Peace is not simply the absence of war. Peace is a quality of living the best we can and cherishing the life of everything on this earth. Albert Schweitzer called this an ethic of reverence for life – an awe at its mystery, beauty, and fragility.
During our time together we will ponder four Nobel Peace laureates – their lives, actions, and commitments – and the spiritual core of their varied witnesses for peace.
- Albert Schweitzer was a humanitarian, philosopher, doctor, and musician;
- Mairead Corrigan Maguire was one of the founders of the Peace People movement in Ireland;
- Aung San Suu Kyi is a leader of the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar/Burma and under house arrest for over 20 years; and
- Wangari Maathai was a scientist and founder of the Green Belt movement in Kenya.
Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Spiritual. / European, Irish, Asian, African. / Humanitarian, activist, political leader, environmentalist.
These four humans exemplify a reverence for life partly based on a belief stated so eloquently by another Nobel Peace laureate, Martin Luther King: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
ELLIE STEBNER holds the J.S. Woodsworth Chair in the Humanities at Simon Fraser University. Prior to coming to SFU in 2005 she taught theology and church history at the University of Winnipeg and Chicago Theological Seminary and served as a Moravian minister. She researches and publishes in the areas of social movements for peace and justice, women, and history.
ALFRED MAIER is a pastor who has found Sorrento Centre to be a refreshing place (in loco & as community), and has been nurtured here in numerous courses, served as Minister of Maintenance, as a member of the Board, on Committees, and as presider in a variety of worship settings. His degrees were also shaped by a variety of universities, seminaries and continuing education opportunities. Marriage, family, woodworking, sailing, singing and cinema/drama are among his passions. Integrating the various aspects of ‘being’ has been a lifelong pursuit, with the power of grace and beauty as the generator, for the goal of living life in “all its fullness”. “O come, let us worship.”