Education in a Global Society

UN Day, October 24, 2013

Education in a global society is a real challenge because education is culture specific. It involves teaching the knowledge, values, and skills known to a particular society. Many of beliefs and values of a society are not taught formally, but absorbed through the language and habits of those who surround one’s upbringing. We can call this the conventional knowledge of the particular society. In the twentieth century, the conventional knowledge acquired by people in their various societies collided in a world of global transportation and communication, stimulating globalization.

This globalization was developed on the foundation of Western Civilization, which oversaw the rise of modern science and the modern secular state. The negative impact of these developments included, Western colonialism, World Wars, and the decline of the traditional values. The human suffering caused by the world wars led to the creation of the United Nations, whose values are enshrined in the UN International Declaration of Human Rights, drafted under the supervision of Eleanor Roosevelt.

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Mort Kaplan’s Science, Language and the Human Condition

Mort Kaplan’s synoptic work, Science, Language and the Human Condition is now available as an e-book. His preface to the revised edition still points to the tragic nature of fragmented knowledge in the modern university. A excerpt follows:

At one time a graduate of a good university would have absorbed a synoptic view of the world and of the place of moral values in that world. Philosophy played a major role in that enterprise. Two developments helped to erode that state of affairs: the development of professionalism within disciplines and the rise of positivism in philosophy. In addition, the sharp split between the analytic and the continental philosophers has ruptured dialogue within philosophy.

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Civility and Citizenship Produced as e-book

Civility and Citizenship in Liberal Democratic Societies

PWPA’s classic book on Civility and Citizenship, edited by the late Edward C. Banfield is now available as an e-book in Kindle, Nook, and I-book formats. Originally written in 1992, this book is more important that ever, showing how the disregard for civility and citizenship both in public life and education is adding to the political dysfunction in Washington, D.C.

If a liberal democratic society is to continue as such there must be widely respected institutions, practices, and modes of thought that encourage or demand the making of concessions where necessary to preserve the degree of harmony without which the society could not continue as a going concern. The obligation of the citizen to obey the law is one such safeguard of order. The idea of civic virtue is another. Civility, the culturally ingrained willingness to tolerate behavior that is offensive, is yet another. Continue reading

Nomination of Sun Myung Moon for Nobel Peace Prize

In 2002 Professor Nicholas N. Kittrie prepared and submitted the nomination of the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon for the Nobel Peace Prize. Rev. Moon was the Founder of the Professors World Peace Academy and many other organizations serving the cause of peace. Below are links to these primary documents (.pdf files):

Resolution for the Nomination of Reverend Sun Myung Moon
as the First Awardee of the Nobel Peace Prize on the
Commencement of the Prize’s Second Centenary

To the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Oslo, Norway
The Nomination of  the Reverend Sun Myung Moon
as the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for the Year 2002

Sun Myung Moon: The Builder of Bridges

From the Foreword, The Seeds of True Peace, IIFWP

It is with great pleasure and pride that I set down to write a forward for this monograph which celebrates the exceptional peace mission—consisting of many struggles and successes—of a man who indeed needs no introduction: the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. I can add little, indeed, to the public record enumerating the accomplisments of the Founder of Unification and its many innovative, courageous, dazzling and globally impacting progenies.

The Seeds of True Peace: The Peace Work of Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Foreword by Nicholas N. Kittrie

I have known the Founder, his wife, his children, his principal disciples, his supporters and many of the dedicated workers in the Founder’s diverse vineyards for some two decades. I knew them when they first ventured forth to spread their unique and contagious beliefs in the central role of the family, individual responsibility, and the joys of human fraternity throughout the world. I also knew them when they emerged and like the Old and New Testament’s prophets and disciples came under attack and siege by narrow-minded and jealous adversaries. I have witnessed them in their many hardships, but also successes, and often during their hours of vindication.
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Rev. Moon, PWPA Founder, Dies at 92

Remaining True to Our Pledge

Rev. Moon presenting “PWPA and Our Resolution,”
Dec. 18, 1983

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon died early Monday morning, September 3, in South Korea. He was 92. We want to thank those scholars who have written to express condolences on his passing, and to issue a statement on behalf of Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA).

Rev. Moon’s numerous international humanitarian and multi-cultural contributions include the founding in Korea in 1973 of the PWPA and in 1983 the founding of PWPA-International. He encouraged and contributed substantially to several major international conferences and publications addressing critical global political, societal, and cultural issues. These included a conference on the coming collapse of the Soviet Union, held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1985, a conference the Future of China held in 1987, a conference on the Future of Liberal Democracies in 1989, and another on the Future of the Family held in 1995.

