“The faculty to think objectively is reason; the emotional attitude behind reason is that of humility. To be objective, to use one’s reason, is possible only if one has achieved an attitude of humility, if one has emerged from the dreams of omniscience and omnipotence which one has as a child. Love, being dependent on the relative absence of narcissism, requires the development of humility, objectivity and reason.” – Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland is an endowed academic program that advances interdisciplinary examination and discourse on global peace. Viewing humanity as a collective and organic whole, the Chair’s incumbent, Professor Hoda Mahmoudi, explores the role that social actors and structures play in removing obstacles and creating paths to peace. The Chair’s explanation focuses on a number of thematic issues including, structural racism, climate change, human nature, women’s inequality, and leadership and global governance.
The thematic focus on structural racism examines the ways in which the oppression and suppression of any one people in any society ultimately leads to the oppression of everyone in that society.
The research on leadership focuses on how lack of leadership, on the part of those elected to govern, contributes to the growing chaos and anarchy throughout the world.
The Chair also believes that women are a key part of the creation of solutions to removing barriers to global peace and in order to ensure women’s participation in creating solutions there is a need to focus on a more integrative peace based on the removal of all forms of inequality.
Climate change is one of the biggest problem currently facing humanity, and it connects with all of the other challenges the Chair is researching, with the unequal impact on women caused by changing climates, and the increase in conflict over resources.
The final thematic focus of the Chair is human nature, and the investigation here focuses on understanding more about human behavior, and the realization that we are not wired to be violent, but instead that education, values and environmental factors have a huge role to play in shaping how we behave.
Each of this thematic issues will be explored in detail on this blog, and through our events which are open to the general public and the wider UMD community.
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