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Vision and Prospects for World Peace
Proceedings of the Inaugural Lecture
by Professor Hoda Mahmoudi
In this study, Hoda Mahmoudi addresses themes central to building a more peaceful world, including human nature and its capacity to mobilize for good and ill, the pace and scope of changes shaping global conditions, and the role of education in transforming not only individuals but also societies at large.
First presented in November 2012 as the Inaugural Lecture of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace—an endowed academic program at the University of Maryland—Vision and Prospects for World Peace shares a concept of peace-building called a “worldview approach.” “This approach,” writes Professor Mahmoudi, “moves beyond nationalism and particularism and instead embraces a global, or ‘globalizing,’ view of peace that significantly expands and enriches the prevailing, Western-oriented model of peace education.”
These Inaugural Lecture proceedings also include introductory statements by distinguished authorities on related topics such as the origins and history of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace and the strategic mission of the University of Maryland, which focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship, and engagement with the world.
Vision and Prospects for World Peace contributes fresh perspectives to the vital and complex dialogue on the search for peace.
Praise for Vision and Prospects for World Peace
“In her inaugural lecture as holder of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland, Hoda Mahmoudi deftly assesses the challenges and complexities that frustrate the emergence of a just and peaceful international order, including cultural and religious conflicts, economic crises, and social and political inequalities. The solutions she proposes are bundled under a broad peacemaking concept, called a “worldview approach.” Her commitment to promoting peaceful change through the advancement of researched-based knowledge and education deserves the fullest support of scholars, policymakers, and university students.”
– Paul Huth, Director of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management, Editor of The Journal of Conflict Resolution, and author of The Democratic Peace and Territorial Conflict in the Twentieth Century.
“In an eloquent and passionate address, Dr. Mahmoudi presents a deeply thoughtful, analytical, and well-informed articulation of her vision for advancing global peace, and for the type of specific programmatic activities and research that it entails. It is recommended reading for all those grappling with the best way to advance what many regard to be a sacred mission.”
– Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland and co-author of The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011.
“A timely reminder that, in spite of the paradox of war, valuing a state of peace is a universal trait present in all human cultures. Dr. Mahmoudi makes a passionate plea to raise the spiritual consciousness of students on campus to train the global citizen of a future, more peaceful world. A must read for all those advocating for similarities rather than differences across cultures, for what holds us together rather than what separates us. Precepts contained in this book can be used in class discussions and study circles in academic and non-academic settings.”
– Judith Freidenberg, Professor of Anthropology and author of The Invention of the Jewish Gaucho: Villa Clara and the Construction of Argentine Identity.
“Vision and Prospects for World Peace is a timely and topical essay that reminds us how some of the greatest challenges of the twentieth century—such as preventing genocide—are still very much on the world’s agenda. Hoda Mahmoudi’s analysis, although rooted in the tenets of the Bahá’í faith, also skillfully draws on a broad spectrum of scholarship and human experience to demonstrate how barriers to peace in the form of individual and institutional habits that lead to conflict can be removed. For those interested in the fraught question of how to create a more peaceful world, this is recommended reading.”
– Miles Bradbury, Professor of History and Co-editor of Divisive Barbarity or Global Civilization: The Ethical Dimensions of Science, Art, Religion, and Politics.