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The Journal of Hyojeong Academia

The 1st volume of the JHJA is published on May 2023, online.  

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Unification Thought as a Universal Science

by Jin, Sungbae

Journal of Hyojeong Academia 1 2023 

Abstract In order to examine the basis supporting the possibility of Unification Thought as a universal science, I will briefly go through a summary of the history of universal science, which is proposed as a scientific ideal. First of all, in Plato’s The Republic, a science or study is broadly classified into the level of rational perception through intuition (noesis) and the dimension of understanding through reasoning (dianoia). Plato proposed the notion of a study in a broad sense that embraces both philosophy and science.) Just as Whitehead stated that Western studies are simply Plato’s annotations, Plato is indeed the model for all studies. Plato premised the theory of the Idea as the source of all studies and all studies are deduced and converge from the theory of the Idea with a logical consistency. Plato found the ideal form of study in mathematics, which greatly influenced Descartes’ rationalism and the enlightenment’s view of nature.... Full Article

by Andrew Wilson

Towards Religious Unity and Harmony in the 21st Century

Journal of Hyojeong Academia 1 2023 

Abstract This review article argues for the need for interfaith unity to create a spiritual civilization in the 21st century. It charts the historical trend towards interfaith unity that reached maturity in the United States and describes the manifold efforts of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han to this end both in America and Korea. 

1. Introduction

1. 1. The Need for Religious Unity in Our Time

 The One of the great historical trends of modern times is the trend towards religious unity and harmony. This trend has run concurrently with the joint ministries of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han Moon (Mother Moon), who themselves have made major contributions to that end[1~4]. Surveying this trend, we can better understand the ministry of 16 Mother Moon, who embraces all religions as she strives to knit together the peoples of the world into the one family of God, our Heavenly Parent.

 Mother Moon teaches that God’s purpose for humankind in the twenty-first century is to build a peaceful united world, what religions call the kingdom of God on earth and she calls Cheon Il Guk. She teaches that religions have a responsibility to put aside their ancient conflicts and join as one to represent God. They need to establish themselves as a united force that can take the position of the world’s higher mind.

 According to the Moons’ teaching the Divine Principle, the ideal of human society has the form of a perfected human being whose mind (conscience) is subject partner and body is object partner. The mind that is centered on God guides the body to engage in activity that promotes goodness. Likewise in human society, religion should function in the position of the mind, while other human activities including business, politics, science and the media, are in the position of the body [5] As God is the center of religion, religion should be the center that guides all social life.  

 However, as long as the religions are divided and in conflict, they cannot stand in that position; instead, they cause society to function like a human being with a divided mind.  As long as religious leaders allow themselves to be dominated by politics, economic interests and the passions of the tribe, society will resemble a fallen person whose body with its lower desires dominates the mind. It was on account of the defects in religion that secularism became persuasive to people of conscience. People who abhorred the suffering of the poor and saw religions justifying the ways of the rich who exploited them, naturally turned to materialism and communism. The twentieth century saw the ascendance of materialism, with tragic results. As Exposition of the Divine Principle eloquently puts it,

 When ecclesiastic love waned, when waves of capitalistic greed surged across Christian Europe, when starving masses cried out bitterly in the slums, the promise of their salvation came not from heaven but from the earth. Its name was communism. Christianity, though it professed the love of God, had degenerated into a dead body of clergy trailing empty slogans… What a pity this is ! [6]

 Yet even if religions were to overcome these inadequacies, the division among religions remains a major reason why religious truth is unable to conquer materialism. When Christianity denies the validity of other faiths and their truths, it itself sinks to the position of being a relative truth. Materialism could triumph because it claims to be based on science, which is universally valid everywhere and for all time. Religions, on the other hand, appeared to present only relative teachings: Christian teachings, Buddhist teachings, Islamic teachings, etc. That is why there is an asymmetry in the way encyclopedias and reference books present knowledge: they treat religious knowledge as beliefs—the products of culture and history—and scientific knowledge as facts—objective and real. As long as this condition persists, religion is already the loser.

