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Globalizing God - Religion, Spirituality and Peace
ISBN: 978-82-300-0473-9
Year: 2008

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Globalizing God - Religion, Spirituality and Peace

This book, jointly authored by Johan Galtung and Graeme MacQueen, explores how religion, and specific religions, relate to spirituality - an inner sense of something beyond our selves - and peace, a pattern of nonviolence and equity.

In Part I the reader is taken on a tour of religions around the world, the religio-scape, from Occident to Orient and abrahamism to buddhism, in search of peace-building spiritualities. Religions are then scrutinized for their hard and soft aspects.

In Part II this search is taken much further into the theory and practice of peace, with a focus on five Asian peace spiritualities, and on ways in which religions have inspired concrete peace-making. The epilogue is written as a drama in five acts, a dialogical search for ways the religions could be a joint human property in a rapidly globalizing world

Johan V. Galtung, born 1930 in Oslo, Norway. Lives in Spain, France, Japan and the USA and is mainly engaged in mediation and research. He founded TRANSCEND: A network for Peace and Development, in 1993, and was a rector of TRANSCEND Peace University 2003-2007.
Graeme MacQueen, born 1948 in Nova Scotia, Canada, lives in Canada and was professor of religious studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario 1974-2003. He was founding director of McMaster's Centre for Peace Studies.


Globalizing God - Religion, Spirituality and Peace

by Johan Galtung and Graeme MacQueen

Table of contents




Appendix: A Mini-Theory of Peace


[1] Scripture and Change

[2] Religio-Scape I: Occident vs Orient

  • Traveling Eastward
  • Religions as Carrier of Social Messages
  • Religions as Carriers of Political Messages
  • Religions as Carriers of Development
  • Religions as Carriers of Peace
  • Appendix: Religions and Peace with Nature

[3] Religio-Scape II: Abrahamism vs Buddhism

  • Abrahamism-Christianity
  • Buddhism
  • The Abrahamic-Christian Pyramid and the Buddhist Wheel

[4] Religio-Scape III: Religions Hard vs Soft

  • Hard vs Soft, Distorted vs Genuine
  • Six Spiritual Choices
  • How to Strengthen the Softer Aspects


[5] A Note on Spirituality

[6] Religion and the Spirits of War and Peace

[7] Five Asian Peace Spiritualities

  • Hinduism: Creating the Nonviolent Warrior
  • Buddhism: The Story of Angulimala and Nonviolence
  • Confucianism: Against Structural Violence
  • Mohism: Love against War
  • Taoism: Art, not Force
  • Summary: Five Spiritualities, Five Emphases

[8] Eight Aspects of Peace Spirituality

Epilogue: Globalizing God: A Drama in High Quarters




Globalizing God - Religion, Spirituality and Peace
by Johan Galtung and Graeme MacQueen

An excerpt from the

Epilogue: Globalizing God: A Drama in High Quarters

Lao Tzu: I have chosen a French bon mot for what I have tried to do as your servant and instrument: I take the gem where I find it. I am very much inspired by Hans Kung. However, rather than searching for that which all you people have in common, I have been searching for the gems you carry in your treasure chests. I think mathematicians would say, union rather than intersection.

Je prends mon bien ou je le trouve

From judaism: that truth is not a declaration of faith, but a process through dialogue, with no end, as in the talmud.

From orthodox christianity: more of the optimism of Sunday christianity and less of the necrophilic Friday christianities of the other two: Christ has arisen, He is among us.

From catholic christianity: the distinction between peccato and peccatore, between sin and sinners, taking a stand against the sin yet pardoning, forgiving the sinner who does the same.

From protestant christianity: the lutheran hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders, here I am, I have no alternative; the significance of individual conscience and responsibility; and equality in the face of the Creator.

From islam: the truth of Sura 8:61, that when the Other shows an inclination toward peace so do you; peace breeds peace. And the truth of the zakat, of sharing with the poor. And the truth of islam-sala'am, submission, to the cause of peace.

From hinduism: the trinitarian construction of Creation, Preservation and Destruction, which applied to conflict means to pursue Creation by seeing conflict as a challenge to create a new reality, with Preservation of the parties, and Destruction of what generates the violence, the unsolved conflict, the hatred, the habits.

From buddhism-jainism: nonviolence, ahimsa to all life, to the whole earth, not only the human part and the earth-human interface. And as a part of this what in Japanese buddhism is known as engi, that everything hangs together in a co-dependent origination, with no beginning and no end, with nobody totally guilty or totally innocent. We all share responsibility in reducing dukkha--suffering and increasing sukha--fulfillment, with liberation for all, including ourselves. And the previous tetralemma, A, B, A&B, ?A&?B: either-or, both-and, and neither-nor as opposed to the either-or strait-jacket.

From confucianism: the principle of harmony: harmony inside ourselves, in the family, the school and at work, in society, in the country and the nation, in the region, among civilizations, in the world, with all levels inspiring each other.

From taoism: the principle of yin-yang, the good in the bad and the bad in the good, and the bad in the good in the bad and good in the bad in the good and so on; a complexity far beyond Western dualism. And "Share in the suffering of others. Delight in the joy of others. View the good fortune of others as your good fortune. View the losses of others as your own loss".

From Polynesian religion: all is everlasting, interconnected lokahi, alo'ha in the presence of gods, their breath, and our acts of omission are as important as our acts of commission giving rise to ho'o pono pono as mediation-conciliation.

From Zulu religion: I exist because you exist, you are in me and I am in you, ubuntu; I see you, I take you in, sabona.

From humanism: humans for humans something sacred, hence the idea of basic human needs, to some extent reflected in the basic human rights as a general guideline.


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