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For inter-cultural and inter-religious

Why a Global Ethic?

important to discover the common

features in the ethic of the different
religions and philosophies and make
people aware of them:
◗ for the individual as personal
◗ for society as the presupposition
for its cohesion;
◗ for nations and religious commu-
nities as a basis for understanding,
collaboration and peace.

On the basis of these common

ethical standards, called a ‘global
Imagine a ball game in which all the violence, unless its members deal ethic’ for short, people of all cultures
players are simply running around with one another confidently, and and nations can live together and
and knocking the ball about aimlessly. those who hold office exercise it fairly work together for a more peaceful
They’ve no idea what game they’re and honestly. A balance must always and juster world.
playing, what is permissible and what be found between the interests of the
isn’t. Rules are needed if a game is to individual and the common good.
be fair and enjoyable. And such rules So a consensus on some fundamental What is a global ethic?
are also required wherever people live rules of social life is indispensable for
together and want to achieve parti- holding a community together. As early as 1990, in my book
cular aims. ◗ Time and again peoples, nations Global Responsibility, I presented my
◗ Even a school class can prosper and states have different interests, reflections on a global ethic to the
only if the pupils have a sense of priorities and rivalries. A just balance public. In it I developed program-
fairness, if they can trust one another of interests and lasting peace can be matically the idea that the religions
and not be afraid of theft, bullying, achieved only if relations are not of the world can make a contribution
discrimination and violence – and if shaped by force, and if dialogue and to the peace of humankind only
they feel fairly treated by the teacher. cooperation take the place of aggres- if they reflect on the ethic that they
For this to happen, regulations are sion and confrontation. Politics and already have in common: on a fun-
needed which are observed by all diplomacy, in matters great and small, damental consensus concerning
those involved in school life. also need rules of behaviour. existing binding values, irrevocable
◗ Profit is important in a business, standards, and fundamental personal
but if the enterprise is to flourish Ever since there have been human attitudes. The decisive step was then
there is also need for a basis of trust societies, ideas have been developed taken by the Parliament of the World’s
between employer and staff, among of how to achieve a flourishing social Religions, an interreligious gathering
the staff, and between customers and life and a good life for the individual. in Chicago in 1993 with more than
firm. Honesty in business practices, Ethical standards – an elementary 6000 participants. At it, more than
in accounting and financial reporting, ethic – have been developed in all 200 delegates from every religion and
is important, as is reliability and cultures. Religions and philosophies continent signed a ‘Declaration
mutual esteem. Business and employ- above all have spelt out these stan- Toward A Global Ethic’ which I drafted
ment regulations are required which dards and systematized them. But in in a process of interreligious consul-
are supported by all concerned. our present-day pluralistic world no tation. Since then it has become the
◗ No community can exist unless single religion, philosophy or ideology fundamental document for the
a legal order is affirmed, unless can lay down such an ethic for the development of the idea of a global
differences are resolved without whole of society. Yet it is possible and ethic.
The Global Ethic project is based on ◗ 1999: The ‘Call to Our Guiding conventions, laws, commandments,
four fundamental convictions: Institutions’ by the Third Parliament of directives and customs; in short,
the World’s Religions in Cape Town; specific ethical norms. Thus much that
No peace among the nations
◗ 2001: The manifesto on the dia- is proclaimed as God’s commandment
without peace among the religions.
logue among civilizations, ‘Crossing in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testa-
No peace among the religions the Divide’, worked out by the ‘Group ment and also the Qur’an, in other
without dialogue between the of Eminent Persons’ convened by words in the cultures of Semitic
religions. the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan origin, can also be found in the reli-
for the year 2001, the International gions of Indian and Chinese origin.
No dialogue between the religions
Year of Dialogue among Civilizations. In this exhibition they are all depicted
without global ethical standards!
on the six panels of those religions
No survival of our globe without a The Chicago Declaration and the which can be called world religions
global ethic, supported by both Global Ethic Project seek to stimulate by virtue of their historical influence
religious and nonreligious people. an individual and collective change of and global dissemination.
consciousness in the interest of the
The Chicago Declaration first of all
survival of our planet. The Global The first six panels show:
formulates the common features of
Ethic Foundation in Tübingen, Ger- ◗ portraits of the key figures and
the ethic of the religions in two
many, founded in 1995, is working founders: Shiva, Confucius, Buddha,
particularly intensively on furthering Moses, Christ and Muhammad (the
1. The principle of humanity: every this change of consciousness at last only in lettering, as the Prophet
human being must be treated different levels: in intercultural and may not be portrayed);
humanely. interreligious research, education and ◗ central sacred texts from the
2. In practically all cultures and encounter, both national and religions, specifically on ethical
religions of humankind there is a international. aspects;
second rule which develops this ◗ a text by me on the nature of each
formal basic principle – the ‘Golden religion;
Rule’ of reciprocity: ‘What you do Visualizing the global ethic: ◗ a brief description and a time
not wish done to yourself, do not do the exhibition chart;
to others.’ ‘World Religions – Universal ◗ pictures from the world of the
Peace – Global Ethic’ religions and portraits of modern
These two principles include concrete representatives of them.
directives for four central spheres of An educational contribution to this
life which are formulated as change of consciousness is being At the same time the fundamental
commitments: made by the media developed by the ethical standards common to all these
◗ Commitment to a culture of non- Global Ethic Foundation: books, religions need to be expressed clearly.
violence and respect for life; videos, CD-ROMs, the Internet and This is done most clearly in the panel
◗ Commitment to a culture of above all the exhibition ‘World on the Golden Rule. Here one and
solidarity and a just economic order; Religions – Universal Peace – Global the same norm is expressed in
◗ Commitment to a culture of Ethic’ described in this booklet. different writings and formulations; it
tolerance and a life of truthfulness; Of course ethical norms do not fall was formulated by Confucius 500
◗ Commitment to a culture of equal from heaven, even if at all times in years before Christ and today should
rights and partnership between men the various religions they have been apply not only between individuals
and women. and still are called to mind with the but also between groups, nations,
authority of divine revelation and by races and religions.
Building on the Chicago Declaration, mediators of that revelation. Ethical
the idea of a global ethic has been norms and values have been deve- The Golden Rule already makes more
extended further at various levels. The loped by human beings themselves precise the still more elementary
following documents are particularly in an extremely complicated social fundamental principle of humanity
important: and dynamic process during the which has been called for at all
◗ 1997: The proposal of the course of human evolution. That times by the great humanists – from
InterAction Council of former heads means that where urgent human Immanuel Kant through Henry Dunant,
of states and governments for a needs have emerged, regulations for Rosa Luxembourg and Thomas Mann,
‘Universal Declaration of Human governing human behaviour have Hannah Arendt and Albert Schweitzer
Responsibilities’; imposed themselves: priorities, to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela
and Yehudi Menuhin: ‘Every human The foundation is active in three 3. The sponsoring and support of
being, man or woman, white or fields: intercultural and interreligious
coloured, rich or poor, old or young, encounter necessary for research
should be treated humanely, that is, and education.
not inhumanely or bestially.’ This de- Foundation ◗ Encouragement and sponsoring
mand is implicit in what is really com-
mon to all human beings, namely being
GLOBAL of initiatives in the sphere of society,
politics and culture in the interest
human, and the inalienable human
dignity associated with it. This is also
For inter-cultural and inter-religious
of an understanding between people
(e. g. ‘confidence-building measures’
the starting point for human rights. between the religions);
ENCOUNTER ◗ The encouragement of encounter
The last four panels develop and between people of different cultures
spell out these two basic ethical and religions (colloquia, study trips,
principles; at the same time they 1. The implementation and congresses);
translate them into the present day encouragement of intercultural and ◗ The development of the existing
with the four great ethical directives interreligious research: network of intercultural and inter-
of all religions as formulated in the ◗ Research into the foundation of religious relations to encourage
Chicago Declaration. It is becoming religions in theology and religious a global ethic.
clear that they are by no means studies, especially by the production ◗ The creation of access to key
fortuitous but are focussed on and encouragement of scholarly documents and literature with the
decisive spheres of human life and publications (books, articles) in the help of modern communications
human society. interest of intercultural, interreligious technologies (www.global-ethic.org).
and interdenominational under-
The global ethic is what holds our standing. Since its establishment in 1995 the
exhibition together. Those who look activity of the Foundation has exten-
at these twelve panels can see the 2. The stimulation and implemen- ded into a great variety of practical
ethical heritage of humankind: it tation of intercultural and inter- fields and areas of society like
embraces both secular traditions from religious education: schools, business and politics and has
the humanist ethic and the traditions ◗ Teaching and lectures to dissemi- aroused great interest, extending as
of the religious ethic. World peace can nate the results of scholarship, in far as the United Nations Organi-
be furthered only in a coalition of particular the ideas of a fundamental zation. It has been possible to create
men and women inspired by ethics on ethic common to all human beings, further Global Ethic Foundations: in
both a religious and a nonreligious a global ethic, in schools, academies, 1996 in Switzerland, in 1999 in the
basis. colleges, associations and interest Czech Republic, in 2000 in the
groups of all kinds, national and Netherlands, and in 2001 a ‘Global
international; Ethic Initiative’ in Austria. The
Global ethic in practice: ◗ The education of those interested positive response to the activities
The Global Ethic Foundation by conferences, lectures, seminars of the Foundation shows that the task
or workshops to deepen the theme of putting globalization on an ethical
The Global Ethic Foundation owes its of a global ethic; basis is becoming increasingly
origin to Count K. K. von der Groeben, ◗ Public activity in the service of a necessary.
who in 1995 read Global Responsi- global ethic with the help of the
bility and was so impressed that media (newspaper articles, interviews, Hans Küng
he donated a substantial sum towards radio and television).
the dissemination of the idea of a ◗ The preparation of media such as
global ethic. The interest on the the multimedia project ‘Tracing the
capital guarantees the long-term Way. Spiritual Dimensions of the World
future of the work of a small research Religions’ which consists of seven
team under my direction in the video films, a CD-ROM (in german
service of a global ethic. The program- only) and a book (available also in
matic basis for the work of the english), or the present exhibition.
Foundation is the ‘Declaration Toward
A Global Ethic’ of the Parliament of
the World’s Religions.



