Articles From the July 1994 Unification News
PWPA Studies the Future of the Family
by Gordon L. Anderson
On April 28-30, 1994, members of the Professors World Peace Academy from 25 countries around the world met in Seoul, Korea to discuss the topic of the next PWPA International Congress, "The Future of the Family." There is little doubt that the family, as a social institution, is in trouble today, especially in Western industrial societies. Many of the problems the family faces are global in scope while others are unique to particular cultures. Since the restoration of the family is a primary objective of the founder of PWPA, and members of the Unification Church, it should be of major interest to them to hear what scholars know about the present state of the family and what they think needs to be done.
The Sixth International Congress of PWPA, scheduled for Seoul, Korea in August 1995, forms the second in a group of three congresses studying global society, organized by President Morton A. Kaplan. The first in the series was "The World of 2042: Opportunities and Dangers" held in Seoul in August 1992. That Congress examined the relationship of technological developments to the future of society. Scientists from major areas discussed the technologies that will likely be developed in the next 50 years. Then noted science fiction writers projected scenarios for future society, ranging from optimistic to pessimistic. In the final section, social scientists examined how their own countries and regions could plan for development in a constructive way, avoiding the dangers and achieving a better future. One of the main conclusions of the congress was that the moral behavior of human beings would be a major determinant of the fate of humanity. As the family is the primary locus of the socialization of moral values, it too must be examined if we are to understand how to create a better society.
At the planning meeting in Seoul, Dr. Ralph Segalman, Professor of Sociology Emeritus at California Sate University, Northridge, presented a keynote address titled The Family: Past, Present, and Future. He reported calamitous assaults on the institution of the family, especially in modern societies. He also stated that lack of effective family life is one major cause in the creation of a dysfunctional society. Given the prognosis of the last PWPA Congress, the crisis of the family is a problem that is even more pressing than most people realize.
Professor Segalman explained that in modern societies, industrialization, urbanization, and political centralization have led to a challenging environment for traditional families. First of all, people are more likely to be living among strangers. Secondly, there has been a rise in the standard of living which gave individuals the opportunity to experiment with other lifestyles. Thirdly, the intrusion of the government into what had formerly been the private affairs of the family and neighborhood, was done with the best of intentions and the worst of results. The failure of effective family socialization makes for an unruly, unprepared, incompetent, uneducable and unproductive population. The economics and social life of modernized countries are more likely to become stagnant with a decline in the social health of the family.
In the discussions that followed, a number of problems related to the family were raised by people from a wide variety of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. An organizing committee for the congress was formed which consists of Morton Kaplan, a political scientist, Nicholas Kittrie, a professor of sociology, and Bina Gupta, a philosopher at the University of Missouri. The day following the PWPA meetings, May 1, PWPA leaders presented a tribute to the founder, Sun Myung Moon, at a public ceremony marking the 40th Anniversary of the Founding of the HSA-UWC in Korea. PWPA International President Morton A. Kaplan, and PWPA Board member Nicholas Kittrie presented a custom made trophy consisting of a globe, symbolizing, a book and quill pen representing professors, and two doves representing peace. Encased in the book was the logo of PWPA which was designed by Reverend Moon when he founded PWPA.
That evening there was a final banquet for PWPA, ICUS, and IRF participants and local dignitaries at the Little Angels School. ICUS Chairman, Tor Ragnar Gerholm, gave a plaque from ICUS to the Reverend Moon at the dinner. At the cake cutting ceremony, Morton Kaplan presented a toast "to the True Parents," and congratulating Reverend Moon on this milestone occasion.
Reverend Moon gave a speech titled, "The Movement that Can Receive the Benefit of Heavenly Fortune," in which he stated "I have, from early on, always considered scholars' research and resolve, together with their pioneering efforts which have guided mankind forward, as tremendously important in influencing history and realizing the human ideal." He went on to describe how he led the Unification Church on a forty-year course of "separation from Satan," which has now been completed. He said "We are entering the new era when, in a realm of brightness, we can attend and experience the reality of God freely."
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