Lester R. Kurtz

Lester R. Kurtz

Lester R. Kurtz


Sociology: Nonviolent social movements, Gandhi, sociology of religion

He is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict (Elsevier), co-editor of Nonviolent Social Movements (Blackwell), and The Web of Violence (U. of Illinois Press) as well as author of books and articles including Gods in the Global Village (Pine Forge/Sage), The Politics of Heresy (U. of California Press), and The Nuclear Cage (Prentice-Hall). He is currently working on a book on Gandhi’s Paradox, two edited volumes on Women, War, and Violence (Praeger, 2014), another on The Paradox of Repression, and a project called “Peaceful Warriors.” He has lectured in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America and served as chair of the Peace Studies Association and the Peace, War, and Social Conflict Section of the American Sociological Association, which recently awarded him its Robin Williams Distinguished Career Award. 

Selected Publications

Mariam M. Kurtz and Lester R. Kurtz, eds. Women, War and Violence: Topography, Resistance and Hope. 2 volumes. Santa Monica: Praeger, Forthcoming (2014).

Sharon Erickson Nepstad and Lester R. Kurtz, eds., Nonviolent Conflict and Civil Resistance. Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2012.

Lester R. Kurtz, Gods in the Global Village:  The World's Religions in Sociological Perspective. Third Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA:  Pine Forge Press/Sage, 2012. Chinese translation of the Second Edition, Beijing: Peking University Press, 2010. Italian translation of the First edition.

Lester R. Kurtz, Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict, 3 vols. Second Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2008.

Stephen Zunes, Lester R. Kurtz, and Sarah Beth Asher, eds., Nonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Approach, edited by Cambridge:  Blackwell, 1999.

Lester R. Kurtz and Shu-Ju Ada Cheng, eds., Third World Peace Perspectives, Peace Review:  A Transnational Quarterly 10:1 (1998).

Jennifer Turpin and Lester R. Kurtz, eds., The Web of Violence:  From Interpersonal to Global. Champaign-Urbana:  Univ. of Illinois Press.

Lester R. Kurtz, The Nuclear Cage:  A Sociology of the Arms Race. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:  Prentice-Hall, 1988.

Lester R. Kurtz, The Politics of Heresy:  The Modernist Crisis in Roman Catholicism.  Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1988.

Lester R. Kurtz, Evaluating Chicago Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.


University of Chicago Ph.D., 1980 (sociology)

Yale University, M.A.R., 1974 (religious studies)

Westmar College, B.A., 1972 (sociology and religion)