Community, Violence, and Peace

Aldo Leopold, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Gautama the Buddha in the Twenty-First Century

By A. L. Herman

Subjects: Comparative Religion
Paperback : 9780791439845, 264 pages, October 1998
Hardcover : 9780791439838, 264 pages, October 1998

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Table of contents



1. Something about Community

2. Aldo Leopold and the Biotic Community

3. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and the Ashramic Community

4. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Beloved Community

5. Gautama the Buddha and the Karmic Community

6. Conclusion: Community and the Twenty-First Century


Some Suggestions for Further Reading


Replaces communal altruism with communal egoism as a way of solving problems of too much violence and too little peace in the twenty-first century.


Community, Violence, and Peace explores the concept of community and the belief that it can resolve the dilemmas of excessive violence and insufficient peace in the twenty-first century. Herman begins by analyzing two fictional communities, the spiritual community of Plato and the materialist community of Aldous Huxley. He then investigates four historical communities, the biotic community of Aldo Leopold, the ashramic community of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the beloved community of Martin Luther King Jr. , and the karmic community of Gautama the Buddha. All six communities call for and profess to lead to the reduction of violence and the increase in peace. After an extensive exploration of the characteristics of these communities and the quandaries that each generates and that renders them objectionable, Herman argues that substituting communal egoism for communal altruism will settle the predicament of violence and peace in the twenty-first century.

A. L. Herman is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. He is the author of several works, including The Problem of Evil and Indian Thought, Second Edition.


"Community, Violence, and Peace takes up key questions facing the world today and engages them from the best of Western and Eastern wisdom. How to create community in the face of individualism on the one hand and group violence on the other (especially when nature is included in the consideration) is perhaps the most serious problem facing humanity today. " — Harold Coward, University of Victoria, author of Jung and Eastern Thought

"Herman's book is a pure delight. It is cross-cultural philosophy at its best: humane, wide-ranging, at times very witty—altogether a 'must' for all in the fields of comparative philosophy and social ethics. " — Frank J. Hoffman, West Chester University