The name Hinduism was invented

by us Europeans for Indian religion.
In reality it does not denote a single 1200
Indian religion but a whole cluster of
religions, a confederation of religions. But here already it is also clear 1000 A Hindu’s FOUR CLASSIC AIMS IN LIFE
that Hinduism is not primarily Striving for what is pleasant and the delight
Indians themselves usually call their 800
of the senses (kama).
a matter of statements of faith,
religion eternal order. Striving for what is useful and attaining
dogmas, orthodoxy. Hinduism 600
In Sanskrit, the old classical language Muhammad prosperity (artha).
has no official doctrinal Working for justice and virtue (dharma).
of India, this is Sanatana dharma – 400
authority, but is about right Striving for liberation and redemption
a term which was very often used
action, the correct rite, morality 200
(moksha) from the cycle of birth, death
by Mahatma Gandhi. This central
– everything that makes up the and reincarnation.
concept of dharma determines
practice of religion. 0 Jesus
everything: it means order, the law, The seven modern
obligation. Hinduism is not primarily about 200 SOCIAL SINS of humankind
specific rights either. It is about Politics without principles
Order here is not a legal order but 400 Business without morality
our great human destiny, the
an all-embracing cosmic order which Confucius Wealth without work
responsibilities that we have: 600 Buddha
governs all life. All men and women, Education without character
responsibilities towards family, Ancient
Science without humanity
regardless of the caste or class to Indian
society, God and the gods. 800 Writings Enjoyment without conscience
which they belong, are to observe it. (Vedas)
Religion without sacrifice
Here we are reminded of something (according to Mahatma Gandhi)

like the fundamental ethic that can 1200

Virtues of the YOGA WAY
already be found among the Aboriginal
Non violence, doing no harm (a-himsa)
people in Australia, a fundamental Truthfulness (satya)
order which is there from the start, Not stealing (a-steya)
right from the beginning. Chastity, purity of life (brahmacharya)
1800 Lack of desire (a-parigraha)
(according to Patanjali)
2000 B C

Kandariya Mahadev temple, Khajuraho

Varanasi, the city of Shiva



Mahatma Gandhi

Sarvapalli Radakrishnan

◗ The union of hearts and minds and Truth, self-control, asceticism, Most Hindus believe in one God,
freedom from hate I will bring you. generosity, non-violence, an Absolute, but depending on the path they
◗ Love one another as the cow loves constancy in virtue – these are choose they associate themselves with
a quite particular divine revealer figure,
the calf that she has borne. the means of success, and not
like Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Krishna or Ram.
◗ Let son be loyal to father and caste or family.
of one mind with his mother. Hindus are convinced that the human soul
(from the Mahabharata)
is eternal, that it is identical with the primal
◗ Let not a brother hate a brother,
ground of the world and according to the law
nor a sister hate a sister; unanimous, One should not take what of karma undergoes several earthly existences.
united in aims speak your words in belongs to others, that is an
Karma means that all actions have causes
friendliness. eternal duty.
from earlier life and effects on later existences.
(Atharva Veda 3.30) (from the Mahabharata)
The four Vedas are regarded as classical
sacred scriptures of the Hindus, but the
◗ One should speak the truth and
Bhagavad-Gita, a book from the Mahabharata
speak it pleasingly. epic, is also extremely popular.
◗ One should not speak the truth
There are more than 800 million Hindus
in an unpleasant manner nor should
world-wide; most of them live in India.
one speak untruth because
it is pleasing; this is the eternal law.
(Manu Smriti 4, 138)

Morning prayer in the Ganges

A Vishnavite priest

Temple frieze with tantric scenes

Religion 2000



It is not authoritarian patriarchalism

that stands at the centre of the
teaching of Confucius, but what 1200
is truly human.
Humanity (ren) in the sense of So the Chinese in particular 1000 The foundations of Confucian ethics are
loving care, goodness, benevolence, greatly approve of the statement FIVE BASIC RELATIONSHIPS
is the ethical term that is used most that the universal basic criterion Superior – subordinate
Father – son
frequently of all in the Analects for a global ethic is that what 600
Muhammad Older brother – younger brother
of Confucius. helps human beings to be truly Husband – wife
human is what is in principle Friend – friend
Humanity could very well also be
good for them. 200 Taoist
the basis today for a fundamental Writings
That means that: Confucian VIRTUES
ethic – not only in China, but in Proper behaviour (li)
◗ Human beings, whether 0 Jesus
humankind as a whole. According Humanity (ren)
individuals or societies, should
to Confucius, humanity is to be 200 Doing one’s duty (yi)
not behave in an inhuman, Confucian
Knowing what is right (shi)
understood as mutuality (shu), as Writings
antihuman, bestial way, as so 400 Reciprocal care of others (shu)
mutual respect, as he explains it in the
often happens. Confucius Respect, fulfilling the obligations
Golden Rule: What you do not wish 600 Buddha
◗ Rather, human beings, as of a child (xiao)
for yourself, do not do to others.
individuals or in community,
Good and evil can be distinguished should behave in a truly human
At fifteen, I bent my mind on learning;
by the basic norm of true humanity way, a humane way: towards 1000
at thirty, I was established;
in a quite elementary way, one that their fellow men and women, at forty, I was free from delusion;
is valid for all. For the Chinese there society, and nature. at fifty, I knew the mandate of Heaven;
is nothing beyond good and evil. at sixty, my ears became subtly perceptive;
Confucius is said to have remarked at seventy, I was able to follow my heart’s
that there are only two ways: 1600 desire without overstepping the rules
humanity or inhumanity. of propriety.
1800 (Confucius, Analects 2.4)

