James W. Douglass

James W. Douglass

James W. "Jim" Douglass is an American author, activist, and Christian theologian. He and his wife, Shelley Douglass, founded the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington, and Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker house in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1997 the Douglasses received the Pacem in Terris Award.

Theology of nonviolence

Douglass is a noted author on nonviolence and Roman Catholic theology, with many books and essays to his credit. Four of his monographs, published from 1968 to 1991, were reprinted in 2006 by theology publisher Wipf & Stock.

Douglass's 2008 book, "JFK and the Unspeakable", discusses the John F. Kennedy assassination as a violent reaction to Kennedy's turn toward peace-making and trust-building foreign policies after the Cuban missile crisis.


Douglass was a professor of religion at the University of Hawaii who first engaged in civil disobedience to protest the Vietnam War.

In 1975 Jim and Shelley Douglass founded Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action to protest the construction of a Trident missile nuclear submarine base on the Kitsap Peninsula in the U.S. state of Washington. The Douglasses, joined by other activists seeking to prevent the installation of Trident missiles, formed a small intentional community, the Pacific Life Community, near the submarine base. Their goal was

to 'seek the truth of a nonviolent way of life,' both personally and politically. Personally we tried to confront our racism, sexism, consumerism — all the isms that allowed us to violate others. Politically, we chose to experiment with nonviolent actions resisting Trident, a system that seemed to epitomize all the violence of our society." [ [http://gzcenter.org/aboutgz.htm Ground Zero History] ]

This nonviolent protest later extended to protesting the White Train which carried nuclear missile parts to Bangor Trident Base.

The Douglasses later moved to the Ensley neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama, to establish Mary's House, a "house of hospitality" for homeless or indigent people in need of long-term health care.

Douglass has traveled to the Middle East on several peace missions. In 2003 joined a Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq and stayed with civilians during the U.S.-led invasion.


*cite book
last = Douglass
first = James W.
title = The Non-Violent Cross: A Theology of Revolution and Peace
publisher = Wipf & Stock
date = 1968, 2006
location = Eugene, Oregon
pages = 320pp
url = http://wipfandstock.com/store/The_NonViolent_Cross_A_Theology_of_Revolution_and_Peace
month = April
isbn = 9781597526081

first = Douglass
last = James W.
editor-last = O'Gorman
editor-first = Ned
contribution = The Human Revolution: A Search for Wholeness
contribution-url =
title = Prophetic Voices: Ideas and Words on Revolution
year = 1969
pages =
place = New York
publisher = Random House
id = OCLC 9865
*cite book
last = Douglass
first = James W.
title = Resistance and Contemplation: The Way of Liberation
publisher = Wipf & Stock
date = 1972, 2006
location = Eugene, Oregon
pages = 196pp
url = http://wipfandstock.com/store/Resistance_and_Contemplation_The_Way_of_Liberation
isbn = 9781597526098

*cite book
last = Douglass
first = James W.
coauthors =
title = Lightning East to West: Jesus, Gandhi, and the Nuclear Age
publisher = Wipf & Stock
date = 1983, 2006
location = Eugene, Oregon
pages = 112pp
url = http://wipfandstock.com/store/Lightning_East_to_West_Jesus_Gandhi_and_the_Nuclear_Age
month = April
isbn = 9781597526104

*cite book
last = Douglass
first = James W.
coauthors = Shelley Douglass, Bill Livermore
title = Dear Gandhi: Now What? Letters from Ground Zero
publisher = New Society Publishers
date = 1988
location = Philadelphia
pages =
url =
id = OCLC 18105469
isbn = 9780865711259

*cite book
last = Douglass
first = James W.
title = The Nonviolent Coming of God
publisher = Wipf & Stock
date = 1991, 2006
location = Eugene, Oregon
pages = 254pp
url = http://wipfandstock.com/store/The_Nonviolent_Coming_of_God
month = April
isbn = 9781597526111

*cite book
last = Douglass
first = Shelley
authorlink =
coauthors = James W. Douglass, Mary Evelyn Jegen, Pax Christi USA
title = Selections from the Writings of Shelley and Jim Douglass
publisher = Pax Christi USA
date = 1991
location = Erie, Pennsylvania
pages =
url =
id = OCLC 34667609
isbn =

*cite book
last = Sherman
first = Karen Holsinger
coauthors = James W. Douglass
title = A Question of Being: The Integration of Resistance and Contemplation in James Douglass's Theology of Nonviolence
publisher = Wipf & Stock
date = 2007
location = Eugene, Oregon
pages = 128pp
url = http://wipfandstock.com/store/A_Question_of_Being_The_Integration_of_Resistance_and_Contemplation_in_James_Douglasss_Theology_of_Nonviolence
isbn = 9781556351440

*cite book
last = Douglass
first = James W.
title = JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters
publisher = Orbis Books
date = 2008
location = Maryknoll, New York
pages = 544pp
url = http://www.maryknollmall.org/description.cfm?ISBN=978-1-57075-755-6
isbn = 9781570757556

External links

* [http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC04/Douglass.htm Interview with Jim and Shelley Douglass]
* [http://gzcenter.org/aboutgz.htm Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action]
* [http://www.ctka.net/2008/jfk_unspeakable.html Review of "JFK and the Unspeakable" by James DiEugenio]


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