 However, when the religions of the world unite in heart, respect one another, and recognize that the Deity whom they revere is the same God seen from different angles, then finally the world will be able to teach God and reality of spirit as objective facts. Then, theories of reality based on spirit will be able to conquer theories of reality that are limited to material. Materialist science has already reached its limit, and scientists are beginning to doubt its materialist foundations. Some are even considering the possibility that consciousness is more fundamental than matter [7]. If so, then when the religions unite in common witness to God, the 21st century can become a century where the spirit rules.


1.2. Religions Do Not Naturally Strive to Unite

 Religious unity is the call of our age; it is a necessary condition for God’s reign on earth to become actual. Nevertheless, religions do not naturally strive to unite. Jesus said, “I am the truth, the way and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) In the Qur’an we read, “Muhammad is… the Seal of the Prophets.” (S 33.40) The Buddha said, “In the sky there is no track. Outside the Buddha’s dispensation there is no saint.” (Dhammapada 254) Each religion thinks it is the best. If it encounters other religions, its first impulse is to criticize their apparent errors from the point of view of what it believes are its higher teachings. For example, Buddhism rejects the Hindu gods. It teaches that they are like any other beings on the wheel of samsara who are subject to reincarnation and the results of karma. Now they may be gods, but in a future life they may be humans or animals. Hence, those who worship the gods do not benefit thereby. It is only by going the path of the Buddha to quench all desire that one can completely free oneself from that wheel of endless rebirths [8]. Hindus, in turn, regarded Buddhism as heretical and nearly drove Buddhism out of India. Later Hinduism made the Buddha into an avatar of Vishnu as a way of honoring the Buddha within its system of thought [9]; in effect making him a god while ignoring his teachings about the gods. Islam took a position against Christianity by rejecting Jesus’ divinity and regarding him as merely one of the prophets [10]. Jesus’ real teaching, according to the Qur’an, is no more and no less than the teaching of any prophet. The teachings of Muhammad, who is the “seal of the prophets,” govern how Jesus should be understood. Thus, the Qur’an affirms that Jesus should be honored, but at the same time it rejects Christian beliefs that Jesus brought salvation and atonement for sin on the cross [11] that make him more than a prophet. Those beliefs, the Qur’an teaches, were the fabrications of Christians who altered Jesus’ message. Islam respects Jesus, but denies his central messianic mission as Christians understand it. As for Christianity’s attitude towards Islam, since it arose prior to it, and Muhammad is not in the Bible, it has no scriptural basis for recognizing any goodness in the man or the religion. As Islam expanded through the Mid- dle East and North Africa, displacing formerly Christian realms and converting their populace to the new faith, Christians could not help but regard Islam as an adversary whose error-filled teachings lead people astray. The divisions in the people of God are even more apparent in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The Jews’ rejection of Jesus and persecution of the early church was more than matched in the centuries that followed by Christian antisemitism and persecution of Jews [12]. Not only that, divisions multiplied within the ranks of Christianity itself, which in the name of weeding out heretics, excommunicated whole churches to maintain the purity of the faith. The Albigensian Crusade in southern France in the 13th century, the Inquisition in the 15th and 16th century and the Thirty Years’ War between Protestants and Catholics in the 17th century perpetrated horrific bloodshed on the European population. The consequence was that many Europeans turned away from religion entirely, as the philosophers of the Enlightenment blamed religion for the evils of humanity. This was well expressed by Voltaire, whose rallying cry was “Écrasez l’infâme! (Let us crush the evil thing!),” referring to religious superstition. Thus, conflict among Christians bore the fruit of atheism and secularism, demonstrating the truth of what happens when Christians do not keep the words of Jesus’ prayer, “that they may all be one… so that the world may believe.” (John 17:21)


