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John Dear
John Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. A Jesuit priest, pastor, peacemaker, organizer, lecturer, and retreat leader, he is the author/editor of 30 books, including his autobiography, “A Persistent Peace.” In 2008, John was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

From 1998 until December 2000, he served as the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the United States.

After the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, John served as a Red Cross Chaplain, and became one of the coordinators of the chaplain program at the Family Assistance Center. He worked with some 1,500 family members who lost loved ones, as well as hundreds of firefighters and police officers, while at the same time, he spoke out against the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan.

From 2002-2004, he served as pastor of several parishes in northeastern New Mexico. He co-founded Pax Christi New Mexico and works on a nonviolent campaign to disarm Los Alamos. These days, he lectures to tens of thousands of people each year in churches and schools across the country and the world. He also writes a weekly column for the “National Catholic Reporter” at

A longtime practitioner and teacher of nonviolence, John has written hundreds of articles and given thousands of talks on nonviolence. His many books include: Lazarus, Come Forth!; Living Peace; Put Down Your Sword; Transfiguration; The Questions of Jesus; Mary of Nazareth, Prophet of Peace; Jesus the Rebel; Mohandas Gandhi; Peace Behind Bars: A Journal from Jail; The God of Peace: Toward a Theology of Nonviolence; You Will Be My Witnesses; Disarming the Heart: Toward a Vow of Nonviolence; The Sound of Listening; The Sacrament of Civil Disobedience; Seeds of Nonviolence; Our God Is Nonviolent; and Oscar Romero and the Nonviolent Struggle for Justice. He has edited: The Road to Peace: Writings on Peace and Justice by Henri Nouwen; And the Risen Bread: The Selected Poems of Daniel Berrigan, 1957-1997; and The Vision of Peace: Faith and Hope in Northern Ireland: The Writings of Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire.

John’s peacework has taken him to El Salvador, where he lived and worked in a refugee camp in 1985; to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, the Middle East, Colombia, and the Philipines; to Northern Ireland where he lived and worked at a human rights center for a year; and to Iraq, where he led a delegation of Nobel Peace Prize winners to witness the effects of the deadly sanctions on Iraqi children. He has run a shelter for the homeless in Washington, DC; taught theology at Fordham University; and served as Executive Director of the Sacred Heart Center, a community center for disenfranchized women and children in Richmond, Virginia.

A native of North Carolina, John was arrested on December 7, 1993 at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina for hammering on an F15 nuclear fighter bomber in an effort to "beat swords in plowshares," according to the biblical vision of the prophet Isaiah. Along with activist Philip Berrigan, he spent eight months in North Carolina county jails. John has been arrested over seventy-five times in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience for peace, and has organized hundreds of demonstrations against war and nuclear weapons at military bases across the country, as well as worked with Mother Teresa and others to stop the death penalty.

John has two masters degrees in theology from the Graduate Theological Union in California.

Entries by John Dear

Resurrection Means Nonviolence!

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2015 | 1:04 PM

For me, resurrection is everything. It's the lynchpin of Christianity, the key to nonviolence, the hope we hold dear, and the possibility of a new world of peace. In other words, with the resurrection of the nonviolent Jesus, anything is possible, even the abolition of war, poverty, nuclear weapons and...

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Good Friday's Last Words

(4) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 10:52 PM

On Good Friday, we stand with the nonviolent Jesus as he suffers torture and execution at the hands of the empire, yet remains centered in the God of love, forgiving and nonviolent to the end. Gandhi said that in his death, Jesus practiced perfect nonviolence. He teaches us not only...

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Take the High Road to Peace

(3) Comments | Posted September 13, 2014 | 7:29 AM

Millions of Americans oppose war as a solution to our problems. Millions were opposed to Bush's war in Iraq, and they remain opposed now to war as a way to bring peace to Iraq.

War never brings peace, it always sows the seeds for future wars. War can't stop...

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With Archbishop Tutu in Cape Town

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2014 | 9:38 PM

In January, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of traveling to South Africa with friends to learn from those who gave their lives in the nonviolent struggle for justice, for the end of apartheid.

We traveled through Johannesburg and Soweto, where we met with our sister parishes and even met...

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Honor Mandela by Carrying On the Struggle for Justice and Peace

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 11:24 AM

With everyone else, I've been mourning, celebrating and reflecting these past few days on the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela, who died on December 5. I'm amazed at his political vision, his daring revolutionary commitment, his patient endurance through 27 years in prison, his determination to avoid war and reconcile...

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Remembering a Plowshares Action for Peace, Twenty Years Ago

(2) Comments | Posted December 7, 2013 | 6:40 PM

On December 7, 1993, my friends Philip Berrigan, Lynn Fredriksson, Bruce Friedrich, and I walked onto the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina at four in the morning, passed through thousands of soldiers in the middle of full scale national war games, came upon an F-15E nuclear-capable...

