This collection of reflections works on the premise that coexistence has been an essential component of the life of humanity, however, it is frequently undermined and even poisoned.
Archbishop Anastasios speaks of the virus of egocentrism, individual or collective, which is manifested in various ways. His reflections touch upon how injustice, corruption, and poverty continue to destroy the harmonious coexistence of humanity.
“Peace, nature, poverty, terrorism, and universal values are problems we all face today regarding which the great religions have articulated various principles,” said Archbishop Anastasios. “The chapters of this book approach these topics from a religious point of view and are published in the hope of contributing to the ongoing global search within modern multicultural society.”
Archbishop Anastasios added: “Globalism, which is accelerated by our digital age, encourages a universal human interaction in the context of which corruption, injustice, and violence have taken on immeasurable proportions. It is our duty to not surrender to a passive observation and description of these consequences, but on the contrary, we should strive for a globalization of peace, solidarity, and love. For many, this seems utopian, nevertheless, it remains the vision, desire, and struggle of those who still believe in the vital need for a universal harmonious coexistence which does not eliminate the uniqueness of peoples but which creatively utilizes their talents.”
He concluded: “Our continuous proposal is not for a coexistence of uniformity, but a harmonious cohabitation that contributes to the organic unity of humankind. Not simply the accumulation of individuals, like countless grains of sand on a vast seashore beaten by the waves of the ocean. But rather, the organic coexistence of cells, whose unique characteristics combine to the further development of the whole.”
The book shows how, through the last decades in particular, violence has taken new uncontrollable forms which culminate in polymorphous terrorism. Human aggression, the author shows, expands to exploitation and even to the contempt of creation, with painful consequences for both the natural environment and for human life itself.
The book helps us discover how the great religions, which have influenced many cultures, have developed certain insights and principles about these issues. The texts of this anthology approach, through a theological and religious point of view, peace in both its ecumenical dimensions as well as in a specific country; the human being and the environment; poverty; terrorism in our times; and universal moral values.
“Coexistence” has been published in Greek, Italian, Albanian and now in English from WCC. It has been translated and is awaiting publication in French by Apostolia Publishing House, Paris, and has been translated in German, with details regarding the publication still being determined.
The WCC will offer open electronic access for the full English edition and a digital launch will take place on 26 April.