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Presentations on active nonviolence
by Bruce Hahne

This page contains presentations I've done on active nonviolence. Some of the content in the two talks is similar because I used the foils from the earlier (2000) presentation as part of my creation of the later (2002) presentation.

For both presentations I made use of some book and/or film excerpts which aren't available on this web site. Even without this supplementary content, however, the core messages of the presentations should still be clear.

Both presentations refer to an excerpt from David Halberstam's The Children, in which Rev. Jim Lawson responds nonviolently to a street punk who spits in Lawson's face. Instead of fighting back and starting a street brawl, Rev. Lawson starts a conversation about motorcycles and ends up having a civil chat with the man who was trying to get him to throw the first punch.

IMPORTANT BACKGROUND READING: To understand the interpretation of Matthew 5:38-41 covered in these two presentations without first reading Walter Wink's Engaging the Powers, you should read Wink's essay "Can Love Save the World?" in the YES! Magazine archives.

Nonviolence training presentation for Soulforce Long Beach PCUSA action
"From Doormat to Nonviolence: Discovering the Third Way"
Date: June 24, 2000

This presentation was part of a Saturday 3-hour nonviolence training prior to a Soulforce-organized Sunday protest and arrest action at Presbyterian General Assembly in Long Beach, California. I designed it for a 40-minute time slot, and I used audience assistance to enact portions of Walter Wink's analysis of Matthew 5:38-41. The "right cheek / left cheek" explanation is pretty much incomprehensible unless you actually have two people demonstrate it.

You can view the entire presentation online.
Or download the original Powerpoint '97 version of the presentation.


One-hour adult education class for First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto (California)
"An Introduction to Active Nonviolence"
Date: March 10, 2002

I gave this presentation to a Sunday morning adult education class at my church. It has more content than the above site-specific training, and in particular includes a large section based on the theory of secular nonviolence theorist Gene Sharp. I designed it for a 60-minute class. Again I used audience assistance to demonstrate the "right cheek / left cheek" analysis.

You can view the entire presentation online.
Or download the original Powerpoint '97 version of the presentation.

Related content:

I distributed this nonviolence bibliography at my March 2002 talk in Palo Alto.

"Turning Point" is an essay I wrote in April 2002 to advocate a policy and strategy of nonviolent resistance in the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality within the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

The Albert Einstein Institute is Gene Sharp's institute, created to study ways to apply strategic nonviolence principles to help people overcome political oppression.


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