This blog started with a fairly narrow focus on the ethics of war and peace and military ethics. But through the engagement with these fields of ethics it became more and more important to me to take into consideration questions concerning the foundations of ethical norms, which are expected by many to be of universal application throughout the world. The foundations of these norms are developed through philosophical or theological reasoning, which can be a challenging task in an immensely religious and cultural diverse world, whether on a global, regional or local level. For this reason the focus of this blog has changed and will change further in the future to articles on topics like human rights, and their foundations, and ethical challenges and opportunities of religious and cultural diversity on a local, regional and global level. Nevertheless, in this widened focus, articles on applied ethics like the ethics of war and peace or the field of global ethics, and on the role of religions in conflict solution and prevention will still be part of it.
The blog is open for guest posts and the author is thankful for any contribution or feedback.
My approach to the described field is influenced by three biographical stages of my life:
Firstly, my four-year service in the German Navy until 2005, including one deployment to the Horn of Africa as part of the Operation Enduring Freedom, let me experience some practical aspects of the ethics of war and peace as well as poverty and structural injustice in the region and led me to general questions of global justice.
Secondly, my degree in law and business studies with a major in international commercial law in Germany and South Africa and my experiences of living and extensive travelling in Southern Africa encouraged my interests in international relations and cooperation, international law, peace and reconciliation, and in the region of Southern Africa in particular. Through my several trips to South Africa I have additionally developed, despite all ongoing problems in this country, a deep admiration for the accomplishments of South Africa, its people, and its first democratic president Nelson Mandela.
Thirdly, my studies of theology and philosophy, my work as a research assistant at the Department of Christian Social Ethics of the University of Bonn and a recent internship with the Director for Interfaith Relations for the Bishop of Birmingham (UK) made me aware of many positive and negative aspects of religions in general and the Christian one in particular, and of the challenges and opportunities of interfaith and intercultural engagement with people of different cultural and faith backgrounds. All this gave me an idea of what it means to live in a post-secular and globalised world and to experience that world in a local context.