2000 B C

Taoist priestess

‘Temple of heaven’, Beijing

Yue Hai Qing temple, Singapore


Liang Qichao

Mou Tsung-san

Kang Youwei

Carsun Chang

To apply oneself to the duties Early Chinese culture, around 5,000 years old,
of men and, while revering the spirits is a shamanistic culture with a strong religious
and gods, to keep away from them stamp, at the centre of which stands
the veneration of ancestors and rites.
– this may be called wisdom.
(Confucius, Analects 6.22) The era of Chinese humanism begins in China
in the sixth century BC with the emergence
A benevolent man extends his love of wisdom teachers – the most famous
for those he loves to those he does of them is Confucius. There is a transition
not love. from magical religion to a rationality centred
on human beings and their ethical decisions.
(Mencius 7B.1)

To some degree as a counter-movement

Treat the aged of your own family If one has sinned against to that, at this time Taoism arose. It is a return
in a manner befitting their venerable Heaven, there is no one to nature and its harmony, inspired by the
age and extend this treatment to pray to. wisdom writing Tao te Ching, which is
to the aged of other families. attributed to the legendary wise man Lao-tsu.
(Confucius, Analects 3.13)
This is a philosophical-mystical doctrine
Treat your own young in a manner
of the Tao, the way, the primal law and primal
befitting their tender age and extend If a man is not humane, foundation of all being, in which human
this to the young of other families. what can he do with the rituals? beings are to be embedded and with which
(Mencius, 1A, 7) If a man is not humane, they are to live in harmony.
what can he do with music?
Later this became a separate religious
(Confucius, Analects 3.3)
movement which adopted many elements
of the old Chinese religion.

There are about 1.3 billion Chinese, some

of whom – in so far as they are religious at all
– are Confucians or Taoists; others are
Buddhists, Christians or Muslims.

Foretelling from the hand

Morning t’ai-chi meditation in Beijing




It has often been asserted that

Buddhism is not really a religion
but a philosophy. 1200
However, Buddhism is not
a philosophy. It is a religion; stable, that nothing in the world 1000 The EIGHTFOLD PATH
it is a doctrine of liberation and is permanent. Everything is Right view
a way to liberation. changeable; even the self, to Right understanding of the origin
of suffering,
which we so cling, basically has 600
And in fact the Buddha understood Muhammad right understanding of the cessation
no abiding substance, but is just of suffering,
himself as something like a doctor 400
as transitory. right understanding of the path leading
who wants to help suffering people to
to the cessation of suffering.
find liberation and redemption. So the suffering from which
Right intentions
However, everyone has to try out the human beings are to be cured is Intentions of renunciation,
0 Jesus
means of healing for themselves. this illusion of a real self. Human intentions of goodwill,
beings are to learn through the 200 Buddhist intentions to do no harm.
Here the Buddha is something like Pali Right word
therapy of the Buddha to free
a present-day psychotherapist who 400 canon To refrain from lying,
themselves from their own
helps people to overcome crises in Confucius to refrain from slander,
selves. 600 Buddha
life, to understand the causes of to refrain from harsh speech,
suffering and so cope with it, to be They are to find the way from to refrain from chattering.
800 Right action
content with their limitations, finitude a concern with the self and
To refrain from killing living beings,
and mortality. But the Buddha is more entanglement in the self to 1000
to refrain from taking what is not given,
than a psychotherapist. He is more a selflessness which makes to refrain from an immoral love life.
radical. He himself has experienced them free for an all-embracing Right livelihood
in Enlightenment that human beings, compassion. To earn one’s living by legal means and
if they see through everything, can without violence.
That is something which really Right effort
recognize that all that they see is not 1600
should not be so remote for The effort of the will,
Christians either. 1800 not to allow to come into being
unwholesome things which have not
2000 B C come into being,
to make unwholesome things that have
Buddhist monks at the autumn feast in Nara come into being disappear,
to make wholesome things that have
come into being unfold.
Right mindfulness
Simplicity and transparency: a zen garden
Developing awareness of the body so that
greed and hatred are reduced.
Right concentration
To enter deep levels of mental calm through
developing one-pointedness of need.
(from Mahasatipatthana-Suttanta 21)

Tibetan sand mandala


Dalai Lama

Aung San Suu Kyi

Nikkyo Niwano

◗ Do not be led by reports, nor by Buddhism has its historical origin in the
tradition, nor hearsay. sixth century BC with Siddharta Gautama.
◗ Do not be led by the authority In the Four Noble Truths he taught insight
of religious texts, nor by mere logic or into the cause of human suffering and with
inference, nor by considering the Eightfold Path showed a way towards
appearances, nor by the delight in overcoming it.

speculative opinions, nor by seeming The five precepts Through this insight Siddharta Gautama
possibilities, nor by the idea ‘this is of Buddhism became the Buddha, the Enlightened One.
your teacher’. I vow to abstain from killing Buddhists do not understand the Ultimate
Reality, the Absolute, as a personal deity
◗ But when you know for yourselves living beings,
or a creator god.
that certain things are unwholesome I vow to abstain from taking
and wrong and bad, then give them what is not given, Buddha’s teachings were gathered together
over a long period; the most important
up. I vow to abstain from sexual
are the Theravada canon (the Tripitaka) and
◗ And when you know for yourselves misconduct, the Mahayana sutras.
that certain things are wholesome I vow to abstain from lying,
There are more than 300 million Buddhists
and good, then accept and follow I vow to abstain from taking
world-wide, divided into schools of Theravada
them. intoxicants. (Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos)
(Vimamsaka Sutta) and Mahayana (Vietnam, China, Korea,
The avoidance of what is evil; Japan, Tibet).
the undertaking of good;
the cleansing of one’s mind;
this is a teaching of the
awakened ones.
(Dhammapada 183)

