Loyola University Chicago

Peace Studies

Peace Studies

We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come./  Peace./  Come and fill us and our world with your majesty./  We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,/ Implore you to stay awhile with us/ So we may learn by your shimmering light/ How to look beyond complexion and see community.

-Maya Angelou

The broad scope of peace is illustrated not only by Maya Angelou's poem "Amazing Peace: A Celebration," but also by Loyola's promise to prepare our students to lead extraordinary lives.  Peace Studies encompasses all five aspects of our promise that are outlined in our strategic plan.  Our commitment to excellence leads to "new ideas, better solutions and vital answers."  Scholars and religious leaders across the ages, ranging from Jesus to Buddha to Fox, Gandhi, and Thich Nhat Hanh, have taught (or tried to teach) lessons of peace, and we clearly need to apply these ideas to achieve vital answers.  Our commitment to service that promotes justice and to the pursuit of truth and care for others are necessary steps on the path to peace and a peaceful world.  Our commitment to values-based leadership and to global awareness reflect crucial components of work for peace.  Finally, our commitment to faith in God and the religious experience is inextricably linked to the centrality of peace to most, if not all, major religions.

 "We have inherited a large house, a great 'world house' in which we have to live together--black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu--a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.  We must rapidly begin the shift from a 'thing'-oriented society to a 'person'-oriented society.  When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.  We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.  This may well be humanity's last chance to choose between chaos and community."

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community, 1967

World events make the study of peace an urgent need.  From the Middle East to the streets of Chicago, violence mars our existence.  And beyond the international and the social aspects of peace, we must also achieve peace with our environment.  Mastering the three components of the Peace Studies minor (International Peacemaking, Societal Violence and Conflict Resolution, and Environmental Violence and Ecological Concerns) will allow a student to work in an informed manner toward a world at peace.

If you are seeking an engaged education focused on significant concerns of everyday relevance, then consider minoring in Peace Studies.

Dr. Linda Heath
Director of Peace Studies

"The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Requirements of the Minor

The Peace Studies Minor consists of six courses (18 credit hours) completed with a grade of "C-" or better, including one required introductory course. 

PAX 201: Peace Studies Overview  This course provides an overview of the international, societal, and ecological spheres of violence and peace, along with methods of analysis and strategies for reconciliation and peacemaking.

One Pax Course from each area:>

Two electives from PAX course listings in student's area of interest, including opportunities for Directed Study, Practicum work, or Special Topics courses (subject to the approval of the Director of Peace Studies).

PAX Course Offerings

Peace Studies Overview

This required course provides a general introduction to peace studies as an area of inquiry. Through seminal readings, students are able to identify concrete social justice issues and their relevance to domains of societal, international and ecological spheres of violence. Students probe the insights of literature on nonviolence or limited use of violence through a critical research paper and other course applications.

Special Topics in Peace Studies

Cross-listed beginning, mid, and upper-level courses or seminars focused on peace and justice issues are taught on occasion in other departments.

Directed Readings in Peace Studies

An independent program of reading and research developed in consultation with a supervising faculty member and the PAX director. It usually will include a review of the peace studies literature in the student?s major field, with a final research project that integrates the student's major with peace studies.

Practicum in Peace Studies

Prerequisite: permission of PAX director. Supervised field experience in a social justice or peace-related program or project.

The following is a list of courses cross-listed with other departments and programs. For complete course descriptions, see the listings of originating departments (in parentheses). Other topic and theme courses are cross-listed when appropriate.

International Conflict and Peacemaking

This course explores the role of communication in conflict resolution.  Special attention is paid to mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.  Outcome: Students will acquire methods of analyzing the nature of conflict and applying appropriate communicative strategies for managing conflict

This course examines the public rhetorical construction of the Cold War and the events of 9/11.  Students will be able to explain what it means to view a war as rhetorical construction and identify key discourse strategies related to the Cold War and 9/11.

This course explores cases of genocide in the twentieth century and analyzes the Holocaust in depth as its principal laboratory.  Outcomes:  Students acquire a sense of the causes, processes and implications of recent genocide.  They are challenged to develop the outlines of a theory for predicting when genocide is likely to occur and to provide a clear definition of the term. Most importantly, they articulate from the historical data ways to prevent genocide.

This course explores the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict since the beginnings of the immigration of the East Europeans and Russian Jews to Ottoman Palestine in the late 19th century. Outcome: Students will gain understanding of national Zionism in Europe; Ottoman and British Palestine; the declaration of the state of Israel; the Palestinian refugee problem; the Arab-Israeli wars; the Camp David agreement and recent peace talks and their aftermath.

The course examines the development and use of peace making tools in the twentieth century through the study of individuals, institutions and historical practice.  Outcomes: Students will demonstrate understanding of the language of peace research and the historical development of peace making tools in written and oral presentations and collaborative research projects.

