Interfaith Peacebuilding


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Interfaith Programs

Forum in Luxembourg about Prospects for a Society of Peace

Luxembourg - "Towards a Society of Peace Worthy of Man and Woman," was the topic of a Nov. 10, 2013 discussion in Luxembourg, led by Dr. Frank Kaufmann, visiting from New York.

Dr. Kaufmann described the various peace organizations, including UPF, founded by Rev. Sun Myung Moon in a somewhat novel way, beginning with an account of Rev. Moon’s background and upbringing, even including the situation in Korea before Rev. Moon's birth, and then also the story of his childhood. He explained that Reverend Moon was strongly influenced by the struggle to free Korea from Japanese occupation, and especially the great influence on Rev. Moon by his great uncle, Yun Guk Moon, a famous patriot and freedom fighter whom he greatly admired.

While praying for solutions, Rev. Moon had a spiritual encounter with Jesus when he was 15 years old. He sought answers in many places, including in Christian scriptures, which led to him eventually to discover that the enduring structure and wellspring of human problems stems from the failure of the first human family, in the Biblical garden of Eden. Thus, in creating his various peace organizations, Rev. Moon was addressing the results of this “Edenic” collapse, believing that the family holds the secret to health or horror at every level in global and human affairs. Dr. Kaufmann explained that all violence, even at the worldwide level, devolves from the struggle in that first family between the brothers, Cain and Abel. This problem can be resolved only through the love of parents who can harmonize the extreme differences in the human family. Global problems can be solved effectively only when tending to the resolution of these fundamental issues.

Professor Jacques Steiwer and his wife, Mrs. Niki Karatzas, were present. Professor Steiwer, a philosopher and author of many books including Une morale sans Dieu, or “Morals without God,” presented a counter-proposition. He explained that he was a left-wing student in Paris at the time of the 1968 student uprisings. He posed the question as to why after such a long time, religion has not been able to bring an end to the history of constant religious war. He rightly pointed out that it was Christians who created the Inquisition, although he felt that the original Christianity was quite peaceful. He explained that in philosophy there is a theory dealing with “just wars,” but that even in such wars millions of people have died. Freud talked about the double nature of people, involving love (eros) and aggression, and some scientists think that without aggression human beings might not have survived. Professor Steiwer cited the theory developed in his book that people have always been searching for ever-higher forms of sociability without creating too many conflicts. Therefore, the point that we have reached in which we have states that guarantee certain “rights” is already a great achievement.

Afterwards, the video “Rev. Sun Myung Moon, A Life Dedicated to Peace and Unification” was shown, followed by a question and answer session in which Dr. Kaufmann and Professor Steiwer fielded questions, which were mainly about Rev. Moon’s life and work. During this time, in responding to a point raised by Professor Steiwer, Dr. Kaufmann explained that Rev. Moon had been badly misunderstood in the United States, due in part to a subtle racism that still affects parts of American society.

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