Peace Lecture Series

The Peace Lecture Series (PLS), established in 1972, has provided an outstanding forum to address issues of peace, justice and conflict resolution in the world and at home. The series has included Nobel Laureates, scholars, performing artists, activists and visionaries who are widely known and respected.

This series receives support from the J. Winfield Fretz Lecture Fund and the Peace with Justice Task Force, Kansas West Conference of the United Methodist Church, both of which support speakers and events on peace and justice. Other funding for the series comes from individual contributions to KIPCOR. The Peace Lecture Series began as a component of the Bethel College Peace Studies Department, and was originally funded by a grant from the Schowalter Foundation.

Recent Lecturers, pictured at left, include

  • John McCutcheon - singer-songwriter and hammered dulcimer master
  • Patricia Polacco - prize-winning children's author, artist, and storyteller
  • Rajmohan Gandhi - biographer and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Rev. James M. Lawson Jr. - colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr. and renowned non-violent theorist
  • Kathleen Kennedy Townsend - former Maryland Lt. Governer and daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
  • Jim Wallis - editor of Soujourner's magazine, best-selling author, social justice activist

Past lecturers include Dorothy Day (Catholic Worker Movement), Pete Seeger (folk singer/political activist), Daniel Ellsberg ("Pentagon Papers"), Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (1990 Nobel Peace Prize), Gene Sharp (leading nonviolent resistance theorist), Mairead Corrigan (1976 Nobel Peace Prize), David Brower (Earth Island Institute), Roger Fisher (Harvard Negotiations Project), Rev. Philip Berrigan (Catonsville Nine anti-Vietnam War activist), Kenneth Boulding (cofounder of General Systems Theory) and Elise Boulding (Peace Studies pioneer).

John McCutcheon Patricia Polacco Rajiv Gandhi Rev. James Lawson Jr. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Jim Wallis
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