With Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Presentation, with Franciscan Friar Louis Vitale, O.F.M.

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About Ken Butigan, Ph.D.

Distinguished Speaker,
Spring 2014 Benedictine Institute Lecture

Ken Butigan, Ph.D. is the executive director of Pace e Bene, a nonprofit organization fostering nonviolent change through education, community and action. Since its inception in 1989, Pace e Bene has conducted 700 workshops, trainings, retreats or classes for 30,000 people in the U.S. and around the world.

As part of his work with Pace e Bene, Butigan helped found "Catholics for Nonviolence" and "Blessed Are the Peacemakers," programs at the Archdiocese of Chicago designed to spread the power of spiritually grounded nonviolence. These programs explore how to put the power of Christian love into action to heal the conflict in our lives, our families, our parishes, our communities and throughout all God's creation.

Since the early 1980s, Butigan has led or participated in numerous movements for social transformation, including movements for a nuclear-free future, an end to homelessness, and freedom for East Timor. From 1987 to 1990, he was the national coordinator of the Pledge of Resistance, a network of 100,000 people in 400 local groups that organized coordinated nonviolent action for peace in Central America.

In January 2006, he initiated the Declaration of Peace, a nationwide grassroots campaign endorsed by 800 organizations across the country calling for a concrete, comprehensive plan for peace in Iraq. He is currently a key organizer for Campaign Nonviolence, a movement to mainstream active nonviolence and support the long-term process of abolishing war, ending poverty, and healing the planet.

Butigan has written or edited six books, including Pilgrimage through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003). He also writes a column for Waging Nonviolence.

Butigan earned his Ph.D. in the historical and cultural studies of religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., where he studied nonviolence in five religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He has taught at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Loyola University Chicago's Institute of Pastoral Studies, and Barat College of DePaul University. For three years, Butigan directed the Spiritual Life Institute at Saint Martin's.