Book

The Moral Imagination

John Paul Lederach

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780195174540
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835409 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195174542.001.0001

Series: Studies in Strategic Peacebuilding

The Moral Imagination

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This book poses the question, “How do we transcend the cycles of violence that bewitch our human community while still living in them?” Peacebuilding, in the view of this book, is both a learned skill and an art. Finding this art, this book says, requires a worldview shift. Conflict professionals must envision their work as a creative act — an exercise of what the book terms the “moral imagination.” This imagination must, however, emerge from and speak to the hard realities of human affairs. The peacebuilder must have one foot in what is and one foot beyond what exists. The book is organized around four guiding stories that point to the moral imagination but are incomplete. The book seeks to understand what happened in these individual cases and how they are relevant to large-scale change. The purpose is not to propose a grand new theory; instead it wishes to stay close to the “messiness” of real processes and change, and to recognize the serendipitous nature of the discoveries and insights that emerge along the way. Like most professional peacemakers, the author of this book sees his work as a religious vocation.

Keywords: peacebuilding; moral imagination; vocation; violence; human community; worldview

Book.  216 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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Table of Contents

The Moral Imagination in The Moral Imagination

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On This Moment in The Moral Imagination

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On Simplicity and Complexity in The Moral Imagination

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On Peace Accords in The Moral Imagination

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On the Gift of Pessimism in The Moral Imagination

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On Aesthetics in The Moral Imagination

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On Space in The Moral Imagination

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On Mass and Movement in The Moral Imagination

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