2. Religious Harmony and Unity

2.1. Beginnings of the Trend Towards Religious Harmony and Unity

Yet other Enlightenment figures, particularly John Locke in England whose thought influenced in the American colonies, sought to lift up reason as a basis for restoring religious harmony. Locke regarded belief in God to be in accord with the best of human reason, to which should be subordinated particular religious dogmas and rituals. Drawing on Locke, American deists like Thomas Jefferson saw the hand of God in the American Revolution and the establishment of a new nation where there would be freedom of religion. In the New World, religious denominations were not only free to practice their faith, but they could coexist with one another within the larger framework of God’s providence for liberty. The trend towards harmony among religions in America did not spring forth without a struggle. The Puritans in Massachusetts wanted freedom for themselves, but they persecuted dissenters, such as the Quaker Mary Dyer whom they hanged in 1660 and Anne Hutchinson whom they banished to New York. The beginning of religious toleration and freedom for all faiths to worship was the Flushing Remonstrance of 1637, which called for the authorities of New Amsterdam (i.e., New York) to stop persecuting Quakers for holding services. Another step towards religious harmony was the First Great Awakening (1735-1765), led by Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards and Methodist evangelist George Whitefield. It united colonists of all Protestant denominations, from New England Puritans to Pennsylvania Quakers to Anglicans in the South, around a belief in America’s special role in God’s work to redeem humankind [13]. It fostered a sense of an ecumenical, inter-colonial unity and prepared the way for the American Revolution. All this bore fruit in the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees the free exercise of religion. America has no established churches but allows freedom to all churches; and this extends to Jews and to Muslims as well. With freedom of faith and toleration of other faiths, Americans of many faiths have cooperated in building the nation. So, while the Judeo-Christian line of religious development saw the worst manifestations of violence stemming from religious hatred, it also saw the beginnings of a trend towards religious harmony that bore fruit in the United States. Religious toleration is a manifestation of Jesus’ teaching to love your enemies. The first step in loving members of other religions is to give them freedom to practice their faith. But love does not stop with toleration; it seeks to understand, to befriend and to help. It encourages believers to be their best, no matter what their faith. Thus  Mother Teresa famously said, “I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic.” [14]. In the 20th century this trend developed to encompass all the world’s religions, beginning with the World Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1893. Its star attraction was the Indian delegate Swami Vivekananda, who riveted the audience with his call for religious tolerance. He and other exponents of Hinduism in the West pointed to texts that teach the underlying unity of faiths, despite the prevalence of inter-communal conflicts in their homeland. The World Parliament heralded the growing acceptance of Eastern religions in America. The Bhagavad Gita and Confucius’ Analects joined the reading lists of freshman college courses. With growing immigrant communities came the proliferation of their temples and clergy. As these Asian immigrants entered the mainstream of 138 American society, Muslim imams, Sikh gurus and Buddhist priests joined local interfaith associations and par ticipated side-by-side with Christian clergy in civic life. Another impetus to interfaith was Jewish-Christian dialogue, which began in earnest in the 1950s in Europe and America, in the shadow of the Holocaust. Its watershed moment came when Pope John XXIII convened Vatican II (1959-1962), out of which came the pioneering document Nostra aetate, the Declaration on Relations of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, promulgated in 1965 by Pope Paul VI. It recognized that Christian antisemitism had been a causal factor in the Holocaust and called for repentance. Subsequent dialogues large and small are helping to root out antisemitism from Christian teachings.


2.2. Christianity and America Have the Leading Role for the Unity of Religions 

 We can see from this brief review of history that the main impetus for improving interfaith relations in modern times came from the Christian civilization of the United States and Europe. Let us examine the reasons why Christianity took the lead. According to the Divine Principle,

The main distinction between Christianity and other religions is that its purpose is to receive and honor the True Parents of humanity, through whom all people can be reborn as good children. In this way, Christianity should renew the world as the one global family which God purposed from the time of creation. This makes Christianity the central religion with the mission to fulfill the goal of the providence of restoration [15].