The course examines the history of the war from its origins to the destruction of the Axis powers and the onset of the Cold War. Outcome:  Students will understand the interrelationship among political, social, economic, military, and diplomatic developments as demonstrated in the events of the Holocaust, the spread of nationalism, and the origins of the Cold War.

This course will introduce students to the milestones in and the expressions of inter-American relations from the nineteenth century until today. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the avenues through which people and states in the Americas have interacted in the most likely (war, proclamations, policy-making and intervention) and unlikely ways (art, film, caricature, song, food and tourism), paying careful attention to the larger political and economic factors that have shaped their relationship over time.

This course explores the success and failure of radical political and social movements in the United States.  Outcome: Students will understand five major movements for social change in the United States: abolition, women's rights, socialism, peace, and the quest for racial equality.

This course offers a comprehensive examination of origin, execution, and failure of America's war in Vietnam.  Outcome: Students will understand the ancient origins of the Vietnamese nation, the rise and fall of the French colonial regime, the role of Vietnam in the Cold War, the peace movement, the political and cultural impact of the war on America, the success and failures of the United States military, the impact of the war on the Indo-China region, and the memory of the war in American culture.

Competing perspectives on international politics and global issues such as North-South relations, human rights, war and peace, population growth, and environmentalism.  Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the main approaches to the study of international politics and to analyze and assess such major substantive issues as interstate war, terrorism, arms control, international political economy and sustainable development.

American national security policy, including the role of major political actors, the defense budgetary process, and the capability and effectiveness of the military.  Outcome: Students will be able to analyze and assess the formation, adoption and implementation of national security policies in the United States and their impact on domestic and international affairs.

American political military policy and its response to the changing character of modern war. Attention is given to the American way of war, manpower systems, and the capability and effectiveness of the American military. Outcome: Students will be able to understand the formulation, adoption and implementation of American military policy and its impact on domestic and international affairs.

Introduction to legal principles and procedures of recognized international law.  Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role and impact of law and legal principles and institutions in international relations.

Examines the purposeful use of political, economic, and military instruments by one country to influence the domestic or the foreign policies of another country.  Outcome: Students will obtain an in-depth knowledge of the historical evolution, potential constraints, and case studies of U.S. intervention in the post World-War II era.

The historical evolution of war, the nature of wars in the 20th century and into the 21st century, the nature of threats, sources of conflict, and procedures for peaceful resolution of disputes.  Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the principal causes of wars, the means and ends of warfare, and the process and prospects of reestablishing peace.

An examination of the purposes, organization, background, and operations of existing international organizations.  Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the formation and structure of various International Organizations, especially the United Nations, the patterns of political participation and behavior of individuals, private and public groups, and governments in International Organizations, and evaluate the roles and processes of International Organizations.

Introduction to the operations and practices of United Nations, including training for student participation in the Loyola Model U.N. program. Attendance at Model U.N. conferences is required.  Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the formation and structure of the United Nations, the patterns of political participation and behavior of individuals, private and public groups, and governments in the United Nations, and evaluate the roles and processes of the United Nations.  Understanding in enhanced by the practical experience gained by participating in Loyola's Model U.N. program.

Christian Life & Practice-Ethics: This course considers the manifold moral issues emanating from the study of war and peace, carried out from the viewpoint of religious ethics. Outcome: Students will acquire knowledge of the religious traditions of pacifism, the just war theory, and the contributions of the Jewish and Christian heritages, as well as those of the Hindu Gandhi. Students will explore and learn the ethics of military conflict regarding World War II, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and other conflicts.


Societal Violence and Conflict Resolution

This course concerns investigation of contemporary issues associated with forced migration and refugee resettlement in applied anthropology and humanitarian work. It considers topics of globalization, transnational migration, human rights, and cross-cultural interactions. This course involves service-learning and civic engagement components providing assistance for local refugees and refugee resettlement agencies.

This course examines the comples relationships between violence and culture using the ethnographic method as practiced by anthropologists and other social scientists.  Outcome: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the ways violence destroys, alters or produces forms of cultural meaning and social action and the ways in which cultural difference impacts patterns of violence.

Prerequisite: ANTH 102 or Department Permission. 

This course examines the concept of universal human rights, and the social movement that has developed to promote human rights, from an anthropological perspective.  Outcomes: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the social and historical origins of the concept of human rights and analyze the debates that arise out of applying the concept of human rights in cross-cultural contexts.

This course examines the scientific study of victimization, the relationships between victims and offenders, the interactions between victims and the criminal justice system, and the connections between victims and other social groups and institutions.  Outcomes: Students will be able to describe the legal, social and psychological issues related to crime victimization, and current knowledge about the victim-offender and victim- criminal justice system relationships.

