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International Conference for Ecozoic Culture 2018 Session 1 "Earth and People, Dots in the Universe"
  • 2019-01-22
  • 265

Session One

The International Conference for Ecozoic Culture 2018 hosted and organized by People for Earth was held with the opening remark of Kumsil Kang, Executive Director followed by the congratulatory speeches by Hwa-young Lee, Vice-governor of Peace of GyeongGi province and In-won Cho, President of Kyung Hee University. The Session One, a dialogue under the theme of ‘Earth and People, Dots in the Universe’ was led by Kumsil Kang, John Cobb, the co-founder and co-director of the Center for Process Studies in Claremont, California and Father Jaidon Lee, Professor of Catholic University of Korea. 

Dr. John Cobb, the co-founder of the Center for Process Studies, is known as the preeminent scholar in the field of process philosophy based on Whitehead’s philosophy of organism. Since founding the Center in 1973 he has worked on ecological interdependence influenced by Whitehead. Father Jai-don Lee who influenced the founding of People for Earth played an important role to spread eco-theology which combines the cosmology of Thomas Berry with Asian theology in Korea. Dr. Cobb and Father Lee talked about the origin and meaning of ecological civilization and its prospects by answering to Ms. Kang’s questions. 

Dr. Cobb who has worked in the field of ecological civilization for five decades pointed out that the current situation is bleak. He used a frog in a slowly rising canister metaphor to explain how we are not aware of the current crisis. However, he is hopeful that more and more people feel responsible of lives, nature and future generations and act on making changes. He criticized the mainstream’s value on accumulating wealth by calling it as an act of consuming resources at a rapid rate. He emphasized the real meaning of civilization in which we all live with nature harmoniously and mentioned that establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula is Korea’s greatest calling. 

Father Lee pointed out that the modernity has focused on capital instead of human even if its origin was to overcome the Middle Ages neglecting humanity. He emphasized in his dialogue that it is our task to establish the ecological civilization where humans and nature coexist. He also mentioned that technology should be used for the public interests and we have to make sure that technological progress is in line with the nature’s order. Finally, he emphasized on adopting a new comprehensive political system in the world where currently humans are also harmed by the modern capitalism. 

The dialogue was to search for the questions and answers on ecological transition in the Korean Peninsula and East Asia as the conference’s title says.