resistance activities. Ikeda's older brother died in combat, adding to the devastation he and his family experienced during the war. They share aspirations, informed by these tragedies, for global peace.

Far from abstract, their quest inspires concrete proposals for not only the world of politics but also religion. The two look, for example, with a critical eye at the merits and demerits of Buddhism as a source of social transformation. In the course of their discussion, they outline the requirements of a Buddhism relevant to and sufficient for the 21st century.

Galtung and Ikeda probe the viability of nonviolence in discussing the institution and status of universal human rights. The death penalty, nationalism, fundamentalism, arms proliferation, and social and environmental degradation are among the many issues considered. The roles of civil society and international governance are also specifically examined.

Galtung and Ikeda identify the structural, psychological and spiritual as well as physical sources of violence and unrest. Within the context of these complex realities, their dialogue addresses the role of Buddhism in formulating peaceful solutions.

Choose Peace is also available in Japanese, Italian, Thai and Korean.


About the Authors

1 Learning and Doing
  • Norway
  • Accepting Challenges
  • Philosophers from the Masses
  • Learning from Giants
  • Opening the Door
  • Ways of Learning
  • Realists of the Head; Idealists of the Heart
  • Works Speak Louder than Words
  • Optimists
  • Webs of Love
  • Straight to the Heart

2 History Persists
  • Citizens of the World
  • Article 9
  • A Pacific Civilization
  • Masterful Communicators
  • The Floodgate of Free Expression
  • Socialism: Pro and Con
  • Perestroika
  • Whither the Formerly Socialist Nations?
  • Unification
  • The Twentieth Century

3 The Feasibility of Nonviolence
  • Gandhi: Optimism
  • Gandhi: Nonviolence versus Structural Violence
  • Gandhi: An Unclouded Eye
  • Gandhi: Religious Breadth
  • The Death Penalty
  • Sublimating Aggressive Instincts

4 Religion as Transformation
  • Universal Life-resonance
  • The Interconnectedness of All Things
  • The Nature of the Sacred
  • Tolerance
  • Buddhism: Merits and Demerits
  • A New, Global Mahayana

5 Putting the People in Charge
  • Grassroots Power
  • Philosophical Perspective
  • Rights as Universal Norms
  • Japanese Views of Human Rights
  • Philosophical Basis

6 A New World Order
  • After Socialism
  • The Rights of the Whole Human Race
  • Fires of Nationalism
  • Fundamentalism
  • Cultural Relativism
  • United Nations: Reorganization
  • United Nations: Development and Environmental Protection
  • United Nations: Civic-participation System
  • United Nations: Japan’s International Contributions
  • The Haves and the Have-nots
  • An Approach to Global Problems
  • Armament of the Apocalypse
  • Proliferation and Supervision of Nuclear Technology
  • Arms Reduction
  • Global Government


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