The world seems to be getting smaller all the time. Our economy and our culture are increasingly interdependent with those of other countries. This intensifying interplay between people from different backgrounds offers the hope of greater understanding; it also poses the specter of oppression, alienation, and violence. These developments are not morally neutral, yet religious voices have not been prominent in the debates about globalization. One reason may be that the world’s major religions have often been poor global neighbors. Many theological traditions make their own exclusive claims to truth, setting the stage for irreconcilable debates and even blood-shed. Our pluralistic world calls for a pluralistic ethics rooted in a faith in the unique ethical capacities of every person and played out through an inclusive, elevating discourse.
John Daken is a native of Mystic, Connecticut who now makes his home outside Washington, DC with his wife Abigail and daughter Eleanor. In his role as a U.S. Navy psychiatrist, he participated in responses to terrorist at-tacks against the USS Cole and the Pentagon and later spent five weeks deployed to western Iraq. Having lost faith in the ability of military force to adequately address the terrorist threat, he left the Navy in October of 2006. He now serves as Medical Director of a community mental health clinic and is an active member of the Washington Ethical Society.