Visions of Peace: Asia and The West, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Visions of Peace

Asia and The West, 1st Edition

Edited by Takashi Shogimen, Vicki A. Spencer


208 pages

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Visions of Peace: Asia and the West explores the diversity of past conceptualizations as well as the remarkable continuity in the hope for peace across global intellectual traditions. Current literature, prompted by September 11, predominantly focuses on the laws and ethics of just wars or modern ideals of peace. Asian and Western ideals of peace before the modern era have largely escaped scholarly attention. This book examines Western and Asian visions of peace that existed prior to c.1800 by bringing together experts from a variety of intellectual traditions. The historical survey ranges from ancient Greek thought, early Christianity and medieval scholasticism to Hinduism, classical Confucianism and Tokuguwa Japanese learning, before illuminating unfamiliar aspects of peace visions in the European Enlightenment. Each chapter offers a particular case study and attempts to rehabilitate a 'forgotten' conception of peace and reclaim its contemporary relevance. Collectively they provide the conceptual resources to inspire more creative thinking towards a new vision of peace in the present. Students and specialists in international relations, peace studies, history, political theory, philosophy, and religious studies will find this book a valuable resource on diverse conceptions of peace.


’This is an insightful and much needed exploration of diverse understandings of peace, drawing from rich cross-cultural and historical sources to inspire more imaginative and effective strategies for preventing war.’ David Cortright, University of Notre Dame, USA ’The emphasis is on the under-explored ideas of peace found in the moral and political philosophies of Asia and the West. While each chapter stands on its own, the volume as a whole, in its historic sweep and philosophic depth, leaves an indelible impression on the reader. A much needed addition to the existing literature on peace studies.’ Anthony Parel, University of Calgary, Canada

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Takashi Shogimen and Vicki A. Spencer; Eirene: ancient Greek goddess and concept of peace, Patricia A. Hannah; The dissident tradition of Christian pacifism, Murray Rae; Concept of peace in Hinduism: a historical analysis, Kaushik Roy; The Confucian vision of peace, Kam-por Yu; A historical reflection on peace and public philosophy in Japanese thought: Prince Shotoku, Ito Jinsai and Yokoi Shonan, Shin Chiba; Visions of peace in medieval European political thought, Takashi Shogimen; Enlightenment perspectives on war and peace, Bruce Buchan; Indigenous inspiration and Herder’s peace woman, Vicki A. Spencer; Liberal peace plans and cultural difference: Jeremy Bentham and the limits of enlightenment universalism, Katherine Smits; Index.

About the Editors

Takashi Shogimen is Associate Professor in History and Associate Dean (Research) for Humanities at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. He has previously been Research Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge, and a Visiting Professor in History at the University of Helsinki. His research interests encompass medieval European political thought, comparative political theory and Japanese intellectual history. His publications include Ockham and Political Discourse in the Late Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Western Political Thought in Dialogue with Asia (co-edited with Cary J. Nederman, Lexington Books, 2009). Vicki A. Spencer is a Senior Lecturer in political theory in the Department of Politics at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Her research interests encompass early modern European thought and contemporary political theory with a focus on issues relating to language, cultural identities, nationalism and multiculturalism. She is the co-editor (with Paul Corcoran) of Disclosures (Ashgate, 2000) and her most recent publication is Herder’s Political Thought: A Study of Language, Culture and Community (University of Toronto Press, 2012). She is currently working on a project in contemporary theory on toleration, humility and recognition.

About the Series

Justice, International Law and Global Security

Justice, International Law and Global Security
The global community is confronted with a wide variety of both traditional and non-traditional challenges to its security and even survival, as well as unprecedented opportunities for global socio-economic development. International law will play a major role as the international community attempts to address these challenges and opportunities while simultaneously attempting to create a just and secure global order capable of protecting and promoting the common good of the whole of mankind. The Routledge Series on Justice, International Law and Global Security is designed to encourage and highlight analytical, scholarly works that focus on the ways in which international law contributes to the management of a wide variety of contemporary challenges and opportunities, and helps to promote global justice and security. Toward that end, the series seeks to promote scholarship that addresses the critical linkage between the philosophical concept of justice as applied at the global level, international law, which in turn, must be based upon justice, and the ability of international law to establish normative standards of behaviour.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State