 And in fact, during the era when Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han have been ministering to the world as the “True Parents of humanity,” True Parents is a Christological term for the persons with the divine mission that Rev.Moon and Mother Moon see themselves as fulfilling. It is the common term by which members of FFWPU refer to them. American Christianity has warmed to the ideal of all humankind as one global family under God. That family is not limited to Christians; believers of other faiths are also members of God’s family. Faith leaders in major American cities—Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists—are fellowshipping together and collaborating on solving community problems such as homelessness, drug abuse, suicide and crime. They make no distinction over religion, but treat everyone who needs their help as a child of God.   Conversely, in nations belonging to other cultural spheres—Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian—such interfaith activities are uncommon and often severely restricted. There are some interfaith activities taking place in Israel, which, after all, is the home of three major faiths whose adherents have co-existed there for centuries. Jews in America are strong supporters of interfaith work with Muslims and other minorities. That many Jews support interfaith is not surprising, since Judaism and Christianity are linked providentially to the same central purpose, which is to be the hub of one global family.

 Providentially, two thousand years ago the Jewish people were tasked with welcoming the Messiah and supporting him and his Bride to bring the world under the reign of God. Had they recognized Jesus as the Messiah and welcomed him, then under Jesus’ direction they would have provided the foundation to expand salvation to the world. That is why the Old Testament has words that gave the Jews a sense of mission to the world  filled with Gentile religions:

I will also make you [Israel] a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth. (Isa. 49:6)

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Isa. 65:7)

 Already the Jewish philosopher Philo built intellectual bridges to the prepared people of the Hellenistic world, explaining the God of Moses to those schooled in Plato. No doubt the Jewish people would have reached out to the cultures of Asia as well. However, when they rejected Jesus, the providence to establish the reign of God  passed to those who had faith in Jesus, namely, Christians. Thus, Christianity took over the providential role of the central religion. 

 Christianity bore fruit in America, which Rev. Moon calls the second Israel. The American story, from its founding by Pilgrims and other immigrants crossing the Atlantic Ocean to escape oppression from the kings of Europe, to the near-miraculous victory over the British in the Revolutionary War, had many echoes of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Benjamin Franklin even drew a design for the Great Seal of the United States whose reverse depicted the Israelites crossing the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s troops in pursuit drowning in the waves. America is a Christian nation, yet it includes people of all religions, who as Americans are united as “one nation under God.” At the Washington Monument Rally on September 18, 1976, on the occasion of America’s bicentennial, Rev. Moon proclaimed that America is the model for “one world under God,” and as such its mission is to unite the religions of the world:

America must unite the cultures of the West, the East, as well as the Middle East, and create one great unified culture, ultimately fulfilling the mission of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth… “One World Under God” is the unchanging, eternal and absolute desire of God. This goal will be realized; yet, in order to accomplish this goal, the unity of religions is the first and essential task [16].


2.3 Rev. Moon’s Efforts for Religious Unity

2.3.1 Rev. Moon’s Efforts for Religious Unity Centered on America

 Soon after Rev. Moon began his ministry in America, he began working for the unity of religions, building upon America’s prepared foundation. As a first step, he founded the Unification Theological Seminary [UTS]. It opened its doors in 1975, with David S.C. Kim as its first president. Its initial faculty was a diverse group representing the breadth of the Judeo-Christian tradition, hailing from Methodist, Reformed, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox 199 and Jewish faiths.

 UTS began a series of ecumenical and interreligious dialogues, which attracted scholars and religious leaders from a wide range of Christian denominations. The roster of scholars who visited UTS for those conferences in the late 1970s and early 1980s was as distinguished and varied as can be found anywhere; they included Harvey Cox of Harvard University, Lonnie Kleiver of Southern Methodist University, Jewish theologian Richard Rubenstein, who developed a deep friendship with Rev. Moon and went on to become the president of the University of Bridgeport, Martin Rumscheidt, President of the Karl Barth Society, Father John Meehen, President of Maryknoll Seminary (Catholic), Paul Eshleman of Campus Crusade for Christ, Pete Sommer of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, church historian Robert Handy from Union Theological Seminary, Buddhist scholar David Kalupahana, Islamic scholar Ismail al Faruqi who was later martyred, the Hassidic singing rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and many more. The weekend meetings brought these scholars and leaders together with UTS students in open theological and confessional dialogue, and were profoundly moving for all involved [17].

