Study guides

Study guide: "Telling the truth about ourselves and our world"

Simon Oxley

A study guide to help individuals and churches continue to reflect and act together as the 2001-2010 Decade to Overcome Violence – Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace is celebrated at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (May 17-25, 2011, Kingston, Jamaica).

Download the full text of the study guide

Hard copies can be ordered for free from the DOV Coordination office. Shipping costs will nevertheless be charged on large orders.

The study guide has been translated to French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

Study guide: "Why Violence? Why Not Peace?"

Diana Mavunduse and Simon Oxley

A study guide to help individuals and groups in the churches to reflect and act in the Decade to Overcome Violence

ISBN number 2-8254-1371-2
Length 24 pages.

The DOV Study Guide "Why Violence? Why Not Peace?",  has been translated into many different languages:


Nurturing Peace

Theological Reflections on Overcoming Violence

Deenabandhu Manchala

In an era of conflict, injustice and inhumanity, churches and other religious organizations are renewing their efforts to "seek the things that make for peace". As part of the DOV initiative, the WCC has sponsored a series of ecumenical consultations on overcoming violence. This book contains a discussion of insights and challenges that have arisen during the course of the consultations, conducted under the auspices of the WCC's commission on Faith and Order. They address such subjects as affirming human dignity and the integrity of creation, reawakening the church's responsibility regarding the use and abuse of power, and being peace-bearers and becoming peace-makers. The reflections invite people of faith to become more deeply involved in confronting the spirit of a violent age. They describe the "foretaste of grace" that is our hope for God's transformation of the world.

Pages: 96

ISBN: 2-8254-1478-6
Issue date: 2005-12-01

Available in English

The Responsibility to Protect

Ethical and Theological Reflections

Ed. Guillermo Kerber, Peter Weiderud, Semegnish Asfaw

After the humanitarian failures of the 1990s, the issue of "humanitarian intervention" nourished most of the debates of that decade. With the beginning of this century, this topic was reformulated into the concept of "the responsibility to protect", thus shifting the debate from the viewpoint of the interveners to that of the people in peril. The responsibility to protect is a new and controversial issue in many intellectual and political spheres. In April 2005, the WCC's Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) organized a high-level seminar aimed at advising the WCC on this issue both from a theological and ethical stand, as well as from political perspectives. This publication is a compilation of the papers presented by the participants, together with some background documentation.

ISBN: 2-8254-1470-0
Issue date: 2005-12-01
pages: 154

Available in English 

Seeking Cultures of Peace - A Peace Church Conversation

Edited by Fernando Enns, Scott Holland, Ann K. Riggs

This book shares some of the new conversation between members of the Historic Peace Churches (Mennonites, Quakers, and Brethren) as they reflect on their theology in light of the World Council of Churches' current Decade to Overcome Violence. It includes updated presentations rooted in a historic gathering of theologians of these three traditions, in Switzerland in 2001, at the beginning of the Decade. Offered are fresh readings of biblical and theological concepts as well as reflection on contemporary challenges and opportunities.

ISBN: 1-931038-21-X
Length 260 pages

Available in English

This book can be requested from Cascadia Publishing House


Alternative Globalization Addressing Peoples and Earth

Justice, Peace and Creation Team (AGAPE)

A Background Document
The aim of this document is to inspire the churches and the wider ecumenical movement to continue to address current global problems so as to respond resolutely to the intolerable levels of poverty in our world.
The document is being sent out to member churches, world communions, regional ecumenical bodies, specialized ministries and agencies, and social movements so as to enhance reflection as they prepare themselves for the
2006 WCC assembly and beyond. The document is structured as a study guide for use in seminars and discussion groups. Some questions are suggested at the end of each section or in each particular context as the basis for discussion. Focussing on alternatives, the final section of this text can also provide a basis for actions.

Length 61 pages

Available in English

This booklet can be downloaded here (4.62Mb)



Building Peace: Overcoming Violence in Communities

Mary Yoder Holsopple, Ruth E Krall and Sharon Weaver Pittman

Three North American professional women with wide international experience offer practical, step-by-step guidance for overcoming violence and building a culture of peace. Using paradigms that have proved successful in the disciplines of public health and community development, they address the problem of violence as an epidemic that is threatening our families' lives and health. Moving beyond theory and demographic analysis, the authors offer a leadership manual for assisting communities as they envision and begin to realize a culture of peace. Drawing on their ongoing work in the United States, they provide readers with useful models of positive peace-building in our time.

ISBN number 2-8254-1426-3

Length 120 pages

Available in English

Overcoming Violence: The Challenge to the Churches in All Places

Margot Kässmann

What can churches do together effectively to overcome violence in the home, on the streets, in the media? What resources for nonviolent resolution of conflicts can they find in the Bible and their theological traditions? In the context of the WCC's Programme to Overcome Violence, the author examines the opportunities and difficulties linked with the vocation of non-violence.

ISBN number 2-8254-1228-7

Length 112 pages

Available in English and German

Peace in Troubled Cities

Daphne Plou

In cities around the world, courageous groups are working imaginatively to rebuild community out of situations of alienation, violence and hopelessness. This book recounts stories of creative community engagement emerging from the seven cities in the WCC's "Peace to the City" campaign: Belfast, Boston, Colombo, Kingston, Durban, Rio de Janeiro and Suva.

