Disclaimer: I work in Google's Policy Team, developing multistakeholder cooperations for internet governance & policy themes, hence I want to point out that all the opinions and ruminations on this blog are mine, not Google's.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

What I believe

During my trip to climb peak Korzhenevskaya I had the great pleasure to disconnect from the information overload and hectic that is my urban life. One of the most gratifying experiences was to read Hans Küng's essay "What I believe" in the base-camp sauna.

I knew about Hans Küng before, but this essay is so well written and conveys his mindset in terms of his most fundamental believe so convincing that I now proclaim myself a disciple and promoter of his approach.

A very short background about Hans Küng: He is a German theology professor, who used to train young men who wanted to become priests. However since he had published a book which doubts papal infallibility in 1971 the church's beholder of all dogmata (Mr. Ratzinger) and Küng have a long dispute. Küng began to focus on Ecumenical Theology and developed the axiom:"No Peace Among Nations until Peace Among the Religions" (1991). Over the last decades a global movement has gathered around this axiom and I can simply say: I very much agree and the efforts of the movement are highly sensible.
In fact, given the abhorrent and very counterproductive analysis put forward under the "clash of civilizations" label, Küng's efforts to find and define a "world ethics", as well as a format for peaceful theo-politics (see e.g. the world parliament of religions) hold, in my humble opinion, the key to overcome the challenge of peaceful religious/cultural co-existence.

So what is the essence of Küng's believe? For him the most decisive force that determines each individual human's struggle is whether or not the man or woman has a fundamental "trust in life" - a positive attitude and believe that things will develop in the right direction. He very savvily substantiates and explains his analysis by building e.g. on the work of eminent psychologist Erik Erikson.

I wont attempt to recount the marvelous content of said essay, but rather (1) point you to his book (first 6 pages of the introduction and first Chapter are accessible via Amazon's "Look Inside" and are the same as in the German essay) or if you read German I recommend you "Denkanstöße 2011: Ein Lesebuch aus Philosophie, Kultur und Wissenschaft" which contains the essay I read.

Some weeks ago I contacted the Berlin chapter of the Küng's World Ethics NGO but so far nobody replied to my email. If you happen to know about a good way to further the cause please contact me.

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