 Building on these early conferences, UTS organized the New Ecumenical Research Association (New ERA) in 1979. New ERA developed as an interfaith community of theologians. Its conferences brought together hundreds of religious scholars for wide-ranging discussions and the opportunity to study Unification theology. Many found in Unification teachings a catalyst for their own creative advances in ecumenical thinking. The crowning interfaith accomplishment of New ERA was its annual conferences on God: the Contemporary Discussion. The first such “God Conference” in December 1981 attracted 170 participants from 33 countries and all major religions traditions. These conferences continued throughout the 1980s.

 The work of New ERA was the foundation on which Rev. Moon established the International Religious Foundation [IRF] (1980), the Religious Youth Service (1985) and the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace [IIFWP](1991). These organizations played significant roles in the world community as catalysts of interreligious cooperation in the 1980s and 90s. 

 IRF’s foremost conference was the Assembly of the World Religions, which it held three times from 1985 to 1992. In addition to dialogues, it featured ceremonial expressions of religious unity, which included interreligious prayers and a ritual in which leaders of the different faiths poured glasses of water into a common bowl. These ceremonies would become common features in subsequent Unification events.

 At the same time, IRF invited American Christian ministers to Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy (ICC) on Unification theology. This expanded the interfaith work from academics to working clergy. Some of these clergy later participated in the Common Suffering Fellowship to show solidarity with Rev. Moon during his imprisonment in Danbury. This laid the foundation for the American and worldwide clergy support for Mother Moon today.

 2.3.2. Rev. Moon’s Interfaith Activities in Korea

 According to Unification theology, Korea is the Third Israel. Therefore, like America, it should also be a center for the unity of religions. Even though Korean Christianity is narrowly evangelical and generally does not support interfaith activities, Rev. Moon from the earliest days of his ministry made initiatives in the interfaith field.

 Rev. Moon’s initial hope was to work with established Christian churches; he never intended to create a separate church. It was only due to intense opposition from Christian leaders in the 1950s, which culminated in the Ewha Women’s University incident on May 11, 1955, that Rev. Moon established HSA-UWC. His purpose was to build a new Christian church that would welcome the Lord of the Second Advent, restoring what the established churches had failed to do.

 Yet, this new Christian church would also be true to the mission of the Second Israel and seek the unity of religions. Hence, in addition to evangelical activities, in 1966 Rev. Moon had HSA-UWC create the Super-denominational Christian Association to promote ecumenical activities with established churches. On Sept. 9, 1968, Rev. Moon spoke at a conference at the Christian Academy House, which was attended by 40 Christian leaders, HSA members and religion scholars. Their discussions about the Divine Principle were a precursor to the conferences at UTS some ten years later. 

 In 1970, HSA joined the Korean Religions Association, Korea’s first interfaith organization, which was founded in December 1965 by representatives of six religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Won Buddhism, Cheondoism, Catholicism and Protestantism. Rev. Moon brought new energy to its interfaith work by founding the newspaper Weekly Religion, the first pan-religious newspaper in Korea, in July 1971. It has sponsored numerous academic seminars, interfaith dialogues, public lectures and cultural events. In 1988 Unificationist pastor Jae-seok Lee, who had served as president of HSA-UWC, was elected its 13th president, by which time the association had expanded to include Muslims and Latter-Day Saints. Today it remains active in promoting religious harmony, although the Catholic Church withdrew and Protestants are now rarely involved.

 It was always Rev. Moon’s plan to bring the well-developed interfaith activities in America centered on UTS and IRF to Korea, in order to bequeath to the Korean Unification movement, and thence to all Korea, the mission and mindset for interfaith. Hence, after two Assemblies of the World’s Religions in New Jersey (1985) and San Francisco (1990), the third Assembly was held in Seoul (1992) in conjunction with the first World Culture and Sports Festival.