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Gutierrez and Farmer's 'In the Company of the Poor'

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 9:33 AM

So many voices these days uphold the "rights" of multinational corporations, defend the billionaire one percent and their weapons, actively obstruct free healthcare for those who need it, legitimate drone strikes, bombing raids and extrajudicial assassinations, ignore Fukishima, the BP spill, catastrophic climate change and support the unjust status quo...

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Drone Protesters Acquitted in New York Court

(2) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 7:43 PM

A few weeks ago, 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban but survived and spoke out globally for peace, met with President Obama and told him to stop the deadly U.S. drone attacks on Pakistan. They are killing innocent civilians and turning many ordinary people...

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Baez, Belafonte & Ellsberg Celebrate the War Resisters League

(4) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 9:22 AM

In her diary on October 19, 1923, 48-year-old New York City educator Jessie Wallace Hughan wrote, "Took Tracy to dinner -- had hair done -- organized the War Resisters League..." That day she launched a new independent, secular network of peace activists that has continued to resist every war since.

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Neema Namadamu, Congo's Visionary Peacemaker

(2) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 10:50 PM

Since 1996, six million people have been killed by warfare in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Countless women have been raped. Some 400,000 women are raped there each year. Most nations have given up on Congo. The U.S. has poured tons of money into Congo for development, but not toward...

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Accompanying the Hibakusha to Los Alamos

(62) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 7:27 PM

Last week, I returned to Los Alamos, New Mexico, scene of our greatest crime, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, where preparations continue for bigger and better nuclear weapons. Even as the government is shut down and New Mexico has just been ranked worst in the nation for the well-being...

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A New Movement Begins: Join 'Campaign Nonviolence'

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2013 | 10:52 PM

"We have to make truth and nonviolence not matters for mere individual practice but for practice by groups and communities and nations," Gandhi once said. "That at any rate is my dream. I shall live and die in trying to realize it."

Like many of you, I too share Gandhi's...

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The Christian 'No' to War

(38) Comments | Posted September 15, 2013 | 7:08 AM

One day, when Jesus was marching toward Jerusalem, some of the hated enemy Samaritans denounced him for his nonviolent campaign. The disciples were furious, appalled, filled with moral indignation. They suddenly forgot his lofty talk -- "Love your enemies," "Offer no violent resistance to one who does evil," "Blessed are...

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Prayer for a Nonviolent Life

(5) Comments | Posted September 1, 2013 | 12:33 AM

Next week my new book, The Nonviolent Life, will be published by Pace e Bene Press. There I propose that the spiritual life of nonviolence involves three dimensions: practicing nonviolence toward yourself; practicing nonviolence toward all others, all creatures, and all creation; and practicing nonviolence by joining the growing global...

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Gandhi's Daily Scripture Readings for Peace

(241) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 9:06 PM

When writer Louis Fischer visited Gandhi's ashram in 1942, he noticed a picture of Jesus on the wall -- the only wall hanging around -- with the caption, "He is our peace." "But you are not a Christian," he said to Gandhi.

"I am a Christian and a Hindu...

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Remembering Hiroshima at Los Alamos, New Mexico

(3) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 2:39 PM

Remembering Hiroshima at Los Alamos, New Mexico

By John Dear

In 1981, while traveling in Europe, some friends and I visited Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp outside of Munich. Most of it was razed to the ground, but the original fences and barbed...

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Jonah and the Mission of Peace (Part III)

(5) Comments | Posted August 2, 2013 | 7:53 PM

At the height of the story of Jonah, the entire city of Nineveh, in the heart of the brutal empire, repents of its warmaking, begs God for mercy, and promises to adopt God's way of nonviolence. You'd think the holy prophet Jonah would be thrilled, right? Wrong.

In Act...

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Jonah and the Mission of Peace (Part II)

(10) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 9:01 PM

In part two of our story, God sends Jonah on a mission of peace into the heart of the brutal empire, just as God will later send John the Baptist, and then Jesus on such a mission. Jesus will then send his disciples and the rest of us on that...

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Jonah and the Mission of Peace (Part 1)

(14) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 8:06 PM

Jonah and the Mission of Peace (Part 1)
By John Dear

Usually it seems God has one of three directions for us: "Come follow me"; "Stay with me" (and "Keep watch!"); or "Go and tell them..." The first is the call to discipleship; the second, a summons to accompaniment...

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Interfaith Perspectives on Our Ecological Disaster

(14) Comments | Posted July 13, 2013 | 11:40 PM

"Everybody's told me over and over and over again, it's a done deal, it's going to happen, how childish it is for everyone to protest it." That's what Bill McKibben, founder of the group and one of our leading environmental activists, told the New York Times a few days...

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