ISBN number 2-8254-1256-2

Length 140 pages

Available in English

Ethnic Conflict and Religion: Challenge to the Churches

Theo Tschuy

In recent years violence has broken out in more than 50 places around the world between peoples who share the same terrain but differ in ethnicity, race, language or religion. The churches are often involved in these conflicts because their own identity is tied up with one ethnic group. This book is intended to help concerned Christian individuals, congregations and study groups to recognize the complexity of issues of ethnicity and nationalism, reflect biblically and theologically on ethnic identity, and respond pastorally to situations of tension and conflict.

ISBN number 2-8254-1190-6

Length 176 pages

Available in English

Beyond Impunity: An Ecumenical Approach to Truth, Justice and Reconciliation

Geneviève Jacques

Many observers believe that torture, ethnic cleansing, genocide and other crimes against humanity persist - despite the universal revulsion they evoke and their explicit prohibition in international law - because of impunity: the failure to hold perpetrators of similar violations in the past accountable for their deeds. Drawing on the experience of people in many parts of the world, this book insists that there can be no justice or healing in societies torn by such violations without truth and accountability. It is an eloquent challenge to churches to act on their commitments and join with others in the search for genuine justice, repentance and reconciliation.

ISBN number 2-8254-1321-6

Length 76 pages

Available in English, Spanish, and French

Communication and Reconciliation: Challenges Facing the 21st Century

Philip Lee, ed.

The vital role of communication in achieving reconciliation is undeniable. But how do we communicate? Amazingly, in our high-tech world the question is as valid as ever, as the communities caught up in conflict, prejudice and exploitation will testify.

Communication and Reconciliation explores this theme through a range of experiences. The determination of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina not to be silenced; the experience of Estonia where re-establishing the mother tongue is helping to rebuild the country and interethnic relations following the collapse of the Soviet Union; and the lessons to be learned by the churches in Canada from the First Nations peoples' belief in the "spirit of community", are some of the stories in this uplifting exploration of how we create "a culture of dialogue" and in turn, reconciliation, which is at the heart of the Christian message.

Published in cooperation with WACC, London, UK

ISBN number 2-8254-1341-0
Length 112 pages
Available in English

The Hidden Shame of the Church: Sexual Abuse of Children and the Church

Ron O'Grady

Since founding ECPAT, an international organization working to end child prostitution and pornography, in 1991, the author has sadly come to recognize that church leaders and representatives are not exempt from involvement in the sexual abuse of children. Although working in a secular and apolitical organization, the author's Christian belief and experience have informed this study of a deeply disturbing phenomenon. He seeks, through unsensational language, to expose the truth of the church's involvement and by so doing to start the search for solutions.

ISBN number 2-8254-1349-6

Length 86 pages

Available in English

Price: Sfr.14.00, US$8.50, £5.95, €9.00

Request this book by secure on-line order form or by faxable order form.

The Art of Forgiveness: Theological Reflections on Healing and Reconciliation

Geiko Müller-Fahrenholz

Can the theological ideas of forgiveness and reconciliation have any political relevance, given the massive inhumanities of our time, of which Auschwitz remains the most horrifying symbol? Drawing on the Bible and church history, the author shows how the idea of forgiveness has been distorted, abused and largely lost, and why it is so important to reclaim this healing art, not only in personal relations but especially in the relations between nations and peoples.

ISBN number 2-8254-1224-4
Length 118 pages

Available in English and German

This book is out of print.

Impunity: An Ethical Perspective. Six case studies from Latin America

Charles Harper, ed.

These case studies of human rights situations during the period of military rulein Latin America and the Caribbean between the mid-1960s and the end of the 1980s offer eloquent testimonies and penetrating insights into the issue of impunity from persons directly involved in the defense of human rights during those years. "Charles Harper has rendered a signal service in bringing together this collection - a unique expression of ecumenical concern and a source of inspiration, guidance and critical rethinking." (Theo van Boven, University of Limburg).

ISBN number 2-8254-1203-1
Length 160 pages

Available in English. (Spanish edition, Impunidad: una perspectiva ética - seis estudois de casos de América Latina, can be ordered directly from the publisher Ediciones Trilce, Uruguay.)

Transforming Violence: Linking Local and Global Peacemaking

Edited by Judy Zimmerman Herr and Robert Herr, foreword by Konrad Raiser.

A collection of essays on the biblical and theological background for peacemaking, with practical examples from local and global settings, by noted writers from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. This book is a project of the Historic Peace Churches and the Fellowship of Reconciliation in support of the Programme to Overcome Violence.

Published by Herald Press, Scottsdale Pennsylvania, USA.

ISBN number 0-8361-9098-X
Length 250 pages
Available in English

No Longer a Secret: The Church and Violence against Women

Aruna Gnanadason

Violence against women takes overt forms. Beyond the heart-rending stories of victims of domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, sex tourism, and psychological and emotional demeaning of women, this book points to signs of hope as women and men in the church and elsewhere are beginning to stuggle courageously against all forms of violence against women.

ISBN number 2-8254-1247-3
Length 88 pages
Available in English, German, Arabic, Dutch, and Korean

Women, Violence and Nonviolent Change

Aruna Gnanadason, Musimbi Kanyoro and Lucia Ann McSpadden, eds

A unique collection of analytical essays and case studies on the creative contributions women are making in the area of conflict resolution. The rich variety of approaches described (from women in Australia, Canada, India, Kenya, Nepal, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and Vietnam) range from the political to the educational to the pastoral.

ISBN number 2-8254-1169-8
Length 158 pages
Available in English

Solidarity with Victims of Climate Change

Justice, Peace and Creation. World Council of Churches

Reflections on the World Council of Churches' Response to Climate Change

January 2002

Length 30 pages

Available in English

This booklet can be downloaded here.