You ought to believe in something in life, believe that thing so fervently that you will stand up with it till the end of your days.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

dovesThe Class of Nonviolence is an eight session class developed by Colman McCarthy, founder of the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C. It uses classics in peace and justice literature to teach peacemaking. This course can change your life and you can change the world.

The entire eight-session / 48 essay class can be downloaded as a PDF file - it's free!

If you have suggestions or questions, e-mail

The Class of Nonviolence

"Human beings are used to thinking about violence and war as problems to be controlled rather than thinking positively about peace as an achievement, as a state of being within their control. Peace education rests on an active vision of peace where skilled individuals, who have been trained in the ways of nonviolence, intervene in conflict situations to manage them without using (violent) force."   Ian Harris

Readings for Lesson One

  1. If We Listen Well, by Edward Guinan
  2. Nonviolent Response to Assault by Gerald Vanderhaar
  3. Human Nature Isn't Inherently Violent by Alfie Kohn
  4. Axioms of Nonviolence By Lanzo del Vasto
  5. Teaching Reverence for Life by Albert Schweitzer
  6. Students Astutely Aware by Colman McCarthy

Readings for Lesson Two

  1. Doctrine of the Sword by Mohandas Gandhi
  2. Gandhi in the 'Postmodern' Age by Sanford Krolick and Betty Cannon
  3. Family Satyagraha by Eknath Easwaren
  4. Ahimsa by Eknath Easwaren
  5. My Faith in Nonviolence by Mohandas Gandhi
  6. Love by Mohandas Gandhi
  7. A Pause From Violence by Colman McCarthy

Readings for Lesson Three

  1. Love is the Measure by Dorothy Day
  2. Poverty and Precarity by Dorothy Day
  3. Undeclared War to Declared War by Dorothy Day
  4. This Money is Not Ours by Dorothy Day
  5. The Scandal of the Works of Mercy by Dorothy Day
  6. Dorothy Day by Colman McCarthy

Readings for Lesson Four

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Charles De Benedetti
  2. Loving Your Enemies by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  3. Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  4. Pilgrimage to Nonviolence by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  5. King and Pacifism: The Other Dimension by Colman McCarthy

Readings for Lesson Five

  1. Feminism, Peace and Power by Mary Roodkowsky
  2. Rape is all too Thinkable for Quite the Normal Sort of Man by Neal King and Martha McCaughey
  3. To the Women of India by Mohandas Gandhi
  4. Narrowing the Battlefield by Carol Ascher
  5. Patriarchy: A State of War by Barbara Hope
  6. An American Shero of 1941 by Colman McCarthy

Readings for Lesson Six

  1. The Technique of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp
  2. The Politics of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp
  3. The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion by Gene Sharp
  4. Albert Einstein on Pacifism
  5. Letter to Ernesto Cardenal: Guns Don't Work by Daniel Berrigan
  6. Building Confidence at Prairie Creek by Colman McCarthy

Readings for Lesson Seven

  1. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
  2. The Judge and the Bomb by Miles Lord
  3. Patriotism or Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. What Would You Do If? by Joan Baez
  5. Pray for Peace but Pay for War by Maurice F. McCrackin
  6. A Vigil for Life While We Celebrate Death by Colman McCarthy

Readings for Lesson Eight

  1. Animals, My Brethren by Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz
  2. Interview on Respect for Animals, with Isaac Bashevis Singer
  3. A Vegetarian Sourcebook by Keith Akers
  4. Diet for a New America by John Robbins
  5. Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé
  6. 'Terrorists' for Animal Rights by Colman McCarthy

Facilitator's Manual Class of Nonviolence
Facilitator's Manual for the Class of Nonviolence
150 pages of film clip, art, reflections, games, poetry, simulations, songs — a bit of everything — to help you experience the material in a different way than reading-and-talking, to move it from your head to your heart. Written by Susan Ives of the San Antonio peaceCENTER. Download a sample chapter and buy it here ($13, paperback)

The Class of Nonviolence was developed by Colman McCarthy of the Center for Teaching Peace, 4501 Van Ness Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016 202/537-1372