Denotes both a personal commitment to pacifist values of abstention from all forms of violence as well as a set of tactics for social change or revolution. With the former, it is important to note that a personal commitment to pacifism should never become a dogma or rubric by which one judges and criticizes oppressed groups engaged in struggle who use violence against their oppressors. Nor should pacifism be an excuse to be passive in one's relationship to injustice and to not take risks in working against injustice. "Nonviolence" is often used in place of "pacifism" to highlight the active nature of a commitment to peacemaking. As a set of tactics for social change, nonviolence represents a wide spectrum from peaceful protest to more militant tactics including sabotage, and property destruction. In any case, practitioners of nonviolence are in agreement that with any action, no life should be harmed.
Rustin, Bayard. Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin. Cleis. 2003. Print. This is a collection of writings by Bayard Rustin (1912-1987). Rustin was a pacifist and an activist, a homosexual and a Quaker. In these essays one can see the values and ideas that guided Rustin as he helped teach the strategies of non-violent social protest to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his organization of the March on Washington in 1963. Beautifully articulates the links between the Jesus movement and non-violent activism that responds to racism, classism, and heteropatriarchy.
Tolstoy, Leo. The Kingdom of God is Within You. 1983. Print. Tolstoy takes hardly any metaphysical or supernatural doctrine with him from Christianity. He treats miracle stories, sacraments, Mass, and other priestly functions as superstition and “hypnotism,” and focused on the simple words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, specifically the part that says “Offer no resistance to those who do evil.” If Christians are commanded by God to hurt no one, not even those who do harm, not even in self-defense, then no Christian can be a soldier. If governments have no soldiers, then they can’t oppress people, and oppressive laws have no force over people who won’t obey anyone who asks them to violate their consciences. According to Tolstoy, this is how the world will transform from "pagan" (tribal) systems to the "divine" system, where every human is equal and free.