Stone footprint of Buddha, Bodh-Gaya

Todaiji temple, Nara




The Bible portrays the Jews as

a people who have been chosen
by God. 1200
However, for believing Jews this is
not an expression of superiority and 1000 The TEN COMMANDMENTS
No longer was there the general
arrogance but an expression of I am the Lord your God, you shall have
statement, ‘You shall not kill, lie, 800
no other gods before me.
a particular obligation: an obligation
steal, commit adultery.‘ You shall not make for yourself an idol.
to God’s covenant, God’s 600
Now we hear, ‘I am the Lord Muhammad You shall not make wrongful use
commandments, God’s teaching – in of the name of the Lord your God.
your God, you shall not kill, lie, 400 Talmud
Hebrew the Torah. Remember the sabbath day and keep
steal, commit adultery.‘
it holy.
That certainly does not mean that all
At a very early stage these Honour your father and your mother.
the commandments of the Jewish You shall not kill.
commandments were summa- 0 Jesus
sacred law were given from the very You shall not commit adultery.
rized, the most important
beginning. And of course there were 200 You shall not steal.
of them in the Ten Words, the Hebrew
You shall not bear false witness against
also elementary commandments Bible
‘Decalogue‘. They were also 400 your neighbour.
of humanity among the peoples
taken over by the Christians. Confucius You shall not covet your neighbour’s
outside Israel. 600 Buddha
There are parallels to them house, you shall not covet your
What was new was that the in the Qur’an. neighbour’s wife, or male or female
800 slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything
commandments of humanity were
They form the basis of a that belongs to your neighbour.
now put under the authority of one 1000
(Exodus 20.1-21)
common fundamental ethic
and the same God.
of the three prophetic 1200
You shall love your neighbour as yourself.
religions. Grounded in belief
(Leviticus 19.18)
in the one God, these Ten Words 1400

of Israel form the great legacy The stranger who resides with you shall be
of the Jews to humankind. to you as the citizen among you;
1800 you shall love the stranger as yourself.
(Leviticus 19.34)
2000 B C
Jewish everyday life in New York Which of you desires life,
and covets many days to enjoy good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
(Psalm 34.13-15)

‘The tomb of Abraham’, Hebron

A Jewish family in Nazi Germany


Theodor Herzl

Martin Buber

Elie Wiesel

When a man appears before the Judaism is grounded in belief in the One
throne of Judgment, the first question God, who liberated the people of Israel
he is asked is not, from slavery in Egypt – under the leadership
of Moses, through whom the Israelites
Have you believed in God?
on Mount Sinai received God’s teaching,
or, Have you prayed and fulfilled the Torah.
the precepts?
The Hebrew Bible – the earliest parts
but, Have you dealt honourably,
of which go back to the tenth century BC –
faithfully in all your dealings with is called Tanak after the initial consonants of its
your neighbour? three main divisions (Torah = instruction,
(Talmud, Shabbat 31a) Nebi’im = Prophets, Ketubim = Writings).
Christians generally call it the Old Testament –
The world rests on three things: It may not be granted you as opposed to the New Testament.
on justice, truth and peace. to complete the work, but you A rich body of religious writing developed
(Talmud, Avot 1.18) are not free to withdraw from it. among rabbinic scholars from the second
century CE onwards, including the Talmud.
(Talmud, Avot 3.21)
You may modify a statement in the World-wide there are about 14 million Jews;
interests of peace. The seal of God is truth. the main currents are Orthodox, Conservative,
Reform and Liberal. The majority live in Israel
(Talmud, Yebamot 65b) (Talmud, Shabbat 55)
and in North America. About 6 million Jews
were killed in the Holocaust.

Orthodox Jews before the Western Wall in Jerusalem

Torah scroll



It would be wrong to identify Christ- 1400

ianity with ecclesiastical power struct-

ures and bureaucratic institutions.
Christians are those who throughout 1000
one who was their model in The NEW TESTAMENT
their personal lives – and everyone
their life, suffering and From Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount’
has his or her own life to live – are 800
struggles: Jesus of Nazareth. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs
guided by Jesus Christ.
600 is the kingdom of heaven.
That takes us right to the heart Muhammad
We might think of Oscar Romero, Blessed are those who mourn, for they
of things. What is the real 400 will be comforted.
the Archbishop of El Salvador, who
essence of Christianity? Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit
was shot at the altar during a service; 200
The essence of Christianity is the earth.
of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Protestant New
not, as some people think, some Testament Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
theologian and resistance fighter; 0 Jesus
for righteousness, for they will
great theory, a world-view,
of Martin Luther King, the American be filled.
or even an ecclesiastical system. 200
Civil Rights activist; or of Jerzy Popie- Old Blessed are the merciful, for they will
It is quite simply Jesus Christ. Testament receive mercy.
luszko, the Polish priest. 400
And basically, no organization, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they
Common to them all is that: Confucius
600 Buddha
will see God.
◗ They were committed Christians. no institution, no church can
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they
◗ They stood up for their fellow men honestly call itself ‘Christian’ will be called children of God.
and women in a non-violent way. if it cannot truly refer to him in Blessed are those who are persecuted
◗ And they were all eliminated with word and deed. 1000 for righteousness’ sake, for theirs
brute force. is the kingdom of heaven.
1200 (Matthew 5.3-12)
But that also makes them like the
Love your enemies and pray for those
who persecute you.
1600 (Matthew 5.44)

But if anyone strikes you on the right

cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone
Russian monk, Moscow 2000 B C wants to sue you and take your coat,
give your cloak as well; and if anyone
forces you to go one mile, go also the
second mile. Give to everyone who begs
Peter and Paul, Rome from you, and do not refuse anyone
who wants to borrow from you.
(Matthew 5.39-42)

The measure you give will be the

measure you get.
(Matthew 7.2)

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul



Pope John XXIII

Mother Teresa

Alexander Men

You shall love the Lord your God Christianity is named after Jesus Christ,
with all your heart, and with all your a Jewish itinerant preacher, who lived in
soul, and with all your mind. Palestine in the early part of the first century.
During his brief public activity – perhaps
This is the greatest and first
only a few months, at most three years –
commandment. Jesus proclaimed the coming kingdom of God
with its promises and standards.
And a second is like it: Whoever wishes to become great
You shall love your neighbour as among you must be your servant, He gathered a group of disciples around
yourself. and whoever wishes to be first him, came into conflict with the religious and
political establishment, and was crucified
(Matthew 22.37-39) among you must be slave of all.
around the age of thirty.
(Mark 10.43-44).
Christians believed and still believe that
It is more blessed to give than God has raised him from the dead to eternal
to receive. live and exalted him to be the Christ
(Acts of the Apostles 20.35) (‘God’s anointed’).

Jesus himself did not write down any sayings.

His teachings and his life are handed down
in the four Gospels, which with twenty-three
other writings form the New Testament.

There are around 2 billion Christians world-

wide: Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant,
Anglican and others.

Martin Luther

St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

The shanty-town of La Chacra, San Salvador




There is no doubt that through

the prophet Muhammad the Arabs
were raised to the level of an ethical 1200
high religion, grounded in belief in
the one God and in a basic ethic For Muslims, the Word of God 1000 The QUR’AN
of humanity, with clear imperatives did not become a man but In the Name of God, Most Merciful,
for more humanity and more justice. a book. And it is the Qur’an, the Most Compassionate,
From its origins onwards, Islam was original version of which lies 600
Qur’an Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds,
the All-merciful, the All-compassionate,
a religion not so much of the law with God himself, that forms the
400 Master of the Day of Reckoning.
as of an ethic. And there is also some- centre of Islam. Thee alone do we worship; and to Thee
thing like the Ten Commandments, 200 alone do we turn for help.
So Islam is a religion of the
the basis of a common ethic of Guide us in the straight path, the path
book par excellence. The Qur’an
humanity. 0 Jesus of those whom Thou hast blessed,
completes the Torah of the Jews not of those against whom Thou art
Muslims see Muhammad as the and the Gospel of the Christians. wrathful,
seal of the prophets, the messenger For Muslims it is unsurpassable, not of those who have incurred Thy wrath.
400 (Qur’an, Surah 1)
of God who brought God’s final perfect, absolutely reliable.
revelation to humankind. However, So it is also solemnly recited 600 Buddha
The Muslim code of duties
Muslims attach the greatest and above all learnt by heart by
800 In the Name of God, the Merciful,
importance to the fact that the the experts.
the Compassionate,
Prophet Muhammad does not stand Yet Muslim theologians, too,
1000 Set not up with God another god, or you
at the centre of Islam, as Jesus Christ have discussed the question will sit condemned and forsaken.
stands at the centre of Christianity. whether as the word of God the 1200 Thy Lord has decreed you shall not serve
Qur’an is not also a human any but Him,
word, the word of the Prophet 1400 and be good to parents.
And give the kinsman his right, and the
1600 needy, and the traveller.
And slay not your children for fear of
1800 poverty. Nor take life, which God has
made sacred.
Qayrawan 2000 B C
And approach not fornication.
And do not touch the property of the
And be true to every promise.
Believers recite the Qur’an
And give full measure when you measure,
and weigh with the straight balance.
And do not pursue that of which you have
no knowledge.
And walk not the earth with insolence.
(Qur’an, Surah 17.22-38)

