67 Pacifists

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N.B.: "[The term] ‘pacifism’ was only introduced into the British language in 1901."

According to Wikipedia, Pacifism is opposition to war and violence. The word pacifism was coined by the French peace campaigner Émile Arnaud (1864–1921) & adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress in Glasgow (Scotland) in 1901. A related term is ahimsa (to do no harm), which is a core philosophy in Buddhism, Jainism & Hinduism. While modern connotations are recent, having been explicated since the 19th century, ancient references abound. /// In Christianity, Jesus Christ's injunction to 'love thy neighbour' & asking for forgiveness for his crucifiers 'for they know not what they do' have been interpreted as calling for pacifism. In modern times, interest was revived by Leo Tolstoy in his late works, particularly in 'The Kingdom of God Is Within You.' Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) propounded the practice of steadfast nonviolent opposition which he called 'satyagraha,' instrumental in its role in the Indian Independence Movement. Its effectiveness served as inspiration to Martin Luther King Jr., James Lawson, James Bevel, Thich Nhat Hanh & many others in the 1950's and 1960's American Civil Rights Movement. Pacifism was widely associated with the much publicized image of Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 with the 'Tank Man,' where one protester stood in nonviolent opposition to a column of tanks.

c599-527 BCE - Mahavira - Established the central tenets of Jainism including non-violence toward all living beings. P

c563-483 BCE - Siddhartha Gautama - The Buddha. Described Nirvana as the perfect peace of a mind that's free from ignorance, greed, hatred & other "defilements." P

c304–232 BCE - Ashoka - Emperor. Devotee of ahimsa (nonviolence), love, truth, tolerance & vegetarianism. P

c6 BCE-c35 AD - Jesus of Nazareth - The Christ. "Prince of Peace." Preached "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Crucified. P

1778-1841 - William Ladd - Early anti-war activist in Maine. Founded American Peace Society in 1828. Proposed Congress & Court of Nations in 1840. Called "Apostle of Peace." P


1803-1880 - Adin Ballou - Universalist then Unitarian minister, pacifist & socialist. Founded the Hopedale Community in 1842. P

1810-1874 - Tolbert Fanning - Preacher & pacifist. Opposed War with Mexico. Published Gospel Advocate. His views led to split between Church of Christ & Disciples of Christ in 1906. P
1810-1879 - Elihu Burritt - Opposed slavery, worked for temperance & tried to achieve world peace. Burritt College named for him in Spencer, Tennessee, in 1848. P

1817-1892 - Bahá'u'lláh - Founder of the Bahá'í Faith. Prophetic fulfilment of Bábism & eschatological expectations of Islam, Christianity & other religions. P

1819-1897 - Julia Ward Howe - Abolitionist. Wrote "Battle Hymn of the Republic" 1862 & anti-war Mother's Day Proclamation 1870. Wife of Samuel Gridley Howe (qv). P

1824-1907 - Hodgson Pratt - Pacifist. Founded the Intl Arbitration & Peace Association in 1880. Influenced Bertha von Suttner (qv). Painted by ter Kate. P Conf

1828-1910 - Leo Tolstoy - Novelist. Wrote "War & Peace" in 1869 & "Anna Karenina" in 1877. Helped Doukhobors move to Canada. P

1829-1912 - Auguste Beernaert - Attended Hague Peace Conferences in 1899 & 1907. Helped found Permanent Court of Arbitration. P 1909

1843-1914 - Baroness Bertha von Suttner - Radical pacifist. First woman to receive Nobel Peace Prize. Wrote "Lay Down Your Arms!" in 1889. P 1905

1846-1919 - Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis - Lutheran preacher who lost his faith, then started a political fight for workers. First socialist in Dutch parliament. P

1847-1898 - Christoph Moritz von Egidy - Prussian officer, pacifist, Christian reformer & moral philosopher. Wrote "I Have Dared It." Memorial in Potsdam. P


1851-1939 - Henry Stephens Salt - Writer & campaigner for prison, schools, economic, & animal treatment reform. Introduced Mahatma Gandhi to works of Henry David Thoreau. P

1858-1941 - Ludwig Quidde - Pacifist. Opposed German militarism from Emperor Wilhelm II to Hitler. P 1927 with Ferdnand Buisson
1858-1942 - George Mathias Paraf-Javai - Intransigent individualist. Founded Ligue Antimilitariste. Wrote "Les faux droits de l'homme et les vrais" in 1907. P

1859-1914 - Jean Jaures - Socialist. Assassinated at outbreak of World War-I. P
1859-1940 - George Lansbury - Politician, socialist, Christian pacifist & newspaper editor. Called "Public Pacifist Number One." P

1864-1921 - Émile Arnaud - Lawyer, notary & writer. Proposed the term "pacifism' in 1901 to summarize the peace movement in general. P
1864-1921 - Alfred Hermann Fried - Pacifist, publicist & journalist. Co-founded German peace movement. P 1911 with Tobias Asser

1865-1959 - Laurence Housman - "Grand Old Man of the pacifist movement." Opened Housmans Bookshop in 1945 in London. P

1866-1944 - Romain Rolland - Dramatist, novelist, essayist & mystic. Received Nobel Prize for Literature. P 1915

1867-1961 - Emily Greene Balch - Academic, writer & pacifist. P 1946 with John Raleigh Mott

1868-1947 - Anna B. Eckstein - Teacher & pacifist. Sponsored by Edwin Ginn (qv). Attended many peace conferences. Born & died in Germany. P
1868-1951 - Émile-Auguste Chartier (Alain) - Philosopher, journalist & pacifist. P

