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Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative
by
Kamran Mofid

It has been observed by many throughout history, religion has been both a source of blessing and curse. Religion has been, and is, a major factor in many conflicts and wars around the world. There is a real danger now that these unwelcome truths about the true meaning and function of religion, combined with political/economic injustice, human rights abuses, poverty, hatred, fear, ignorance, globalisation, war as an instrument of imperial policy, and the failure to respect international legal or ethical principles, will aggravate conflicts, intolerance, and even anarchy around the world.

Committed to spirituality, compassion and respect for others, truly religious people must not allow their religion to be hijacked and abused in this way by exclusivist ideologues. We must make a stand together for peace, understanding, mutual respect, dialogue and justice. We must welcome religious diversity and concede that no single religion can claim a monopoly of Truth. Indeed, at this time in our history and journey- facing globalisation, global warming, aids and more- we need each other far more than in the past, and the future of our world demands that we teach to our students, parishioners and communities the value and benefits of dialogue, co-operation and interdependence.

In order to provide a better understanding of the role of religions in the age of globalisation, in 2002, in Oxford, a small and humble movement, “Globalisation for the Common Good” came into being. This movement is for “Rekindling the Human Spirit and Compassion in Globalisation”. We wanted to have an alternative to the current dominant economic/free trade globalisation and to make globalisation good for all. Our movement found many dedicated and committed friends around the world. From Oxford we went to St. Petersburg, Russia, then to Dubai. In 2005 we were in Kenya. 2006 will take us to Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii. Future conferences are currently under consideration.

Globalisation for the Common Good mission is to promote ethical, moral and spiritual values into the areas of economics, commerce, trade and international relations amongst others, as well as personal virtues, to advance understanding and action on major global issues by civil society, the private enterprise, the public sector, governments, and national and international institutions, leading to the promotion of collaborative policy solutions to the challenges posed by globalisation. We are committed to the idea that the marketplace is not just an economic sphere, ‘it is a region of the human spirit’. Whilst considering the many economic questions and issues we should also reflect on the Divine dimension of life, and should, in contrast to what is practised today, be concerned with the world of heart and spirit. We view the problem and challenge of globalisation not only from an economic point of view, but also from ethical, spiritual and theological perspectives.

We affirm our conviction that a genuine inter-faith dialogue and co-operation is a significant way of bringing the world together; leading to the creation of a harmonious environment needed to build a world of peace, justice and prosperity for all. The call for Globalisation for the Common Good is an appeal to our essential humanity to deal with some of the most pressing concerns of peoples the world over.

Religion has always been a major factor in the growth of human civilisation. Business and wealth creation when they are for a noble reason are blessed and vital for human survival.

Bringing religions and business together for the common good will empower us with humanity, spirituality and love. It will raise us above pessimism to an ultimate optimism; turning from darkness to light; from night to day; from winter to spring. This spiritual ground for hope at this time of wanton destruction of our world, can help us recognise the ultimate purpose of life and of our journey in this world.
__________________________________________

*Kamran Mofid, Founder, an Inter-faith Perspective on Globalisation for the Common Good. He was awarded a doctorate in economics from the University of Birmingham, U.K in 1986. In 2001 he received a Certificate in Education in Pastoral Studies from Plater College in Oxford.

Dr. Mofid’s work is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on Economics, Politics, International Relations, Theology, Culture, Ecology and Spirituality. His writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals, popular magazines and newspapers.

His most recent book, Promoting the Common Good: Bringing Economics and Theology Together Again: A Theologian and an Economist in Dialogue, is co-authored with Rev. Marcus Braybrooke and was published by Shepheard-Walwyn, London, in June 2005. Web site: www.globalisationforthecommongood.info
 


Copyright 2006 - Journal of Globalization for the Common Good - www.commongoodjournal.com