Professors from 72 nations sign “Our Resolution and Pledge”

In December 1983, on short notice after an International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, Reverend Moon called high ranking scholars from 72 countries to organize PWPA International. Gathered in Seoul, they issued a document titled “Our Resolution and Pledge” in which they proclaimed their resolve to work with the Rev. Moon “towards the establishment of a God?centered world of universal fellowship and harmony in which the terrible wounds of the past arising from differences of history, culture, nationality and race will be bound up and healed.”

Reverend Moon Addresses the Mission of PWPA at the Little Angels School in Seoul, Korea

Following that gathering, Reverend Moon spoke to the new PWPA leadership and others gathered at the Little Angels School, in Seoul, Korea, a school for culture and the arts which he founded, giving them his vision for PWPA. Excerpts that encapsulate this vision follow:

I am pleased to have this opportunity to share with you some of my convictions on the occasion of this International Congress of PWPA. I have long thought that in addition to their scientific achievements, scholars must be pioneers in the realm of conscience, inspiring mankind by their bold and determined actions… I founded the PWPA to be a trailblazing organization at this critical moment in human history, able to mobilize those intellectuals who have devoted their lives to the advancement of human wisdom and enable them to play a leading role in overcoming the dangers of the age and opening new pathways to world peace. The ultimate goal of PWPA is to help create a just and harmonious world order by encouraging scholars to search for new ideas and methods of achieving peace and prosperity. The PWPA should provide scholars and other concerned leaders with the resources they need to solve the fundamental problems facing humanity. I believe that the PWPA should be international, multidisciplinary, future-oriented and action-oriented. No single discipline, no local prescription, can solve the problems facing humanity in this century. Mutual cooperation beyond na­tional and regional boundaries and in­terdisciplinary study beyond limited spe­cializations are absolutely necessary.

If the world is to overcome its many problems, it needs leaders. I sincerely hope that the members-scholars of the PWPA will participate actively, not pas­sively, in the search for and realization of universal human ideals. The PWPA exists not only for the advancement of the sciences, but also for the practical promotion of the well-being of mankind, thereby differing from most other schol­arly institutions. Its members should be­come social activists, orienting their stu­dents in a positive direction, seeking to influence public opinion and playing a leading role in public affairs. I encourage you to grapple, in a non-violent manner, with the most difficult and pressing social and philosophical issues of the age, in order to provide humanity with the lead­ership it needs to cope with the seemingly insoluble problems it faces…

It is an absolute requirement in this era that education for the coming gen­eration be shaped by the firm moral con­victions of their professors, who must communicate a clear sense of values. This must be the basic attitude of edu­cators. From this point of view, the role of a professor is the same as that of a religious leader. We educators must as­sume the responsibility not only for transmitting facts, but also for sharing with our students the meaning and pur­pose of human life.

In the nearly 30 years that have passed since Rev. Moon provided this vision to PWPA leaders, the world has changed significantly: the Soviet Union has collapsed. China has become an economic powerhouse. Many of the newly indigenous regimes replacing the former colonial powers in Asia and Africa have not fared well politically and several of the established liberal democracies have been burdened with unsustainable debt and suffer from out-of-control bureaucratic expansion.

During the same years, PWPA chapters were established in over 100 countries, hundreds of conferences have been held, and countless books and other publications have been prepared and issued under PWPA sponsorship. The International Journal on World Peace has become an established journal in the field of peace studies.

Today Reverend Moon’s vision and hopes need to be applied to contemporary problems more than ever. On his passing, PWPA wishes to reaffirm its commitment to the vision and mission set before it, and express its thanks to its Founder for his generous spiritual and material contributions. It is incumbent upon the PWPA today to vigorously continue its several initial missions for advocating the causes of global and inter-religious tolerance and understanding, eradicating poverty and suffering, and challenging the growing scientific knowledge to better serve the causes of societal progress and peace.

Signed:

Dr. Morton A. Kaplan, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago
Dr. Neil Albert Salonen, President, University of Bridgeport
Dr. Gordon L. Anderson, President, Paragon House Publishers
Dr. Hugh D. Spurgin, President, Bridgeport International Academy
Larry Orman, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, University of Bridgeport
Frank Grow, President, CEO Focus Chesapeake
Professor Nicholas N. Kittrie, KStJ, The Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Justice & Peace,          Washington D.C.