1 May 2009

Think Globally, Act Locally - or the other way round?

At the meeting at the Augustinerkloster last night, Heino Falcke (r.) explained how the Conciliar Process linked the local and the global. The Ecumenical Assembly in the GDR focussed on the global problems of justice, peace and creation in the context of the GDR. It was a case of "Thinking Globally, but Acting Locally". The "local" was linked to the revolutionary movements in eastern Europe that led to the overcoming of the Iron Curtain. That is in the past, and a matter for historians. But the other side of the coin is still very much alive and relevant - how do we deal with globalisation in the face of the climate crisis, the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the international financial crisis? German unification meant not only that the GDR became part of the Federal Republic but also the processes of globalisation - and here the statements of the Ecumenical Assembly are still relevant, perhaps even more so. The letter to the children began, Falcke noted, "The earth on which we live is threatened".

If 20 years ago what made the texts of the Ecumenical Assembly so powerful was the local relevance of the global issues, maybe now it's necesary to look at things the other way round - not so much "Think Globally, Act Locally" - but "Think locally, Act Globally."


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