The Fellowship of Reconciliation, founded in 1914, is the leading ecumenical peace organization in the United States. The 60 essays in this sterling collection have been taken from its magazine. The selections are organized into seven sections on the vision of peace, witnesses for peace, spirit of peace, interracial justice, nonviolence in action, the path of reconciliation, and a concluding essay by Richard Deats, the editorial director of Fellowship magazine. The editor is Walter Wink, author of a trilogy of books on powers and principalities.
Most of the major players in the creation and practice of 20th century nonviolence are included in this substantive anthology. In the first section there are essays by M. K. Gandhi ("So long as the spirit of hate persists in some shape or other, it is impossible to establish peace or to gain our freedom by peaceful effort."); A. J. Muste ("Pacifism is not a tool or an instrument that you can pick up and lay down, . . . It is, itself, a way of life that grows out of convictions, attitudes, and habits . . . "); and Thomas Merton ("Nonviolence is perhaps the most exacting of all forms of struggle, not only because it demands first of all that one can be ready to suffer evil and even face the threat of death without violent retaliation, but because it excludes mere transcient, self-interest from its considerations.").
Some of the most poignant essays were written by those who have modeled the path of nonviolence Martin Niemoeller, Martin Luther King, Jr., Daniel Berrigan, Dorothy Day, John Dear, Elise Boulding, Joanna Macy, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Henri J. M. Nouwen.