 The ceremonial expressions of interfaith unity that began at the Assembly of the World’s Religions became a regular feature of World Culture and Sports Festivals, which were held in Korea throughout the 1990s. The centerpiece of these festivals was the international Marriage Blessing, which beginning in 1992 included couples of all religions. The major Marriage Blessings held in Korea ever since have begun with interfaith prayers—demonstrating that interreligious unity is the Unification ideal.

3. Concluding Remarks

3.1. Two Dimensions of Religious Unity

Religious unity has two axes, vertical and horizontal. The vertical axis is unity with God and His-Her representatives, whom Unificationists call the True Parents, namely Rev. Moon and Mother Moon. They carry the special mission to restore the Fall and establish the fundamental foundation for God’s reign on earth. The horizontal axis refers to friendly and harmonious relations among religions, to realize the unity of all the people of God’s family.   New ERA and IRF’s initial interfaith work were primarily on the horizontal axis. The conferences on God, the Contemporary Discussion invited participants of all faiths to contribute their knowledge and viewpoints. Seminars were provided for those participants who wanted to study the Divine Principle, but they were offered separately out of respect for the sensitivities of the participants.

 For instance, IRF sponsored an intra-religious Muslim conference in Cairo in 1990, where all the discussion was among Muslims and for Muslims. At a time when terrorism was rife and it was conceivable that war could break out between Christian and Muslim nations, the purpose of that conference was for Muslims themselves to cultivate the path of peace. Rev. Moon supported them, trusting that God had given Islam resources for peace and that God works with all religious leaders of goodwill.

 As a contribution towards the horizontal dimension of interfaith, Rev. Moon commissioned the author to prepare for IRF World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts as a textbook which demonstrates that the common ground among all religions is vast and deep [18]. It calls on believers to focus on points of shared understanding, rather than fixating on the differences. It is written with the hope that when believers of every tradition are informed by these common values, they can defuse religious enmity and mobilize their religions as a positive force for world peace.

 Passages were chosen by an interfaith board of editors, who selected the most representative sacred texts of their traditions. The scriptures of all the major religions were allocated equal space, with a second tier for scriptures of smaller religions. To this day, World Scripture serves as a resource for all manner of interfaith activities and a textbook for college courses in religion.

 The vertical dimension of religious unity is more challenging, because for Unificationists, it requires placing True Parents at the center. This privileging of Unificationism seemed, for some, to contradict the ideal of interfaith. It became an issue at the first World Culture and Sports Festival in 1992 where Rev. Moon made a public proclamation of his messianic identity.

 Nevertheless, it is a fact that many religious leaders who sponsor interfaith dialogues see their particular religion as playing the central role in promoting interfaith harmony; for example, the Pope’s periodic interfaith summits at Assisi [19]. Recognizing that it is only natural for a major religious leader to see himself as the center, most participants took his proclamation in stride.

 In fact, there is no contradiction between vertical unity with the messianic persons True Parents and the horizontal harmony among religions. This is because the impetus for interfaith is a genuine aspect of Unificationism; it flows directly from True Parents’ mission, teachings and heart. Their messianic mission is for the sake of all humankind, irrespective of nationality, culture or religion, because God is the God of all humankind, regardless of nationality, culture and religion. Hence, it is a fact that in every religion we can find the signs of God’s presence, and accordingly, every religion has a place in God’s kingdom.

 In this regard, the Divine Principle teaches that True Parents come to fulfill the mission of the Expected One in all religions. Thus, Rev. Moon was not only the Second Coming of Christ whom Christians yearn to see; he was also the Maitreya Buddha, the True Man of Confucianism, the Kalki Avatar of Hinduism, etc. [20]. Hence for each 306 religion, welcoming the True Parents supports the fulfillment of its own ideal, with the fullest respect for its own unique teachings, history and traditions.