This course examines current research and theoretical perspectives related to race and ethnicity in crime and in criminal justice processing. It will cover such issues as racial profiling, the effects of drug laws on people of color, minority disenfranchisement from the criminal justice system, and crime and immigration. Outcomes: Students will demonstrate an understanding of contemporary issues relating to and current research and theory about race and ethnicity and their relationship to crime and criminal case processing.

This course will address the nature and scope of intimate partner violence, the factors that contribute to it as well as the theories that have been developed to explain it. Attention will be paid to society's responses to intimate partner violence.  Outcomes:  Students will be able to describe the theory, extent, nature, and impact of intimate partner violence, and how the community and criminal justice system respond to this problem.

Shi'i Islam has, during the last few decades, been transformed into a major political player; this course will use a historical comparative approach to explore the configuration of Shi'i politics.  Outcome: Students will understand the differences between Shi'i and Sunni Islam, the relationship between political authorities and Shi'i communities, and the reasons that Shi'ism  continues to be a potent political force.

This course introduces students to intercultural communication theory and research. Students explore how differences in ethnic, religious, economic, and geographical experiences produce social biases and engender conflict. Students are expected to explore their own cultural histories to understand how they create meaning and adopt attitudes.

This course examines the implications of communication processes and practices for democracy and social justice.   Outcome: Students will be able to articulate and defend their conception of the role of communication in achieving a just society and demonstrate an understanding of how existing communication institutions, laws, and norms impede or assist movement towards that goal.

This course explores the role of communication in conflict resolution.  Special attention is paid to mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.  Outcome: Students will acquire methods of analyzing the nature of conflict and applying appropriate communicative strategies for managing conflict.

This variable topics course focuses on the relationship between literature and society. Each semester the course focuses on a particular social issue and a selection of literary texts that deal with the issue.  Outcome: Students will be able to recognize the ways literary form influences the meaning of literary representations of society, and to demonstrate understanding of texts representing society in various periods of history and diverse cultural contexts.

Requirement: UCLR 100 for students admitted to Loyola University for Fall 2012 or later.
No requirement for students admitted to Loyola prior to Fall 2012 or those with a declared major or minor in the Department of English, Department of Classical Studies, or Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. 

This variable topics course focuses on a perennial psychological or philosophical problem facing the individual as exemplified in literary works, e.g., the passage from innocence to experience, the problem of death, and the idea of liberty.  Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the ability of literature to express the deepest and most abiding concerns of human beings, and how literary works come to be.

The course examines the development and use of peace making tools in the twentieth century through the study of individuals, institutions and historical practice.  Outcomes: Students will demonstrate understanding of the language of peace research and the historical development of peace making tools in written and oral presentations and collaborative research projects.

Application of psychological theories, concepts, and research to issues of peace and conflict. Areas covered include international conflicts and international peacebuilding (including war, terrorism, and global environmental issues) as well as interpersonal conflicts and conflict resolution (including crime, family violence, and conflict arising from prejudice and perceived threat). Classic theories of peace are also analyzed and connected to psychological theory and research.

Requirement: ANTH 100, PLSC 102, PSYC 100 or SOCL 101 for students admitted to Loyola University for Fall 2012 or later. 
No requirement for students admitted to Loyola prior to Fall 2012 or those with a declared major or minor in the Department of Anthropology, Department of Criminal Justice, Department of Economics, Department of Psychology, Department of  Political Science, the Department of  Sociology, Human Services or the School of Nursing. 

This course is an opportunity to examine major issues facing society.  In addition to analyzing the roots of social problems, the course addresses social policy concerns and explores solutions.  Outcome: Students will be able to critically examine the impact of a social problem and its possible solutions, to integrate knowledge gleaned from a variety of disciplines, to find and utilize relevant data and research in defining issues and solutions, and to view social problems from macro and micro perspectives as a means of applying workable solutions for the issues facing society.

Requirement: ANTH 100, PLSC 102, PSYC 100 or SOCL 101 for students admitted to Loyola University for Fall 2012 or later. 
No requirement for students admitted to Loyola prior to Fall 2012 or those with a declared major or minor in the Department of Anthropology, Department of Criminal Justice, Department of Economics, Department of Psychology, Department of  Political Science, the Department of  Sociology, Human Services or the School of Nursing. 

This course examines the development of cultural, society, and self-understanding by exploring the social construction of race in the United States. The course explores how social constructions of race affect interpersonal relations, laws, policies, and practices in various racial and ethnic communities.  Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the conditions which have worsened racial tensions as well as how social movements have been successful at eradicating racially oppressive laws and working towards a just society.

This course helps students who participate in the domestic "Alternative Break Immersion" or other service trips to better understand the communities and issues they will encounter. It emphasizes the analysis of "social solutions" to social problems as well as personal reflection and action. Outcome: Analyzing and acting on social issues.

