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A Must-read book

‘The Center for Global Nonkilling has just released its most recent book, co-published by Creighton University, that artfully explores the intersection between faith, ethics and politics in modern times: Peace Portraits: Pathways to Nonkilling – A Memoir. The intimate autobiographical portraits in the collection reveal how five global peace leaders –Mahatma Gandhi, Lester B. Pearson, Glenn D. Paige, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai, and Máiread Corrigan Maguire impacted the author’s life. Using their short biographies, CGNK’s Governing Council member Balwant Bhaneja examines the path of nonviolence and nonkilling.

As Bhaneja writes: “Peace is a much abused word. It has been misused and misspoken by all sorts of leaders in defense of their insurgencies and wars—Stalin mobilized the Soviet Union in the name of peace, Hitler’s war to colonize Europe was to bring peace and prosperity for Germans, and even Bush’s military intervention in Iraq was to introduce peace and democracy in the region to make America look great again. These wars of the previous century were fought in the name of peace which led to the deaths of around 200 million people, mostly innocent civilians.” He adds: “The US involvement in the Afghanistan war in this century has been the longest in any foreign war, 20 years in 2021. You have to be naive to feel high-minded after having paid such a heavy toll, and have the gall to call it a “mission of peace accomplished.“

By bringing together the spiritual life with the political, Bhaneja delves into the nature of personal conscience as embodied in the thoughts and actions of these peace champions. His definition of peace continues to evolve, from the internal as peace of mind and personal happiness to peace outside, to see if and how it can be externalized to alleviate physical misery around. It is through this quest he came to learn about Nonkilling Peace and its measure. “Deliberate killing of humans stops progress—you stop killing, progress resumes.”

Professor Glenn D. Paige on Bhaneja’s book commented: “This is a unique contribution to nonkilling literature. Reminiscent of classics like St. Augustine and Tolstoy— it is not a story from bad to good, but from ahimsa to nonkilling—good to good.” The author brings a wealth of experience to this important topic being active in promoting alternative visions of how politics might be conducted. A continuous thread through the book is the question: could we not take a portion of the money and resources put into armaments and military research and instead direct that to a ministry of peace? An interesting and worthwhile work.

Balwant Bhaneja is the author of six books. He has written widely on politics, science and arts. His other works include Troubled Pilgrimage: Passage to Pakistan and Quest for Gandhi: A Nonkilling Journey (also published by CGNK). A former career diplomat with the Canadian Foreign Service, he served in London, Berlin and Bonn.’

Peace Portraits is available in paperback on Amazon and also in a digital Kindle edition.

Learn more about Peace Portraits and the Centre for Global Nonkilling HERE

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