Ashland University Professor to Speak on ‘The Ancient Roots of Nonviolence’

Ashland University Professor to Speak on ‘The Ancient Roots of Nonviolence’

3/11/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - Is it really possible to “love one's enemies” in an actively nonviolent way?

Dr. David C. Aune, associate professor and chair of the Department of Religion at Ashland University, will present “The Ancient Roots of Nonviolence” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, in the Ridenour Room of the Dauch College of Business and Economics on the Ashland University campus.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence, which is housed on the AU campus.

Aune will focus on the foundational Christian teaching of love for one’s enemies as the basis for nonviolent action. He will explore this concept in the Western intellectual tradition. Both Greek and Jewish sources from antiquity provide evidence of a movement from a “love of neighbor that allows for violence against enemies” to a “love of neighbor that seeks the welfare of one’s enemies” to an unqualified “love of enemies.”

The presentation will conclude with suggestions on why these teachings remain relevant in contemporary times.  A discussion period will follow Aune’s presentation.

Aune came to Ashland University in the fall of 1996. Before Ashland, he taught part time at a number of colleges in New England, including Providence College, Wesleyan University and Eastern Connecticut State University. He holds the Ph.D. degree in the History of Religions: Early Christianity from Brown University, a Th.M. in New Testament from Regent College (affiliated with the University of British Columbia), an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a B.A. in English literature from the University of Vermont. He also is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and has served as pastor for churches in Florida, Rhode Island and a number of places in Ohio.

Aune is one of the founding members of the Center for Nonviolence and was instrumental in bringing Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, to campus 10 years ago. Aune also was instrumental in leading the Ashland Center for Nonviolence to affiliate with Ashland University.  He has served as a member of the steering committee since its inception and has served as convener of the ACN Steering Committee. 

The Ashland Center for Nonviolence seeks a world in which human conflict at all levels can be resolved without resorting to violence and in which social justice can be realized. Its steering committee and its membership are made up of individuals from Ashland and other communities in this area of Ohio. Its programming covers a wide array of issues important to the realization of non-violent human interaction. Earlier this year ACN sponsored two programs related to strengthening local communities through support for local entrepreneurs.

For more information about this event, or to learn more about the Ashland Center for Nonviolence, please call 419-289-5313 or visit the website at

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###