After Empire: The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace

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Fortress Press - Religion - 237 pages
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A creative meditation on politics, engagement, and spirituality, Welch's latest work connects the personal to the political and the ethical to the historical stream in which we all live. At a time when many progressives feel disoriented and powerless, trapped in a narrative of unbridled assertion of U.S. power, Welch looks into the positive side of the American story, the struggles of peoples to act in concert for inclusive democracy, and hard-earned insights into civic and religious life. She finds the elements of a deep, vital, and hopeful spirituality there. Through chapters on virtuosity, ceremony, audacity, laughter, and risk, she recasts the shape and rationale of personal and political engagement with insights from Native American philosophy, social-contract theory, engaged Buddhism, and the new interreligious commitment to peace. For those who seek a way to affirm and embody a positive ethic in a time of conflict, war, and division, Welch offers this workbook for new human community.
 

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Contents

pax americana pax humana
ix
Seeing the World through the Eyes of Others
xiv
Our Peace Mandate
xvi
memory
1
Activism
4
Colonial Legacies
7
laughter
12
An Ironic Spirituality
14
Democracy as Ceremony
114
Practices of Inclusive Democracy
116
Trickster Politics
119
Limitations of the Social Contract
122
Power and Desire
126
A Collective Historical Social Contract
128
audacity
132
Engaged Buddhism
133

The Courage of Living
18
An Alchemy of Desire
22
Wonder and Suffering
24
Memory and Reciprocity
27
Return to Laughter
30
virtuosity
33
A New Social Contract
38
Elements of a Communal Ethic
45
Wisdom and the Sacred
56
Contact Conquest Identity
66
respect
72
Atrocity and Evasion
75
Culpability and Accountability
98
ceremony
105
Transforming Democracy
106
Politics without Polemic
108
Coalition
110
Examples of Engaged Buddhism
135
Compassion
139
Dharma Practice and Social Action
141
Mindfulness
143
Skillful Means
146
Beyond Us vs Them
148
A Buddhist Ethos of Social Engagement
152
risk
159
Responses to the Threat of War
160
The Risks of International Cooperation
167
The Folly of Empire
172
Cooperative Power
179
acknowledgments
185
notes
187
index
229
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