Baha'i News -- Martin Marty to speak at non-violence event

Martin Marty to speak at non-violence event

BY BOB REEVES / Lincoln Journal Star

Martin E. Marty, professor emeritus of religious history at the University of Chicago, will speak next week at a conference entitled "Religion in the United Nations Decade of Non-Violence for Children and Youth."

The Thursday and Friday conference will include two lectures by Marty, plus a day of "Turn Off the Violence" workshops from many faith perspectives.

The event grew out of a two-year effort led by Paul Olson, a University of Nebraska English professor who is active in Nebraskans for Peace. His former wife, Betty, who died in 1999, was a longtime leader of NFP and advocate for non-violence.

"She was very interested in what we're doing to counter the culture of violence among our youth," Olson said. After her death, he launched the "Turn Off the Violence" campaign in her memory. The campaign addresses educational efforts by schools, churches and community groups.

One thrust of the campaign is to look at changes in state laws and regulations that would promote non-violence. One result of that, Olson said, is that the State Department of Education is considering adding an "anti-bullying" rule to the safety plans required of all schools. The group has also been working with schools to encourage the teaching of non-violence conflict resolution.

Another thrust is the compilation of non-violence educational materials from various religious denominations and organizations. Many of those materials will be available at Thursday's lectures and Friday's workshops.

The conference will be of particular interest to religious workers, educators, parents and anyone concerned about the issue of violence, Olson said. It also relates to the designation of 2001-2010 the UNDecade of Non-Violence for Children and Youth.

Marty, a native of West Point, Neb., will speak at 1 p.m. Thursday on "Faith, Education and Non-Violence in Today's World" in O'Donnell Auditorium, 50th Street and Huntington Ave., on the Nebraska Wesleyan University campus.

At 7:30 p.m. that evening, he will speak on "Faith, Education and Non-Violence in the Untied States" at Kimball Hall, 11th and R streets on the UNL downtown campus.

Marty also will speak on "Religious Communities' Response to Violence" at an 8 a.m. breakfast Friday at Southview Christian Church, 22nd and South streets.

"Turn Off the Violence Workshops are scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., also at the church.

Topics and speakers are: "Judaism and Alternatives to Violence," by Rabbi Stanley M. Rosenbaum, Congregation Tifereth Israel; "Alternatives to Violence Project," by Marge Schlitt, AVP trainer; "Church of the Brethren Workshop on Peace and Non-Violence," by David Smalley and the Rev. Joyce Petry of Antelope Park Church of the Brethren; "Making Peace in the Family Workshop," using stories and videos from Families Against Violence Advocacy Network, Institute for Peace and Justice, St. Louis, Mo.; "Lutheran Peace Education for Families and Youth," by Paul Olson, Turn off the Violence and First Lutheran Social Ministry; "Baha'i Approaches to Family and Youth Education," by Doug Boyd, Lincoln Interfaith Council; "United Methodist Approaches to Non-violence, Local and International," by the Rev. Carol Windrum and Tamara Holtz of the United Methodist Church; and "Disciples/Christian Church Teaching and Alternative Responses to the World of Violence," by Sharon Shields and the Rev. Karen Roback.

All workshops except the last will be offered both morning and afternoon; the Shields-Roback workshop will be only in the morning.

The lectures and workshops are free, and no advance registration is necessary. However, those who wish to have breakfast ($4) or lunch ($5) should call (800) 580-8851 or e-mail

The conference is co-sponsored by Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska.

Reach Bob Reeves at 473-7212 or at

©Copyright 2002, Lincoln Journal Star

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