The threat of violence is a significant concern for individuals in many societies.  In this course, violence will be studied as a social phenomenon.  Topics of particular concern include: family violence, gang violence and terrorism.  Outcome: Students learn to examine the causes of violence from a sociological perspective.  They also learn methods to reduce violence and the harm it causes.

This course examines the manner in which contemporary society is divided by race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and gender, and the impact of social institutions on these divisions. An emphasis will be placed on income/wealth differences, status differences, class conflict and social conflict over time.  Outcome: Students will acquire a better understanding of social inequality and what can be done to make society more just.

This course examines the dynamics of collective behavior and movements promoting social change.  Outcome: Students will demonstrate understanding of competing explanations of social movements and social change, and will be able to test various theories by analyzing historical movements for change.

An introduction to the contemporary theologies of liberation emerging in Latin American, African, and Asian Christian.   Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of ethical comprehension, analysis, and decision-making within the context of select theological and religious traditions.


Environmental Violence and Ecological Concerns

This course is an introduction to global human ecology and concentrates on how we as humans affect global ecosystems and how these changes can impact our behavior, health, economics, and politics.  Outcome: Students will be able to draw connections between basic ecological processes and the global patterns of human population growth, health and disease, inequality and poverty, subsistence strategies, and land use and technology.

This course explores the rhetorical means by which citizens influence the policies and practices affecting our natural and human environments.  The focus is on current controversies.   Outcome: The course seeks to provide an understanding of the history and range of communication styles in the U.S. environmental movement and to help students develop practical skills relevant to entering into environmental debates.

Requirement: UCLR 100 for students admitted to Loyola University for Fall 2012 or later.
No requirement for students admitted to Loyola prior to Fall 2012 or those with a declared major or minor in the Department of English, Department of Classical Studies, or Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

This course focuses on the relationship of human beings and the environment in which they function, as represented in a variety of literary works. Outcome: students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the representations of "nature" in various periods of literary history and diverse cultural contexts.

Requirement: UCSF 137 for students admitted to Loyola University for Fall 2012 or later.
No requirement for students admitted to Loyola prior to Fall 2012 or those with a declared major or minor in the Department of Anthropology, Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry, Department of Environmental Science, Department of Physics, Bioinformatics, Forensic Science or Neuroscience.

The concept of energy developed from antiquity through the present day and applied to national and worldwide energy use patterns, the technologies supporting their use, as well as the societal impact and environmental consequences of energy usage. Outcome: Students will become skilled in critical reasoning and methods of inquiry, demonstrate an understanding of critical concepts and knowledge: heat and energy, the laws of thermodynamics, and current and future technologies and their impact.

Requirement: UCSF 137 for students admitted to Loyola University for Fall 2012 or later.
No requirement for students admitted to Loyola prior to Fall 2012 or those with a declared major or minor in the Department of Anthropology, Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry, Department of Environmental Science, Department of Physics, Bioinformatics, Forensic Science or Neuroscience.

Examines the diversity, complexity, and functioning of natural ecosystems and how human activity alters these attributes. Outcome: Students will demonstrate an understanding of foundational knowledge in ecology including species interactions, energy flow and elemental cycles, and use this to assess human impacts such as ozone depletion, elevated atmospheric carbon, invasive species, pesticides/herbicides/hormones, dams and habitat fragmentation.

Examines the impact that current environmental conditions have on the health and well-being of humans, both locally and globally.   Outcome:  Students will demonstrate an understanding of core environmental concepts and make reasoned, ethical judgments regarding the impact of a compromised environment on human health, including the impact of world food distribution, pesticides, water resources and pollution, air pollution, climatic changes, and hazardous waste.

Examines the linkages between the world's natural environment and the global political system. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role of various private, national and international actors in the formulation, adoption and implementation of environmental public policies.

The issues, significant actors, and public policies relating to the environment. Outcome: Students will be able to analyze and assess the role of various actors in the formulation, adoption and implementation of environmental public policies, and their impact on the everyday lives of citizens.

This course examines the distinctively social aspect of the relationship of people to their environments, both built and natural.  Outcome: Students will recognize the role that both social and physical factors play in the environmental problems facing the world. Students will also develop critical thinking skills needed to evaluate statements and policy proposal to improve environmental quality.

Christian Life & practice-Ethics: This course considers traditional religious and ethical assumptions about humanity and our relationship to the non-human world. Outcome: Students will examine a number of religious and philosophical traditions and learn how they describe nature, how they evaluate non-human nature's relationship to humanity, how they define "community" to include or exclude the non-human world, and how they relate or do not relate the sacred to the natural world.


Societal Violence and Conflict Resolution


Environmental Violence and Ecological Concerns