The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem


Gamaladdin al-Afghani

Muhammad Abduh

Muhammad Iqbal

And if they incline to peace, you Islam means submission to the will of God.
should also incline to it and place It is the message of the Prophet Muhammad,
your trust in God. which was gradually revealed to him in the
seventh century by an angel and was later
(Qur’an, Surah 8.61)
written down in the Qur’an by Muhammad’s
companions and followers.
And avoid the abomination of idols, Let there be no compulsion
The five pillars of Islam are:
and avoid the speaking of falsehood. in religion.
◗ belief in God and Muhammad as
(Quran, Surah 22.30) (Qur’an, Surah 2.256) his messenger,
◗ daily ritual prayer,
Do you see him who calls the Let there be one community ◗ obligatory contribution for the poor,
Reckoning a lie? (of believers), calling to good, ◗ Ramadan, the annual month of fasting,
He is the one who casts the orphan and bidding to honour, ◗ to go on pilgrimage to Mecca if possible
once in a lifetime.
away, and forbidding dishonour;
who fails to urge the feeding of one in those are the prosperers. There are around 1.2 billion Muslims;
need. the most important movements are the Sunni
(Qur’an, Surah 3.104)
and the Shi’ites.
So woe to those that pray and are
heedless of their prayers, to those who O believers, be you securers Most Muslims today live in South-East Asia
make display and refuse charity. of justice, witnesses for God. and India, Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East
and Turkey.
(Qur’an, Surah 107.1-7) Let not detestation for a people
move you to deviate from
(Qur’an, Surah 5.8)

The Ka’ba, Mecca

Daily ritual prayer

Every human being
must be treated
Chicago 1993

In the face
of all inhumanity
our religious
Immanuel Kant, Henry Dunant, Rosa Luxemburg, Thomas Mann, and ethical convictions
philosopher founder politician writer demand that every
of the Red Cross human being
Act in such a way Freedom only The tendency towards
must be treated
that you always In an age in which for the supporters of some form of world
use humankind, people talk so much a government, organization is
This means that every
both in your person about progress and only for the members unmistakably present,
human being
and in the person civilization, is there not of one party – however and nothing of this kind
without distinction
of anyone else, an urgent need, numerous they may be is possible without
of age, sex, race,
at the same time since unfortunately – is no freedom. a strong dose of
skin colour, physical
as an end, never as wars cannot always be Freedom is always only secularized Christianity,
or mental ability,
a means. avoided, to insist that freedom of the one without a new
language, religion,
with a sense of true who thinks otherwise. Bill of Rights, a basic
political view,
humanity and law of human rights
or national or social
civilization a way be and human decency
sought at least to binding on all,
diminish their terrors which universally
an inalienable and
to some degree? guarantees …
untouchable dignity.
a minimum of respect
And everyone,
for man made
the individual as well
in God’s image.
as the state,
is therefore obliged
to honour this dignity
and protect it.

Human dignity is unassailable.
To respect it and to protect it is the responsibility
of every state authority.
Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, Article 1 (1949)

All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act
towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1 (1948)

Albert Schweitzer, Hannah Arendt, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Yehudi Menuhin,
Nobel Peace Prize philosopher Nobel Peace Prize Nobel Peace Prize musician
1952 1964 1993
Regardless The will and the
If we are disposed of whether it appears I have a dream … No one is born capacity to exterminate
towards humanity we in a religious or that one day the sons to hating another whole peoples are more
are true to ourselves, a humanist form, of former slaves person because widespread today
in that we are capable the idea of humanity and the sons of former of the colour of his skin, than ever.
of being creative. contains a duty slave owners or his background, My aim, which I seek
If we are disposed to a shared will be able to sit down or his religion. to achieve with
towards inhumanity responsibility. together at the table People must learn music and in my
we are untrue to of brotherhood … to hate, and if they can educational projects,
ourselves, and thus I have a dream learn to hate, has long been
exposed to all error. that my four children they can be taught to work against this evil
will one day live to love, for love comes by encouraging
in a nation where more naturally understanding between
they will not be judged to the human heart peoples, by
by the colour than its opposite. strengthening the
of their skin but by the Even in the grimmest feeling that we are
content of their times in prison … all human beings
character. I would see a glimmer and are dependent
of humanity in one on one another.
of the guards.

The ‘Golden Rule’
in the world religions


This is A person Do not do

the sum of duty: should to others
do nothing treat what you
to others all creatures do not want them
which would cause as he himself to do to you.
you pain would Confucius, Analects 15.23
if done to you. be treated.
Mahabharata XIII.114.8 Sutrakritanga I.11.33


A state Do not do In everything No one

that is not pleasant to others do to others of you is a believer
or delightful what you would as you until
to me not want them would have them he desires
must be so to do to you. do to you. for his brother that
for him also; Rabbi Hillel, Shabbat 31a Matthew 7.12; Luke 6.31 which he desires
and a state for himself.
which is not pleasant 40 Hadith
(sayings of Muhammad)
or delightful
of an-Nawawi 13
for me,
how could I inflict that
on another?
Samyutta Nikaya V,


kill ?
e ?



Violence may not be
a means of settling differences
with others. Grim reality of e-stalking.
Internet intimidation is coming
to a home near you.
Glasgow Herald

Sharp rise in attacks Violence rising

on hospital staff. at football grounds.
Shocking figures show that Affray, missile throwing
there has been a 217 % and violent disorder were all up.
average increase. Daily Telegraph

In the great ancient religious and Glasgow Herald

Jailed for Life at 12.
ethical traditions of humankind we find
Concern over huge rise A 12 year old boy has been given
the directive:
in classroom violence. life for beating a girl of 6 to death.
You shall not kill! Or in positive terms:
Attacks on teachers rose by more Daily Mirror
Have respect for life!
Let us reflect anew on the consequences than 50 per cent last year.
Scotsman Fuelling Africa’s Wars.
of this ancient directive:
War is spreading from Sierra Leone
◗ All people have a right to life, safety Apocalypse soon to Ghana. Traders, profiting
and the free development of personality for half of wildlife. in arms, diamonds and oil, help
in so far as they do not injure the rights Global warming will destroy to keep West African wars going.
of others. almost a third of plant Economist
◗ No one has the right physically or and animal habitats by the end
psychically to torture, injure, much less of this century. Tide of cruelty sweeps
kill, any other human being. Glasgow Herald through our care homes.
◗ And no people, no state, no race, They should be safe havens, but
no religion has the right to hate, Violence at home is worst peril one in ten hide stories of violence.
to discriminate against, to ’cleanse‘, for women. Observer
to exile, much less to liquidate a ’foreign‘ Up to 5.7 million incidents
minority which is different. of domestic violence occur

Let no one be deceived: every year.

