Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

A Force More Powerful

A Force More PowerfulA Force More Powerful is the title of a 3-hour documentary film on the history of nonviolent struggle in the 20th Century. It is also the title of the companion book, and the computer game which actually teaches people how to use nonviolent methods to topple dictators, change unjust laws, resist military occupations, and defeat corrupt rulers–all without using violence.  The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict has made all these resources available here.  Their resources include free downloads and the 1-hour documentaryBringing Down a Dictator , which tells the true story of how the nonviolent student group Otpol used nonviolent methods to overthrow Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic in 2000.  Soon two more documentaries will be available, Confronting the Truth (about the rise of truth commissions as post-conflict paths to national healing), and The Orange Revolution

Whenever I teach the biblical and theological bases for nonviolence, whether in Christian ethics classes or in churches, I always get questions about its practicality.  These are excellent resources for classes and church groups, enabling folks to see that nonviolence is (a) not just an unrealizable “ideal,” and (b) not limited to specialized situations, but can work under extreme conditions. (The latter is important because exponents of “the myth of redemptive violence” often claim that Gandhi’s campaign worked only because the British were “gentle oppressors” and make similarly ridiculous noises about the nonviolent civil rights movement in the U.S. South.)

March 2, 2007 - Posted by | nonviolence


  1. Michael,

    Thanks for pointing out these great educational materials! I will pass this on to the executive committee of the Bahamas Human Rights Network and encourage them to consider purchasing and using this material as part of our educational efforts.

    Comment by haitianministries | March 2, 2007

  2. I agree 110%. I use the films whenever I teach Peace & Justice Studies. Students are initially skeptical–“Of course nonviolence works with ‘humane’ regimes like the British in India”–but are soon impressed with the segment on the Danish nonviolent resistance to the Nazis. And when they learn that the British regime in India isn’t as “humane” as conventional wisdom has it, they’re pretty darned impressed by the Gandhi segment too.

    Thanks for spreading the word about this power set of films!

    Comment by Kerry | March 5, 2007

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: