The science of nonviolence

Modern scientific research is advancing a new story about the power of nonviolence.

Western culture has had a very strong bias toward materialism for several hundred years. We are now seeing destructive results of this bias in many areas. Happily, this rather demoralizing materialist view of the world is being seriously challenged by developments known collectively as “New Science,” along with a greater recognition of what has been called the ‘Wisdom Tradition’ common to almost all cultures, with which new science is entirely consistent.

Just as the materialist view was internally consistent, building up from matter-based physics to competition-based theories of life and evolution and on to our present violence-prone societies, so the emerging worldview presents an internally consistent shift to consciousness-based (quantum) physics, cooperation-based evolution and animal behavior, and a more insipiring – and accurate! – image of the human being. Completion of this transition cannot but lead to the growth of peace institutions and a greater awareness of nonviolence.

This resource is meant to provide a convenient access to this new scientific knowledge and its implications. We hope it will help enhance your understanding of and ability to communicate the needed cultural shift to a science focused on humanity’s true potential and a culture grounded in a human image that is more realistic and more inspiring – and of course much more nonviolent – than that held up by what is now called “classical science” as well as the mainstream media.

The resources are in two sections, one organized by scientific discipline (psychology, physics, etc.) and the other by the relevant topics in nonviolence (empathy, cooperation, etc.). We link our users to a free, open-source bibliographic management tool called Zotero that essentially stores our resources in these two sections. Zotero does not require you to install any software to view these resources.

Under each discipline or topic you will find three links:

  • “Start here” will take you to one or more resources we find especially helpful for beginners or anyone who wants to see what we consider the basics in this field.
  • “[Name of discipline or topic]” will open all the items under that discipline or topic.
  • To visit the whole database go here


This story was produced by Metta Center for Nonviolence

We provide educational resources on the safe and effective use of nonviolence, with the recognition that it’s not about putting the right person in power but awakening the right kind of power in people. We advance a higher image of humankind while empowering people to explore the question: How does nonviolence work, and how can I actively contribute to a happier, more peaceful society?

Waging Nonviolence partners with other organizations and publishes their work.