There is no survival for humanity Times

without global peace!

The railway children
Young people must learn at home and
who dice with death.
in school that violence may
Vandalism and trespass
not be a means of settling differences
are biggest threat
with others.
to rail safety.
Only thus can a culture of non-violence
be created.

From the ‘Declaration Toward a Global Ethic’ of the

Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago 1993.


steal ?
t ?
bribe ?

e x
o r r

Greedy people
lose their ‘souls’ – Not worth a shrug.

what makes them human. If you think that corruption is

a victimless crime, try Tanzania.

Greed is good again.

Fat cats still creaming pay. The stock market has become
A close-knit highly paid elite in the vehicle for a mass pursuit
Britain’s top companies are awarding of instant riches.
each other massive pay rises. Guardian
Glasgow Herald
In the great ancient religious and Corruption halts relief
ethical traditions of humankind we find Three found guilty of selling convoys in Albania.
the directive: meat condemned as pet food Dozens of lorries have been
You shall not steal! to humans. trapped for days.
Or in positive terms: Deal honestly and Independent Daily Telegraph
Bribery scandal threatens
Let us reflect anew on the consequences
of this ancient directive:
◗ No one has the right to rob or
dispossess in any way whatsoever any Sleaze unites all the parties
other person or the commonweal. in French election.
Daily Telegraph
◗ Further, no one has the right to use her
or his possessions without concern for the
You go out thieving to buy
needs of society and Earth.
your drugs.
Let no one be deceived: There’s nothing else to do.
There is no global peace without global Independent
Young people must learn at home and in Corruption brings fear for safety
school that property, limited though it of China’s Three Gorges Dam.
may be, carries with it an obligation, and Daily Telegraph
that its uses should at the same time
serve the common good. Slavery ‘worse now than

Only thus can a just economic order under Roman empire’.

be built up. Slaves are cheaper and more plentiful

than ever.
From the ‘Declaration Toward a Global Ethic’ of the Independent
Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago 1993.

and act

lie ?
e ?
e iv
forge ?

d e
i p u
an m

Every human being
has a right to truth and Downfall of a firm built

truthfulness. on deceit.
False passports, the dead buying
shares …

Fraud over drug firms costs NHS Lies as printed.

up to £ 60 m. Three on $ 800 m forgery charges.
Daily Telegraph Daily Telegraph

Why so many politicians are liars. Fake deaths

Daily Mail abroad are a growing problem for
In the great ancient religious and
ethical traditions of humankind we find
E crime and net raiders New York Times
the directive:
cost US $ 10 bn.
You shall not lie!
Computer fraud and theft is double Fraud in Europe hits £ 45 bn a year.
Or in positive terms: Speak and act
that of the previous year. Daily Telegraph
Let us reflect on the consequences of this
ancient directive:
And now you can’t even trust
No woman or man, no institution, the wine.
no state or church or religious community, Ten people arrested in what may
has the right to speak lies to other be one of the biggest wine scandals
humans. of recent years.
Let no one be deceived, There is no
global justice without truthfulness and
Hospitals sold living tissue
of children.
Young people must learn at home and in
school to think, speak, and act truthfully.
Without an ethical formation young Forgers ready to cash in over Euro.
people will hardly be able to distinguish Independent
the important from the unimportant.
In the daily flood of information, ethical
standards will help them discern when
opinions are portrayed as facts, interests
veiled, tendencies exaggerated and facts

From the ‘Declaration Toward a Global Ethic’ of the

Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago 1993.

Respect and
one another !

cheat ?
e ?


o n
i s h

for your partner’s Women ‘sold into sexual slavery’.

happiness. Irish Times

Sex trade enslaves East Europeans.

They took my body from me
Washington Post
and used it.
Drugged and raped in her hotel room.
South Africa new centre for
child sex.
Paedophile network abused The Times
200 children.
Independent I million children are ‘abused
In the great ancient religious and every year’.
ethical traditions of humankind we find Call girls to be questioned in cricket Daily Telegraph
the directive: scandal.
You shall not commit sexual immorality! Observer Domestic Violence Explodes.
Or in positive terms: An epidemic of domestic violence
Respect and love one another! Britons face jail over Internet is sweeping Britain’s homes.
Let us reflect anew on the consequences paedophile club. Guardian
of this ancient directive: The Times

No one has the right to degrade others Sierra Leone Rebels practised
to mere sex objects, to lead them into systematic sexual terror.
or hold them in sexual dependency. Washington Post
Let no one be deceived: There is no
authentic humaneness without a living
together in partnership.
Young people must learn at home and
in school that sexuality is not a negative,
destructive or exploitative force, but
creative and affirmative.

The relationship between women

and men should be characterized not
by patronizing behaviour or exploitation,
but by love, partnership, and

From the ‘Declaration Toward a Global Ethic’ of the

Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago 1993.

Basic Documents


Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago 1993 (extract)

We women and men of various and religious tensions threaten the confirm and deepen here from
religions and regions of Earth there- peaceful building of a better world. the perspective of an ethic: The full
fore address all people, religious and We have experienced greater realization of the intrinsic dignity
non-religious. We wish to express the technological progress than ever of the human person, the inalienable
following convictions which we hold before, yet we see that world-wide freedom and equality in principle
in common: poverty, hunger, death of children, of all humans, and the necessary
◗ We all have a responsibility for unemployment, misery, and the solidarity and interdependence of all
a better global order. destruction of nature have not humans with each other.
◗ Our involvement for the sake of diminished but rather have increased.
human rights, freedom, justice, peace, Many peoples are threatened with On the basis of personal experiences
and the preservation of Earth is ab- economic ruin, social disarray, and the burdensome history of our
solutely necessary. political marginalization, ecological planet we have learned
◗ Our different religious and cultural catastrophe, and national collapse. ◗ that a better global order cannot
traditions must not prevent our be created or enforced by laws, pre-
common involvement in opposing all In such a dramatic global situation scriptions, and conventions alone;
forms of inhumanity and working for humanity needs a vision of peoples ◗ that the realization of peace,
greater humaneness. living peacefully together, of ethnic justice, and the protection of Earth
◗ The principles expressed in this and ethical groupings and of religions depends on the insight and readiness
Global Ethic can be affirmed by sharing responsibility for the care of of men and women to act justly;
all persons with ethical convictions, Earth. A vision rests on hopes, goals, ◗ that action in favor of rights and
whether religiously grounded or not. ideals, standards. But all over the freedoms presumes a consciousness
◗ As religious and spiritual persons world these have slipped from our of responsibility and duty, and that
we base our lives on an Ultimate hands. Yet we are convinced that, therefore both the minds and hearts
Reality, and draw spiritual power and despite their frequent abuses and of women and men must be
hope therefrom, in trust, in prayer or failures, it is the communities of faith addressed;
meditation, in word or silence. We who bear a responsibility to demon- ◗ that rights without morality cannot
have a special responsibility for the strate that such hopes, ideals, and long endure, and that there will be no
welfare of all humanity and care for standards can be guarded, grounded, better global order without a global
the planet Earth. We do not consider and lived. This is especially true in ethic.
ourselves better than other women the modern state. Guarantees of
and men, but we trust that the freedom of conscience and religion By a global ethic we do not mean
ancient wisdom of our religions can are necessary but they do not a global ideology or a single unified
point the way for the future. substitute for binding values, religion beyond all existing religions,
convictions, and norms which are and certainly not the domination
After two world wars and the end of valid for all humans regardless of of one religion over all others. By a
the cold war, the collapse of fascism their social origin, sex, skin color, global ethic we mean a fundamental
and nazism, the shaking to the foun- language, or religion. consensus on binding values, irre-
dations of communism and colonia- vocable standards, and personal
lism, humanity has entered a new We are convinced of the fundamental attitudes. Without such a fundamental
phase of its history. Today we possess unity of the human family on Earth. consensus on an ethic, sooner or later
sufficient economic, cultural, and We recall the 1948 Universal Decla- every community will be threatened
spiritual resources to introduce a ration of Human Rights of the United by chaos or dictatorship, and indivi-
better global order. But old and new Nations. What it formally proclaimed duals will despair.
30 ethnic, national, social, economic, on the level of rights we wish to
InterAction Council, 1997 (extract)

