Unlike Europe, the Korean peninsula is still in the Cold War. For this reason the following paper on peace ethics, written by a Korean theologian and social ethicist, is highly relevant. Ahn Junggeun was a Korean independence activist, who was sentenced to death for assassinating Japanese Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi in 1909. In Korea and China he is revered as a resistance fighter against Japanese imperialism. But especially since the discovery of his Treatise of Peace in East Asia and his autobiography in the 1970s, both texts written in prison and unfinished, he is also regarded as a visionary for peace, international understanding and multilateral order. Ms. Dr. HyunJu Shim, senior researcher at the Institute for Life and Culture at the Sogang University in Seoul and member of our scientific advisory board has written an essay on Ahn Junggeun’s ideas and parallels with peace ethics in Catholic social teaching.
An interview with Fr. Martin Schlag
Fr. Martin Schlag, born 1964 in New York but Austrian in origin, served ten years as Professor of Moral Theology and Social Ethics in Rome. Since 2017 he has been the director of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul. In times of growing political tensions between the USA and Europe, we wanted to know how he felt as an Austrian in America and what the situation of church and society on the other side of the Atlantic was like. A conversation about similarities and differences between Europeans and Americans, about capitalism and the social market economy, about walls and open hearts. The questions were asked by Arnd Küppers.
The monthly magazine “Stimmen der Zeit”, published by the German Jesuit Province, is not only one of the most important but also one of the oldest theological journals in Germany. Its origins date back to 1865. Today they see themselves as a cultural journal which – in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council – offers a forum for dialogue and encounter between the Church and the modern world. Therefore reading the journal is also worthwhile for readers interested in social ethics and social science.
Thus “Stimmen der Zeit” is the very right place to discuss the question whether the formerly quite central concept of culture – in the context of a highly pluralistic and also multicultural society – still has its place in the Christian-social-ethical discourse. The Bishop of Essen, Dr. Franz Josef Overbeck, says: “Yes, culture can and should continue to be a guiding notion of Christian social ethics. However, an open concept of culture must be used that is not integrative and exclusionary, but recognizes the real and legitimate social plurality in the unfolding in Modern Age.
We thank the editor-in-chief of “Stimmen der Zeit”, Fr. Dr. Kiechle SJ, for allowing us to publish this article by Bishop Overbeck on the website of Ordo Socialis.