In Into Full Flower: Making Peace Cultures Happen, the late Dartmouth College Professor of Sociology Emeritus Elise Boulding (1920-2010), who served on the International Jury of the UNESCO Prize for Peace, and Daisaku Ikeda, envision a world without armies. They contend that the instruments with which the present culture of war may be transformed into a global culture of peace are education and the kind of dialogue in which we listen to our inner voices of spirituality.
Believing that peace lives in everyday human interactions, the authors call on us to revitalize social ties by building an open network of dialogue in the home as well as within and between local communities. As we get to know others their world becomes familiar to us and our humanity or capacity for empathy and compassion is precipitated. Developing global citizens—those people who recognize, respect and heed this spiritual capacity, which Ikeda describes as a “radiant, noble life force” that is “equally inherent in all”—is the task of both parenting and education.
According to Boulding, who developed and taught the first peace studies program in the United States at Dartmouth College, education enables us to tap the “humanity in every human being.” This, in turn, enables us to find our spiritual voice and equips us to contribute to the whole global community. The authors believe education is more than mere book learning confined to a classroom: it is a listening process, similar to dialogue, in which children and adults teach and learn as much from one another as they do from the diverse cultural fabric of daily life.
Applying the dynamic of peace at both local and international levels requires us to seek creative responses to conflict that arise from our differences. In order to generate such responses, Boulding recommends us all “to develop women’s inherent strength and gentleness” and enhance our ability to listen “on a wide scale” throughout society. Children, too, although often underestimated as immature beings, are in fact, as Ikeda describes, “emissaries from the future” and have a wealth of ideas for conflict resolution and ways to advance peace.
While drawing on personal insights and the teachings of divergent faiths, Boulding, a Quaker, and Ikeda, a Buddhist, share a bedrock belief: Humankind’s most profound, spiritual voice is one of empathy and compassion—one that will prevail over violence and aggression to create a global culture of peace, or the spiritual flowering of human potential.
Foreword by Hazel Henderson
- Peace in the Family
- Mutual Influences
- Norway’s Cooperative Spirit
- Early Roots of Peace
- The Core of a Peace Culture
- Beyond the Win-Lose Mentality
- Breaking the Chain of Violence
- Education As Journey
- Women's Inherent Strength
- Creating Global Citizens
- Women Speaking Out
- More than Partnership
- The Necessity of Vision
- A World of Progress
- The Two-hundred-year Present
||Peace Culture: The Problem of Managing Human Difference
||Peace and Human Security: A Buddhist Perspective for the Twenty-first Century
About the Authors
“It is a delight to eavesdrop, as it were, on the conversation between Elise Boulding, a friend and colleague for fifty-five years, and Daisaku Ikeda, whom I know only through his words--two visionary thinkers and unabashed humanists. Coming from different traditions, they share a profound commitment to peace and human welfare, to diversity and world citizenship, to open listening and dialogue, and to envisioning and building a better future. In a flowing dialogue, they build on each other’s experiences and ideas to produce valuable insights for creating peace cultures.”
—Herbert Kelman, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Emeritus, Harvard University
“This animated conversation between Elise Boulding and Daisaku Ikeda covers many intriguing topics in the field of peace culture. Each draws upon decades of personal experience, and their dialogue winds its way from the small-scale but crucial details of family life, through the organization and practice of education, to the broad lessons of intercultural learning. Boulding and Ikeda encourage us to rethink our own priorities and to consider alternatives that are more social, peaceful, just, and fun.”
—Paul Joseph, Professor of Sociology, and Director, Peace and Justice Studies Program, Tufts University
“This book is a wonderful encapsulation of so much of what is important and necessary to transform our present global war culture into one of peace, sustainability, and hope. In this series of dialogues, Daisaku Ikeda and Elise Boulding share with readers their rich wisdom, based on their lifetimes of studying, speaking, and writing of the importance of a sea change in our values. The authors point out that we must learn to move from an ethos of individualism to one of conversation, caring and compassion, as we seek, without enmity, to understand one another across the differences that divide us. Education must be at the forefront of such movements for building peace. This kind of education honors the creative spirit and energy of each individual, yet calls us, at the same time, into community. True peace and happiness begins with each of us as individuals, yet can only be fulfilled when each of us works conjointly for the happiness of others as much as for ourselves. It is in the constant connections with members of our human family that the true basis of peace lies. Good pedagogy is connected to a reverence for life and is rooted in life’s most diverse experiences.
Ikeda and Boulding point out that changing our culture cannot happen without honoring the contributions of women and without giving credence to the traditional feminine values of nurturing, listening, and caring. Social reform and any building of peace culture must rest both upon the firm foundation of the inner transformative work of the human heart and upon an ethos of love.”
—Mary Lee Morrison, Founding Director of Pax Educare, Inc., and author of Elise Boulding: A Life in the Cause of Peace