Article 1: Every person, regardless of Article 4: All people, endowed with Article 12: Every person has a
gender, ethnic origin, social status, reason and conscience, must accept responsibility to speak and act
political opinion, language, age, natio- a responsibility to each and all, to truthfully. No one, however high or
nality, or religion, has a responsibility families and communities, to races, mighty, should speak lies. The right to
to treat all people in a humane way. nations, and religions in a spirit of privacy and to personal and pro-
solidarity: What you do not wish to be fessional confidentiality is to be
Article 2: No person should lend done to yourself, do not do to others. respected. No one is obliged to tell all
support to any form of inhumane the truth to everyone all the time.
behavior, but all people have a Article 5: Every person has a res-
responsibility to strive for the dignity ponsibility to respect life. No one has Article 16: All men and all women
and self-esteem of all others. the right to injure, to torture or to have a responsibility to show respect
kill another human person. This does to one another and understanding
Article 3: No person, no group not exclude the right of justified self- in their partnership. No one should
or organization, no state, no army or defense of individuals or commu- subject another person to sexual
police stands above good and evil; nities. exploitation or dependence. Rather,
all are subject to ethical standards. sexual partners should accept the
Everyone has a responsibility to responsibility of caring for each
promote good and to avoid evil in all other’s well-being.


Parliament of the World’s Religions, Cape Town 1999 (extract)

Building Community in Diversity can emerge. More evident at present, Today the human family numbers
Diversity is a hallmark of our con- however, are the tensions, hostilities, nearly six billion. If our present rate of
temporary experience. Today every and even violence that arise from population growth and resource
metropolitan center is home to a misunderstanding, fear, and hatred of consumption continues, we are likely
striking variety of cultures, ethnic and those who are different. The urgent to approach and then exceed the
national groups, and religions. Never task is to embrace human diversity in limits of the Earth’s ability to support
before has the encounter between such a way that we no longer erect us. Economic analysis suggests that to
people from different paths and barriers out of differences but, by meet even the basic needs of so many
perspectives been so widespread, understanding and appreciating them, would require a huge increase in
touching individuals and communities build bridges to harmonious, vibrant agriculture and industry, prompting
everywhere, enriching the tapestry of community. thoughtful persons to ask whether the
our lives together, and recasting the Earth can possibly sustain such
dynamics of our world. When such Commitment to Sustainability demands. For example: levels of
encounters take place in an atmo- The issue of sustainability addresses atmospheric carbon dioxide have risen
sphere of respect and mutuality, then the relationship of basic human needs dramatically; one-half of all land has
new understanding and cooperation to the continued viability of the Earth. already been transformed for human 31
use; and one-half of all accessible Striving for Justice have often increased hardship
fresh water has been claimed to meet Currently, four-fifths of the world’s and privation for millions of people.
current human needs. As a result, one people live on one dollar (U. S.), five Injustice of this kind and scope
of every eight plant varieties and rand (South Africa), or fifty rupees poisons the familial, social, and
evergreater numbers of animal species (India) per day or less. Wrenching spiritual life of us all. It is imperative,
are at risk of extinction, a prospect poverty, exacerbated by systemic from both an idealistic and a prag-
that further imperils the planet and its injustice and inequitable distribution matic point of view, that the sufferings
human community. The challenge is to of resources, gives rise to disease, of a majority of the human community
find sustainable ways to peacefully crime, violence, and hopelessness. be alleviated through urgent eco-
meet the needs of all people while Current trends toward globalization nomic, political, and social reform.
preserving the integrity of the whole and modern models of ‘development,‘
community of life on Earth. which are rarely community oriented,


Dialogue among Civilizations. A Manifesto for the United Nations, 2001 (extract)

‘Crossing the divide’, whatever that does not mean it cannot ever be of us, no matter how this recon-
divide seems to be, is the first step in done. This, if anything, is an incentive ciliation process is achieved, to
the process of learning how to to strive for more. discover and to establish a global
manage and appreciate diversity. It is If we have failed to cross the divide, ethic. A global ethic for institutions
a quality that new generations may to realize that diversity is not a and civil society, for leaders and for
find indispensable. Have we, the older synonym of ‘enemy’, and in so doing followers, requires a longing and
generation, committed the sin of we have built walls rather than tearing striving for peace, longing and striving
passing on the fear of diversity? We them down, it does not mean that the for justice, longing and striving for
may well have. If that is so, it is new generation cannot transform partnerships, longing and striving for
equally important that the youth of those walls into bridges and walk truth. These might be the four pillars
our societies be aware of our mistake across them. A new generation can of a system of a global ethic that
and find the courage to go a step expect no less from itself than to do reconciliation, as the new answer
farther, to learn what we have not, to what previous generations have not to the vicious circle of endless hatred,
see what we did not see and to extend done or have done poorly. is going to provide us.
a hand where we failed to do so. The ••• •••
young generation can and does aspire Reconciliation is the highest form of Whether we are moving towards
to do more and do a better job than dialogue. It includes the capacity to a clash of civilizations, or towards
we have done, to build a more just listen, the capacity not only to greater human solidarity against those
society than we have. No ‘lesson’ convince but also to be convinced and who murder innocents only because
from the past can dampen the dreams most of all, the capacity to extend they are different, is really up to each
and aspirations, the visions and forgiveness. In essence, it is dialogue of us. The choice is neither pre-
expectations, of the generation that is as a basis for the future, not dialogue determined nor unavoidable; that is
taking over. For most of us, the fact as a recrimination for the past. … why each of us individually chooses
that something was not done before It is reconciliation that may lead all and takes personal responsibility.

Tracing the Way

Tracing the Way

Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions

A fascinating topic
What do we know of men and women of other faiths
and their religions?
Why do we so often unthinkingly reject what is alien
and unknown?
All religions have a dark side and a bright side;
they contain traditions and visions; they are
fascinating, and indeed beautiful. Hans Küng now
makes it possible to experience this by examining the
four-thousand-year history of the world religions for
traces which help us to understand one another and
bring us together more closely.

A unique project
Hans Küng, one of the outstanding theologians of
our days, has set out to describe the spiritual
substance of the world religions in an authoritative
and vivid way, explaining them in a way which
everyone can understand. He invites us to an Published in October 2001 by Continuum UK and
exciting search for traces through every age and USA. ISBN 0-826-45683-9. Published Price £ 20.
every continent.