 To demonstrate the centrality of True Parents for interfaith unity, Rev. Moon commissioned a second volume of World Scripture, namely, World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon [21]. This book brings together the text of the first volume of World Scripture with selections of Rev. Moon’s teachings provided by Dr. Jin Seong-bae, Chair of the HJ Academic Foundation. It is no exaggeration to state that Rev. Moon’s teachings in this volume thoroughly explicate the multitude of topics espoused by the world’s religions. They affirm their doctrines and demonstrate their application in the contemporary world. Not infrequently, he takes a traditional religious concept and raises it to a higher dimension.

 The heart of True Parents is the heart of Heavenly Parent, who rejoices to see the religions of the world joining in harmonious relationships as good children, giving and receiving for the benefit of the world. Mother Moon manifested that heart in Africa, where she met many Muslim religious leaders and officiated at a Blessing of Muslim couples in Niger. She said:

I am fully aware of the dedication of the Prophet Muhammad in establishing the rich religious tradition of Islam and I regard many pre-eminent Muslim leaders I have met as my own sons…

The marriage Blessing is universal, transcending race, religion and nationality. Its bestowal in Niger, through heavenly actions that harmonized with their culture, brought closer the realization of one family of humankind under Heavenly Parent [22].

 That being the case, it is incumbent upon the followers of True Parents of different religious backgrounds to embrace their religions as they are, with a parental heart that accepts them unconditionally as Heavenly Parent’s children and accommodates their cultures and traditions. They need to deeply understand the religions of their birth from within, in order to better elucidate the connections between those religions and True Parents’ teachings. This effort is necessary to avoid misunderstandings that may arise from conventional presentations of the Principle that rely upon the Christian Bible. More work remains to be done to fully illuminate the Principle teachings inherent in each of the world’s religions from an insider’s viewpoint [23].


3.2. The Path to Religious Unity Begins from the Heart

 Nevertheless, interreligious activities that focus mainly on truth cannot succeed in uniting the religions, where doctrinal and institutional differences remain as high walls. The path to religious unity begins from the heart. Fundamentally, human beings were created to live and flourish in the love of God; it is the state in which all fear, selfishness and judgment fall away.

 I would add that unity of heart has to include honesty to confront the pain of history, especially the evils done in the name of religion. Religion will need to admit its weakness in the face of human greed and even complicity in those evils. The peoples whom God chose to carry the banner of religion, and to whom were given numerous revelations and blessings—e.g., biblical Israel, medieval Islam and the modern Christian nations of Europe and the United States—too often mistreated other peoples in the name of some higher religious value that in the sight of God is nevertheless only partial. There will have to be acknowledgement that even God, who is our Parent, has suffered pain to experience the suffering of His-Her children and the violence inflicted upon them. There will need to be sincere repentance, so that people can make a new start, no longer dragged down by the chains of history, but ready to open their hearts to one another as fellow members of God’s family.

 The Divine Principle teaches that human beings are created to live with God in a Parent-child relationship, that and today through True Parents that original human-divine relationship is being recovered. In the love of Heavenly Parent, people of all religions can unite as siblings. This is where the messianic role of True Parents is crucial for interreligious unity. We read in the Principle:

A family can be formed only when there is a father and a mother; only then can true brotherly love arise. Only when Christ comes again as the Parent of humanity will all people join together in one great family and live harmoniously in the global village [24].

 With the establishment of Foundation Day in 2013 signaling that the fundamental victory of their messianic mission has been achieved, the prospects for realizing interreligious harmony in our time have never been brighter. This is why Mother Moon today can go about the world welcoming people of all religions to participate in the Blessing with no conditions attached. She has in fact become an apostle to the world for religious unity. To Mother Moon, all people of the world are God’s children, who can be grateful to their respective religions for providing the paths by which today, they can know God as their Heavenly Parent.


1. Sun Myung Moon, Chambumo Gyeong. Seonghwa Publications: Seoul, 2015, pp. 1217-1250.

2. Wilson A., The Significance of Reverend Sun Myung Moon for Christianity. Journal of Unification Studies 2014, 15, pp. 1-26.

3. Zoehrer D.S. and Pokorny, L.K., The Universal Peace Federation (UPF): Origins, Development and Challenges of the Unifica- 362 tionist “Abel United Nations.” Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies 2022, 14, pp. 205-247.