1869-1948 - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - Leader of Indian independence movement. Pioneer of satyagraha. P Posthumous

1871-1944 - Tsunesaburo Makiguchi - Educator. Founded Soka Gakkai in 1930. Opposed Japanese militarism in WW-II. P

1872-1949 - Oswald Garrison Villard - Journalist. Pacfist. Wealthy. A founder of the American Anti-Imperialist League. P
1872-1958 - Ralph Vaughan Williams - Composer. Well-known pacifist. Composed the cantata Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us peace) in 1936. P
1872-1970 - Bertrand Russell - Philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian & social critic. P 1950

1874-1942 - Shaver Woodsworth - Methodist minister. Pacifist. Pioneer in the Canadian social democratic movement. P
1874-1970 - Frederick J. Libby - Congregational minister. Founded National Council for the Prevention of War to lobby the 1921-22 Washington Naval Conference. P

1875-1908 - Albert Libertad - Individualist anarchist militant & writer. Edited the influential anarchist publication l’Anarchie. P

1877-1964 - Jeanne Melin - Pacifist. Worked for peace & women's rights. "Conferenciere remarquable, organisatrice infatigable." P

1778-1841 - William Ladd - Early anti-war activist in Maine. Founded American Peace Society in 1828. Proposed Congress & Court of Nations in 1840. Called "Apostle of Peace." P

1878-1916 - Francis Sheehy-Skeffington - Suffragist, pacifist & writer. Click here for monuments in Ireland. P
1878-1975 - Arthur Ernest Morgan - Civil engineer. Headed Antioch College 1920-36, TVA 1933-38 & intentional communities 1948. P

1879-1945 - Pierre Creesole - Engineer. Founded Service Civil International or International Voluntary Service for Peace (IVSP) in 1920. P
1879-1955 - Albert Einsten - Physicist. Opposed WW-I. Did peace work in 1930s. Issued Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955. P 1921

1880-1937 - Richard (Dick) Shepard - Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Helped found Peace Pledge Union in 1934 & Euthanasia Society in 1935. P
1880-1973 - Jeannette Rankin - Pacifist. First woman in US Congress. Voted against US entry into World Wars I and II. Statues in MT & DC. P

1888-1960 - Toyohiko Kagawa - Christian pacifist, reformer & labor activist. His desire to help the poor led him to live among them. Established schools, hospitals & churches. P

1889-1938 - Carl von Ossietzky. Journalist. Exposed Germany's Treaty of Versailles violations. Opposed Hitler. Executed. P 1935

1890-1988 - Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan - Pashtun political & spiritual leader. Lifelong pacifist. Opposed British in India. Grave suffers neglect. P

1891-1950 - José Brocca - Pacifist & humanitarian. Sought non-violent ways to resist fascism during the Spanish Civil War. P

1893-1970 - Vera Brittain - Writer, feminist & pacifist. Wrote "Testament of Youth" in 1933. P

1894-1963 - Aldous Huxley - Writer & pre-eminent intellectual. Wrote "Brave New World" in 1932. P #9

1898-1940 - Hermann Stöhr - Pacifist & anti-Nazi resistance fighter. Gedenktafel auf dem Hermann-Stöhr-Platz in Berlin. P


1906-1945 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Theologian & pacifist. Lived twice in NY City & once in London. Nazi resister & Holocaust victim. P

1908-1981 - Peace Pilgrim (Mildred Lisette Norman) - Pacifist, vegetarian & peace activist. Walked 28 years for peace. Statues in NJ & Costa Rica. P Posthumous

1910-1991 - Alfred Hassler - Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconcilation. P

1911-1972 - Paul Goodman - Sociologist, poet, writer, anarchist & public intellectual. Activist on the pacifist left. P
1911-1986 - Robert LeFevre - Libertarian businessman, pacifist & radio personality. Primary theorist of autarchism. P

1914-2008 - Ralph DiGia - Lifelong pacifist & social justice activist. Staffer at War Resisters League for 52 years. P

1915-Alive - Joseph Abileah - Israel’s first conscientious objector. Biography by Anthony Bing. P CO

1919-2010 - Bill Sutherland - Pacifist & liberation advocate. "Unofficial ambassador between Africa & the Americas for over 50 years." P

1925-1998 - Aki Kurose - Japanese-American educator in Seattle. Pacifist & peace activist, Inturned during WW-II. See Floyd Schmoe. P
1925-2006 - Sidney Hinkes - Priest & peace campaigner. Became pacifist during 1956 Suez War in 1956. In first Aldermaston March (1958). Became chair of Christian CND in 1964. P

1927-1997 - John Howard Yoder - Mennonite theologian, ethicist & Biblical scholar. Radical Christian pacifist. Wrote "The Politics of Jesus" in 1972. P

1931-Alive - Adolfo Perez Esquivel - Sculptor, architect & pacifist. Protested against FTAA & Argentine paramilitary squads. P 1980

1933-Alive - Colin Scott - Bishop of Hulme 1984-1998. Prominent member of Anglican Pacifist Fellowship. P

1938-Alive - Colman McCarthy - Journalist, teacher, lecturer, pacifist, anarchist & long-time peace activist. Directs Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, DC. P


1959-Alive - Jeanmarie Simpson - Peace activist & actress. Wrote plays about Jeannette Rankin ("A Single Woman") & Mary Dyer (qv). Member of Women's Intl League for Peace & Freedom. P

1975-2011 - Vitorrio Arrigoni - Reporter, pacifist & activist. Worked with Intl Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Gaza Strip from 2008. P