"The Virtues of Peace" originated in a show called "Ethics-Talk" which began in 2009 as part of the programming of Central Michigan University's (CMU's) Center for Professional and Personal Ethics (renamed in 2017 as The Center for International Ethics). The Director of the Center, Dr. Hope Elizabeth May, worked with students and faculty connected with CMU's Department of Philosophy and Religion on over 130 episodes from 2009-2012, including episodes on CMU's radio station, Modern Rock 91.5. Dr. May's international work intensified in 2013, making it logistically difficult to produce the show. Additionally, the students who comprised the "crew" of Ethics-Talk from 2009-2012 all graduated, leaving a vacuum of institutional memory for how to produce the show.
Stimulated by the order of quarantine due to the Covid-19 epidemic, Ethics-Talk was resurrected in 2020 after an 8 year long slumber. With the closing of the Center for International Ethics imminent, Dr. May resurrected the show as part of the services offered by the Cora di Brazzà Foundation, which she founded in 2019. The mission of the Foundation is to provide public education about the Peace Through Law Movement. Cora di Brazzà (1860-1944) was one of the foot-soldiers of this Movement. She believed that the cornerstone of Peace was not an international institution such as an International Court of Law (though that was indeed necessary). Rather, like Plato, Cora di Brazzà believed that a certain kind of "harmony of the soul" was primary. For her, "Peace through Law" begins with promulgating and obeying an "inner law." As she put it, "one begins with the germ," i.e., with the individual conscience and developing a habit for respecting the Golden Rule and other "Rules of Harmony." Accordingly, Cora di Brazzà developed a sophisticated system of Peace Education in line with this understanding of peace. You can learn about some of that system here.
This "second-generation" of Ethics-Talk dialogues was formally relaunched on the historic day of May 18, 2020. Prior to World War 1, May 18 was widely celebrated in the U.S. as "Peace Day" as it marks the opening day of the 1899 Hague Peace Conference — a watershed moment of the Peace through Law Movement. It was at the 1899 Hague Peace Conference when the process of building international institutions aimed at the non-violent resolution of conflicts began. This accomplishment was a direct outgrowth of the Peace through Law Movement and the advocacy of individuals, many of them women such as Cora di Brazzà and Bertha von Suttner, who did not have a formal political voice.
Re-branded as and refined as dialogues about the "Virtues of Peace," our show draws attention to ideas and personalities - the virtues and moral energies - of the Peace Through Law movement that, unfortunately, remain largely unknown to the public.
For information on supporting the Foundation and/or Virtues of Peace/Ethics-Talk with a tax-deductible gift, please visit here.
* The photo of the enchanted wood that begins the slideshow comes from the estate of Cora di Brazzà. We are grateful to her descendants, the Pirzio-Biroli's and for the former caretakers of the historic estate, Russell and Rachel Cassleton Elliot, for supplying us with this photograph of the estate which taken before World War I.