4. Pokorny, Lukas K., and Dominic S. Zoehrer, “Kingdom-Building” through Global Diplomatic and Interfaith Agency: The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and Unificationist Millenarianism. Religions 2022, 13: 448.

5. Sun Myung Moon, Exposition of the Divine Principle. HSA-UWC, 1996, pp. 361-62.

6. Sun Myung Moon, Exposition of the Divine Principle. HSA-UWC, 1996, p. 5.

7. The Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science -

8. Kevaddha Sutta, Digha Nikaya, xi.67-83, in International Religious Foundation. World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts Paragon House, 1991, pp. 264-65.

9. Lochtefeld, James G. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. Rosen Publishing Group. 2002.

10. Qur’an 4:171-72; 5:72-75, 116-17. 372 11. Qur’an 4:157-58

12. Cohn-Sherbok, et al, The Crucified Jew. American Interfaith Institute and World Alliance of Interfaith Organization. 1997.

13. Platt Roland, The First Great, or Not So Great, Awakening and What it Means for Today. Journal of Unification Studies 2021, 22, p. 156.


15. Sun Myung Moon, Exposition of the Divine Principle. HSA-UWC, 1996, p. 99.

16. Sun Myung Moon, “America and God’s Will”. Washington Monument Rally, September 18, 1976.

17. God’s Tylenol. Hendricks/Hendricks-001004.htm

18. International Religious Foundation, World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, forward by Ninian Smart. Paragon House, 1991.

19. Amicarelli, A., Fautré, W., Folk, H., Introvigne, M., Respinti, M., Rigal-Cellard, B., Šorytė, R. The Universal Peace Federation: Moon Front or Respected NGO?. A White Paper. Bitter Winter, Feb. 5. 2022. 

20. Sun Myung Moon, Exposition of the Divine Principle. HSA-UWC, 1996, p.150. 

21. World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon. Universal Peace Federation, 2007.

22. Hak Ja Han Moon, Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes. Washington Times Global Media Group. 2020, pp. 335-37.

23. Wilson, A., A Review of Abdelmoumin Ahmed’s United Visions. 2009. 390 tion/Talks1/Ahmed/Ahmed-091000.htm

24. Sun Myung Moon, Exposition of the Divine Principle. HSA-UWC. 1996, p.103. Close

Intelligent Design in Planetary Science as the First Step toward the Unification of Science and Religion 

by Takahiro Hiroi

Journal of Hyojeong Academia 1 2023 

Abstract Planetary science has been revealing more and more facts over the last half century how apparently chance events led to the ideal environment for life to evolve to humans and allowed them to develop science.  The theory of intelligent design implies that there was a causal being (creator) who designed and guided the universe so that intelligent life would emerge and reveal the secrets of the creation process and wanted them to know his motivation or purpose of creation.  Discoveries in planetary science provide some of the simplest and persuasive examples of intelligent design, which has a potential to unify science and religions through scientific methods. Full Article

Unification Medical-Psychological Approach to Family and World Peace from a Post-materialistic Perspective

by Shigehiro Suzuki

Journal of Hyojeong Academia 1 2023 

Abstract In medicine, based on the latest scientific evidence and creativity, we hope to realize a peaceful world and to protect people's health; however, there are still various conflicts among different nations, races, politics, and religions, and poverty and disease are still prevalent. To solve these problems, the Divine Character of God must dwell within the family. In other words, "parental love" must become the core of the "family relationship," and the family’s consciousness must become one, centering on the subconscious with spiritual awareness. I present the following three steps derived from the theory of treatment based on Unification medical and psychological science to build a parent–child relationship that meets the purpose of creation. Step 1 (Origin): Everyone within the family clarifies the goal of completing the family. Step 2 (Division): The couple realizes that men and women are not the same. Step 3 (Union): The couple becomes one and completes the image of God. Through the above process, the "Creation of a family environment" is established and becomes the foundation for world peace. Full Article

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