College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Lester Kurtz, PhD

Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Faculty Directory

Research Focus

My research focus involves cultural and religious foundations of violence – including violence against the environment and the interaction among various kinds of violence (direct, structural, cultural, and ecoviolence) are being addressed by nonviolent alternatives. I am studying those alternatives and the nature of violence and how people are transforming society toward a sustainable future.

Current Projects

■ The Warrior and the Pacifist: Religion and the Rhetoric of Violence. Gandhi’s revolutionary synthesis of contradictory motifs that run through all of the world’s religious and ethical traditions with the nonviolent activist motif.

■ Nonwestern social theory – rethinking our social theory by incorporating indigenous knowledge and nonwestern theories of social life and action.

■ Violence, Peace and Conflict – editing a 3rd edition of a 4-volume encyclopedia (Elsevier).

■ Asian contributions to peacebuilding and sustainability.

Select Publications

■ Kurtz, Lester R. (2008). Encyclopedia of violence, peace & conflict. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

■ Kurtz, Lester R. (2016). Shifting economic paradigms, mobilizing nonviolent resistance. Ahimsa Nonviolence, 7(2), 129-133.

■ Kurtz, Lester R. (2015). Fighting violence against women: A toolkit. In Women, war and violence: Typography, resistance and hope. Edited by Mariam M. Kurtz and Lester R. Kurtz, 2, 559-591. Santa Barbara: Praeger.

■ Kurtz, Lester R. (2008). Gandhi and his legacies. 2nd Amsterdam Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict.



Phone: 202-370-7806