Development of pacifism in Quakers

Brutz, Judith
Major Professor
Edward A. Powers
Committee Member
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Family Environment

Regardless of whether a person has been raised in a pacifist family there is a common pattern of development experienced by individuals in their pacifist journey beginning with the embracing of pacifism and continuing to the fullest understanding and living of pacifist ideals and values. The personal moment which brackets the time period in which an individual initially questions pacifist ideas and personally accepts pacifism may be relatively short or may take many years. Understanding of pacifism and violence are linked. Initially definitions of both pacifism and violence will be narrowly focused and then will expand to a fuller understanding following a common pattern: (1) international, (2) structural, psychological, (3) interpersonal, family, and (4) spiritual. Paralleling changes in definitions are two major paradigm shifts. The peace orientation changes from being in opposition to war and violence to being in favor of relationship building. The conflict management style changes from a closed to open system along six dimensions: (1) avoidance factor--movement from avoiding to facing conflict, (2) anger factor--movement from considering that anger should be avoided at all costs to working with anger as being an indicator of problems, (3) honesty factor--movement from avoiding statements of personal feelings and views to disclosing personal feelings and views, (4) self-worth factor--movement from a disregard for personal self-worth and denial of own needs to a mutual regard of self-worth and needs of both self and others, (5) self-protection factor--movement from being passive and denying one's own needs in confrontative situations to being assertive and setting appropriate limits, and (6) and pain factor--movement from avoiding pain to accepting pain as being a natural part of living.