Philosophy professors contribute to new books

Publications by Philosophy Professors Dr. Andrew Fiala and Dr. Veena R. Howard

~ By Kaitlin C. Meier, student writer for the College of Arts and Humanities

Congratulations to philosophy professors Dr. Andrew Fiala (pictured above, left) and Dr. Veena R. Howard (pictured above, right) for their involvement with the recently published philosophy handbook “The Routledge Handbook of Pacifism and Nonviolence.” Each of these professors of the Department of Philosophy provided chapters for the book, with Fiala also acting as the general editor for the overall work.

Published this year, “The Routledge Handbook of Pacifism and Nonviolence centers around pacifism and nonviolence in a comprehensive, scholarly look at the aspects surrounding these two areas; from history and tradition to their relations conceptually, morally, socially and politically.

The text looks at a wide range of applied topics, as well, such as environmental issues, family life, nonhuman animals, the death penalty, cosmopolitanism, the military-industrial complex, feminism, queer theory and so on.

The concepts of the text tie in with Fiala’s work at Fresno State as a professor of philosophy working in ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of religion and the philosophy of peace and nonviolence:

“I think that pacifism and nonviolence are important ideas (and that they are often too easily dismissed and overlooked),” said Fiala. “But philosophy reminds us that there is no singular, absolute answer to the world’s questions. Rather, the issues and concepts discussed by the contributors to this book are all very complicated and ripe for philosophical reflection.”

Along with Fiala and Howard, the book was written by leading scholars and activists from around the world who work in a variety of traditions. Fiala served not only as editor of the text but contributed a chapter titled “Pacifism in the Twentieth Century and Beyond” that looks at the history of pacifism during the last century to the present.

“The need for this book is, I think, obvious as violence and war remain serious problems; from domestic violence and school shootings to nuclear weapons and terrorism,” said Fiala. “There has been a growing body of scholarly work on ethical, political, religious and philosophical issues related to these topics and the general concern for nonviolence and pacifism. This book provides a useful overview of that work.”

Howard, who also serves as the director of the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Fresno State, contributed the chapter “Nonviolence in the Dharma Traditions: Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism” that looks at nonviolence in South Asian traditions.

“This is the first comprehensive edited volume that provides both depth and breadth of resources for various facets of pacifism and nonviolence; from historical and moral conceptions to practical applications,” said Howard. “Dr. Fiala has made a unique contribution by providing such an encyclopedic volume and, I believe, it will prove to be a valuable resource for students and scholars alike.”

For details on purchasing this collaborative work, click here.

Also, Howard recently received an award as editor of another work, titled “Dharma: The Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh Traditions in India,” that looks at dharma in its many facets throughout various traditions of India.

Howard explained how the experts of these various traditions brought insight to the book’s concepts:

“Exploring ethics, practice, history, and social and gender issues, the contributors engage critically with some prevalent and often problematic interpretations of dharma, and point to new ways of appreciating these traditions in a manner that is appropriate to and thoroughly consistent with their varied internal debates, practices and self-representations.”

The book was selected by the publications committee of the Dharma Academy of North America as the 2017 recipient of the Takshashila Rajinder and Jyoti Gandhi Book Award for Excellence in Dharma Studies.

For details on purchasing this award-winning work, click here.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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