World Peace -- A Challenge for the World Religions
Since the French Revolution, the wars of kings and cabinets have been replaced by the wars of nations, and since the First World War these have been succeeded by the wars of ideologies. Now, however, we are told -- and this is also the sign of an epoch-making change -- that we are in the age of wars between the civilizations, which for their part are stamped by the religions. And indeed there is no avoiding the sad recognition that in the transition to the third millennium, religions appear not only as the great midwives of the global ethic but also as the great disturbers of world peace.
That is true of the civil war between Catholics and Protestants which has already been going on for centuries in Northern Ireland, of the civil war in former Yugoslavia, and the struggle in the Philippines between Christians and Muslims, and finally of the Middle East conflict with so far five wars between Israelis and Arabs, Jews and Muslims. In addition there has been the establishment of often violent and authoritarian Islamic regimes, in Iran, in the Sudan and most recently in Afghanistan, along with the countless terrorist acts of fundamentalist Muslims in Europe, the Middle East and in America. And beyond the sphere of the three prophetic religions, which seem to be particularly aggressive, there are wars between Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir and India, between Hindus and Sikhs in the Punjab, and finally the civil war between Buddhists and Hindus in Sri Lanka. Truly, there is no lack of cruel examples of the way in which religions inspire people to hatred and enmity, just as they can inspire and legitimate wars. Is all that perhaps just the varied prelude to a great new tragedy of humankind, the clash of civilizations?
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Publication information: Book title: A Global Ethic for Global Politics and Economics. Contributors: Hans Küng - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 114.
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