William Durland

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William Durland (born 1931) is a U.S. attorney, peace activist, author, educator and former member of the Virginia State Legislature.[1] He is married to Eugenia Smith Durland and they have one son. He also has three children from a former marriage. He is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1949 and after college graduation he joined the National Security Agency as an intelligence analyst. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps from 1954 to 1957 overseas, and was a Captain in U.S. Army JAG Reserve from 1966 to 1968.


He received a Bachelor's degree from Bucknell University in 1953, and a JD degree from Georgetown Law School in 1959.[1] In 1975 he earned an M.A. in Biblical Theology and Nonviolence from Notre Dame University and in 1977 he received a PhD. from Union Graduate School at Antioch College in Political and Religious Philosophy.

Political life[edit]

William Durland served in the Virginia House of Delegates as a Democrat representing the 27th District (which at the time represented the County of Fairfax and the cities of Fairfax, Virginia and Falls Church, Virginia) from 1966–1969)[1]

Durland was later elected as the Vice-Mayor and Council member of the Town of Cokedale, Colorado in 1990, and was elected as a member of the City Council of the city of Trinidad, Colorado in 1995.[citation needed]

Professional life[edit]

William Durland has practiced in the areas of international, constitutional and human right laws for 58 years. He argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Goldfarb v. Virginia State Bar, 421 U.S. 773 (1975).[citation needed]

Durland also has had a long history in education, teaching in the areas of Philosophy, History and Government, at Purdue University, Villanova University, the University of Notre Dame, and in the Colorado Community College System. He also taught peace and justice courses at Pendle Hill Quaker Study and Contemplation Center from 1985-1988.[citation needed]

Books authored[edit]

William Durland has written several books on theology and Nonviolence including God or Nations Radial Theology for the Religious Peace Movement (1989), No King but Caesar (1975), People pay for peace: A military tax refusal guide for radical religious pacifists and people of conscience (1980), Ethical Issues. A Search for the Contemporary Conscience (1975), The apocalyptic witness: A radical calling for our own times (1988), and The illegality of war (1983).[2]

Durland is also the author of more than 10 plays.[3]

Peace activism[edit]

In 2002, Bill and his wife Genie traveled to Iraq as part of a delegation from Christian Peacemaker Teams.[4]

In 2005, Durland defended Dale Bartell before a court-martial at Fort Carson.[5]

In 2008 Durland served on the defense teams of Robin Long and Daniel Sandate the first two U.S. soldiers deported from Canada, after having fled to Canada to avoid fighting in the Iraq War.