WCC UPDATE: Violence & spirituality - Kobia in US
- World Council of Churches - Update
Contact: + 41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 media@...
For immediate release - 01/11/2005
OVERCOMING VIOLENCE IS AN ECUMENICAL TASK FOR WHICH SPIRITUALITY IS A
RESOURCE, KOBIA TELLS US AUDIENCE
See WCC press release PR-05-65 of 19 October 2005
"Violence does not recognize differences between Protestant, Catholic,
Orthodox or Pentecostal. Violence is our common plague, and non-violent
love, peace, justice and reconciliation are our common calling," Rev. Dr
Samuel Kobia told participants in a 27-29 October international conference
in Boston, USA.
Sponsored by the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in cooperation
with the WCC and the Boston Theological Institute, the conference focused on
"Violence and Christian spirituality".
Setting out reasons why overcoming violence is "an eminently ecumenical
task," the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary observed that
the Council's goal in declaring the 2001-2010 Decade to Overcome Violence"
(DOV) has been "not so much to eradicate violence as to overcome the spirit,
the logic and the practice of violence by actively seeking reconciliation
Referring to various faces of violence, from global terrorism and the war on
terrorism, political conflict and war to interpersonal and domestic
violence, Kobia went on to focus on resources for peace.
One such resource is inter-religious dialogue, Kobia said. He cautioned,
however, that "Dialogue is not and can never serve as an ambulance in a
sudden crisis or conflict. It is more like a prophylactic medicine, which
when often and regularly used, will sustain health even in difficult
For Kobia, an equally powerful resource for peace is a spirituality that
"inspires and shapes our individual and joint actions". Believing "that
prayer and contemplation together form the foremost discipline for
overcoming violence," he emphasized that "the Orthodox traditions have much
to offer" in this area.
"There is the deeply rooted and long-standing vision in Orthodox faith and
life for a spirituality of holistic peace, integrating creation, human life
and the Trinity, working together for salvation and reconciliation," Kobia
The full text of Samuel Kobia's speech is available on the Decade to
Overcome Violence website at:
This material may be reprinted freely.
Additional information: Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363