What is the connection between Christian nonviolence and Christian dialogue with other faiths? Some Christians believe that true nonviolence is possible only for those whose lives have been shaped by the example and sacrificial suffering of Jesus Christ. In practice, however, Christians have worked alongside Jews in the civil rights movement, Buddhists in the struggle against the Vietnam War, and Muslims in pursuit of peace in the Middle East. Interfaith dialogue has become an integral part of Christian nonviolence. But what exactly does it mean for Christians, as Christians, to engage in nonviolent social action alongside people of other faiths and ideologies?
In Nonviolence for the Third Millennium, editor G. Simon Harak, S.J., offers a wealth of materials from which answers to this question might emerge. In 1998 Harak set out to mark the 30th and 50th anniversaries of the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi by compiling reflections on their legacy for the 21st century. The result is a compelling testimony to the connection between dialogue and peace.
Three opening essays demonstrate that Gandhi's theory of nonviolent satyagraha was a work of profound religious synthesis. Anthony Parel shows what Gandhi learned from the Christian anarchism of Leo Tolstoy, while Graeme MacQueen unveils Gandhi's appreciation for the life of the Buddha. And in a touching essay, Arun Gandhi shows how his grandfather's Hinduism was shaped by three illiterate womenhis mother, his nurse, and his wife. The intimacy of this "family portrait" makes it a compelling introduction to Hinduism.