Seven part video series

Hans Küng describes, narrates and explains the
whole spectrum of the religions. He divides the Hans Küng’s ‘Tracing the Way‘ is available as seven
enormous amount of material into seven sections: part video series ‘On the Trails of World Religions‘:
◗ Indigenous Religions www.films.com
◗ Hinduism
◗ Chinese Religion
◗ Buddhism
◗ Judaism
◗ Christianity
◗ Islam

In each of the seven parts Hans Küng describes the

development of the religion, points out connections
with other religions and works out what divides the
religions and what they have in common.


The exhibition in poster size

The exhibition is also available in twelve posters:
especially useful for schools and training institutions.
The posters show all exhibition panels in the original
layout but downsized to 84.1 x 59.4 cm.

Please order them from the Internet Shop of the

Global Ethic Foundation:
The posters are only available as the entire set
of twelve.


Hans Küng, Global Responsibility. In Search of a New Hans Küng (Ed.), A Global Ethic and Global
World Ethic (SCM Press, London 1991 / Wipf & Stock, Responsibilities. Two Declarations, with H. Schmidt
Eugene, Oregon 2004). (SCM Press, London 1998).

Hans Küng, Judaism (SCM Press, London / Crossroad, Giandomenico Picco and others, Crossing the Divide.
New York 1992). Dialogue among Civilizations (Seton Hall University,
South Orange / NJ 2001).
Hans Küng – Karl-Josef Kuschel (Eds.), A Global Ethic.
The Declaration of the Parliament of the World’s Hans Küng, Tracing the Way. Spiritual Dimensions of the
Religions (SCM Press, London / Continuum, New York World Religions (Continuum, London, New York 2002;
1993). 7 Video films ‘On the Trails of World Religions’:
Hans Küng, Christianity. Its Essence and History (SCM
Press, London / Continuum, New York 1995). Hans Küng, My Struggle for Freedom. Memoirs
(Continuum, London; Novalis, Ottawa; Eerdmans, Grand
Karl-Josef Kuschel, Abraham. A Symbol of Hope for Jews,
Rapids/Michigan 2003).
Christians and Muslims (SCM Press, London / Continuum,
New York 1995). Hans Küng, Islam. Its History, Present and Future
(Oneworld, Oxford 2007).
Hans Küng (Ed.), Yes to a Global Ethic (SCM Press,
London / Continuum, New York 1996). Hans Küng, The Beginning of all Things. Science and
Religion (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids/Michigan 2007).
Hans Küng, A Global Ethic for Global Politics and
Economics (SCM Press, London 1997; Oxford University Hans Küng, Disputed Truth. Memoirs
Press, New York 1998). (London and New York 2008).


Global Ethic Foundation Tübingen Global Ethic Foundation Switzerland

Founder Count K. K. von der Groeben Board Founder Martita Jöhr-Rohr

Board President Prof. Dr. Hans Küng President Prof. Dr. Hans Küng
Vice-President Prof. Dr. Karl-Josef Kuschel Vice-President Heinz Müller
Dr. Hans-Henning Pistor Dr. Josef Studinka

Secretary General Dr. Stephan Schlensog Address Global Ethic Foundation /

Senior Advisor Dr. Günther Gebhardt Switzerland
Address Waldhäuser Strasse 23 Bad Schönbrunn
D-72076 Tübingen CH-6313 Edlibach/Zug
Germany Switzerland

Phone + 49 (7071) 62646 Phone + 41 (41) 757 14 14

Fax + 49 (7071) 610140 Fax + 41 (41) 757 14 13

E-mail office@global-ethic.org E-mail weltethos@swissonline.ch

Internet www.global-ethic.org Internet www.weltethos.org/weltethos-
Bank Deutsche Bank Tübingen
Bank code 640 700 85 Bank UBS CH-8098 Zürich
Account 12 12 620 00 Account 230-506.795.01 L
IBAN DE07 6407 0085 0121 2620 00 IBAN CH51 0023 0230 5067 9501 L

Impressum Credits


ETHIC Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic Foundation (Islam)
Pages 6, 7 / Table 1 Title: Kufi writing of the name Muhammad on a mosaic
© 2000, Global Ethic Foundation, Tübingen
(Hinduism) tile, Tabriz, Iran, thirteenth century, Lindenmuseum
(February 2008)
Title: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic Foundation Stuttgart
Graphic and educational conception and realization: Picture frieze bottom: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic Picture frieze bottom: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic
Christoph Lang, Rottenburg a. N. Foundation Foundation
Contemporary representatives: Süddeutscher Verlag; Contemporary representatives: Ullstein
English translation by John Bowden.
Ullstein Bilderdienst Pages 18, 19 / Table 7
Pages 8, 9 / Table 2 (Every human being must be treated humanely)
(Chinese Religion) Picture frieze bottom: Süddeutscher Verlag; Lothar
Title: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic Foundation Kucharz, Süddeutscher Verlag; epd, Süddeutscher
Picture frieze bottom: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic Verlag; R. Schwerin, Süddeutscher Verlag; Ingrid v. Kruse,
Foundation Süddeutscher Verlag; IP, Süddeutscher Verlag; UP,
Pages 10, 11 / Table 3 Süddeutscher Verlag; dpa, Süddeutscher Verlag; Scherl,
(Buddhism) Süddeutscher Verlag
Title: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic Foundation Pages 20, 21 / Table 8
Picture frieze bottom: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic (The ’Golden Rule‘)
Foundation Picture frieze bottom: all KNA-Bild
Contemporary representatives: Süddeutscher Verlag; Pages 22, 23 / Table 9
Richard Vogel, Süddeutscher Verlag (Have respect for life!)
Pages 12, 13 / Table 4 Title: Regina Recht, plus 49
(Judaism) Picture frieze bottom: Gary Knight, VISUM;
Title: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic Foundation SABA / Haviv, VISUM; Jérôme Brunet, Picture Press;
Picture frieze bottom: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic KNA-Bild; KNA-Bild;
Foundation Christoph Lang
Contemporary representatives: dpa, Süddeutscher Pages 24, 25 / Table 10
Verlag; dpa, Süddeutscher Verlag; dpa, Süddeutscher (Deal honestly and fairly!)
Verlag Title: Regina Recht, plus 49;
Pages 14, 15 / Table 5 Picture frieze bottom: KNA-Bild; KNA-Bild; Gregor
(Christianity) Schläger, VISUM; KNA-Bild; KNA-Bild; S. Attal, plus 49
Title: Depiction of Christ, Viktring/Kärnten, Pages 26, 27 / Table 11
fourteenth century, Buch-Kunstverlag Ettal (Speak and act truthfully!)
Picture frieze bottom: Stephan Schlensog, Global Ethic Title: Regina Recht, plus 49;
Foundation Picture frieze bottom: Stefan Borgius, plus 49; KNA-Bild;
Contemporary representatives: Süddeutscher Andre Gelpke, VISUM; KNA-Bild; Christian Bruch, plus
Bilderdienst; UPI, Süddeutscher Verlag; AP, 49; Michael Wolf, VISUM
Süddeutscher Verlag; Pages 28, 29 / Table 12
S. Bessmertnyj (Respect and love one another!)
Title: Regina Recht, plus 49;
Picture frieze bottom: KNA-Bild; Gebhard Krewitt,
VISUM; Katrina Dickson, VISUM; KNA-Bild; KNA-Bild

No peace among the nations
without peace among the religions.
No peace among the religions
without dialogue between the religions.
No dialogue between the religions
without global ethical standards.
No survival of our globe without a global ethic.

Hans Küng