Avila Now

March 22, 2018

Peace Activist and Author Rev. John Dear to Speak at Avila University

(March 1, 2018) KANSAS CITY, MO –The Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence at Avila University will host Rev. John Dear, Catholic priest and multi-Nobel prize nominee, for a talk and book signing on April 17 in the Whitfield Conference Center. Rev. Dear is the author of They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace and Nonviolence in a Time of Climate Change.

“Peacebuilding is not only about relationships between people but about humankind’s relationship with the Earth,” said Arica Maurer coordinator for the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence at Avila University. “We have invited Rev. Dear to speak because we believe it is important for the Avila community to hear his message about the environmental aspect of peacebuilding as well as to learn from his example of nonviolent, civil disobedience in pursuit of justice and peace. 

His current book, They Will Inherit the Earth, is a landmark work which connects the way of active nonviolence with solidarity for creation; shows how our global epidemic of violence and war has led to catastrophic climate change; and why help is needed in building up a global grassroots movement of nonviolence to protect creation.

“Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth,” Rev. Dear said. “Meekness was the biblical word for nonviolence, and Jesus connected nonviolence and oneness with creation. He practiced nonviolence and lived as one with creation. We need to do the same.”

Rev. Dear will invite those in attendance to rise to the occasion, deepen themselves in nonviolence, take new steps into active solidarity with Mother Earth and a suffering humanity, and do what is needed to welcome a new culture of peace and nonviolence.

Rev. Dear is a long-time peace activist, lecturer, and author of 35 books, including Thomas Merton Peacemaker; Lazarus Come Forth!; Living Peace; The Nonviolent Life; and The Beatitudes of Peace. He has been nominated many times for the Nobel Peace Prize, including by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He works with CampaignNonviolence.org and the Vatican Nonviolence Initiative.

Reception is at 6:00 p.m., the lecture is at 7:00 p.m. and the book signing is at 7:45 p.m. The Whitfield Conference Center is located on the southwest corner of the Avila University campus, 11901 Wornall Road, Kansas City, Mo. 64145.

Copies of select publications by Rev. Dear will be available for sale at the event. However, copies of They Will Inherit the Earth are available now. For more information, call (816) 501-3627 or e-mail peace@avila.edu.

The Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence (BIPN) is a ten-year initiative based at Avila University. In addition to sponsoring events that promote positive peace, nonviolent action, and social justice, BIPN aims to cultivate a peacebuilding culture on campus in three ways: (1) introducing peacebuilding concepts into the First Year Seminar course curriculum; (2) bringing a global perspective of activism to the Avila community by hosting an Activist-in-Residence every fall semester; and (3) co-hosting the annual Greater Kansas City Peacebuilding and Nonviolence Conference with our academic partners around the city.

Avila University, a Catholic University founded and inspired by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondeletundergraduate and graduate education in the liberal arts and professional studies, preparing lifelong learners who make meaningful contributions to the global community.

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