Tuesday, November 28, 2006


The history of a dangerous idea was explored on Radio 4's Start The Week (available to listen to online for a week) by the American writer Mark Kurlansky yesterday. Non-violence, he argues, is one of the rare truly revolutionary ideas, a threat to the established order. A clue to its subversive nature lies in the fact that there is not even a 'proper' word for it, except as an expression of what it is not. Kurlansky explores political and religious views towards non-violence in the context of wars throughout the centuries and asks why religions, which reject violence in their teachings, are so often the cause of war. Appropriately, his book has a foreword by the Dalai Lama. The work, Non-Violence: The History of a Dangerous Idea, is published by Jonathan Cape. Mark Kurlansky is also appearing in a debate with A. C. Grayling at the Purcell Room (London's South Bank Centre) on 28 November at 7.45pm: Fighting Talk: Pacifism, War and International Relations.

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