Unification Theology In Comparative Perspectives - Edited by Anthony J. Guerra - 1988

The Cain-Abel Typology for Restoring Human Relationships by Gordon L. Anderson

I. Introduction

The Divine Principle uses a Cain-Abel typology in interpreting the history of human relations. Such a typology has been out of fashion in modern theology for several reasons. First, Augustine's use of a Cain-Abel typology, which has dominated Western thought on the subject, is exclusivistic and opposed to the ecumenical desires of Christian theologians. Secondly, this typology is based on a narrative; and, modern philosophy has sought logical, empirical, and historical, not narrative, foundations for truth. Thirdly, since the nineteenth century theology has become increasingly Christocentric, it has become popular to read biblical history in the light of Jesus Christ rather than Old Testament figures. The Cain-Abel typology of Divine Principle is thus a novel and resisted concept in modern theology.

Regardless of the obstacles to the use of a Cain-Abel typology, the Divine Principle provides valuable insight into the nature of human relationships and the restoration of broken human relations. The problems with the reception of the paradigm in the West can be overcome as the importance of narrative in providing foundations for truth becomes accepted, as it becomes clear that the Unification view is not an Augustinian dualism, and as theology shifts back to theocentric as opposed to Christocentric foundations. The remainder of this chapter is devoted to penetrating these theological barriers and explaining the value of the Cain-Abel typology as used in the Divine Principle for illuminating the process of restoration of broken and embittered human relationships.

II. Cain and Abel

The Genesis Account The story of Cain and Abel is found in the Old Testament in Genesis 4. Cain and Abel were the first sons of Adam and Eve, born after they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. The main part of the story is quoted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible below:

(2)Now Abel was a keeper of the sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. (3)In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, (4) and Abel brought the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, (5) but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry and his countenance fell. (6)The Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? (7)If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.' (8) Cain said to Abel his brother, 'Let us go out to the field.' And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.

Then it happened that the Lord put a curse on Cain, and Cain went away from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod (v. 16). To Adam and Eve a third son was born and named Seth; Eve took this child to be God's replacement for Abel (v. 25).

The Interpretation in the Divine Principle

The Divine Principle interprets this story as the beginning of a universal story of the struggle between good and evil among human beings; it was the first war. It is the result of the "fall" of Adam and Eve, where the first humans originally created by God, became influenced by a new master, Satan. Cain and Abel represent two attitudes or two characters who illustrate human responses to the two masters.

In the story, Abel's offering was accepted by God and Cain's was not. The Divine Principle uses the verse, "If you do not do well, sin is couching at the door." (Gen. 4:7) to illustrate that Cain was "placed in a position to deal with Satan" (Divine Principle, 242). The Divine Principle states that "it was not because God really hated Cain that He rejected Cain's offering." In fact, it argues that the event was intended to show that "God is ready to accept any man, though fallen, if a favorable condition is formed" (Divine Principle, 243). Cain, the oldest son, was put into the position of being able to remove his "fallen nature" by reversing the response of his parents to Satan. He could have loved Abel and sought to come closer to God through Abel, rather than attempting to dominate the situation by illicitly taking Abel's life (Divine Principle, 244).

The Divine Principle gives examples of Cain- and Abel-type impulses on several levels of human life. It explains that there is an "original human nature" and a "fallen nature." The first is the nature endowed by God which has ontological validity, the second is an acquired nature which resulted from the separation from God. Fallen nature keeps human beings under the dominion of sin, in conflict with each other as a result of attempting to establish similar forms of false dominion, and prevents them from realizing their full potential. Restoration involves liberation from this type of dominion and a return to "original value" by living according to God's purposes.

On the level of the individual, the mind and body should be in harmony. The Divine Principle uses Saint Paul's saying that "I delight in the Law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind... " (Rom. 7:22-3), as an example of the Cain and Abel conflict within an individual (Divine Principle, 245).

On the social level, the Divine Principle finds it a virtue to seek good leaders and good friends who can lead us closer to God. Cain could have sought God by becoming closer to Abel and this would have required the virtue of humility on Cain's part. On all social levels, from the family to the world, the two types of attitudes of Cain and Abel can be found. The solution is to disconnect from fallen nature and follow those "Abel figures" who can lead us closer to God. This will finally lead to restoration of original human nature and human relationships. In short, it will lead to the Kingdom of God.

Cain could have established the condition to remove fallen nature if he could have initiated God-centered give-and-take with Abel rather than killing him. Together, Cain and Abel could have erected a God-centered society, even though their parents had fallen. Tragically, Cain allowed resentment and anger, and jealousy to dominate his being. His fallen nature led to murder, an even more violent act than that of his parents. With Abel gone, there was no possibility for Cain to get to God (Divine Principle, 249-50).

That same fallen nature revealed by Cain has, in the viewpoint of the Divine Principle, repeatedly taken the lives of God's prophets, saints and people. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is a manifestation of the fears, jealousies, and vindictiveness of human beings who have not been liberated from fallen nature and have realized their real and far greater potentials.

Augustinian Dualism

One of the most common criticism of the Cain-Abel typology is that it reveals a dualism in Unification teaching.1 While the Divine Principle does have passages which refer to Abel as "relative good" and Cain as "relative evil," it does not intend to promote an ontological dualism. Western theologians often hastily make this charge because of the impact of Augustine's use of Cain and Abel in his philosophy of history. Thus, the charge of dualism is often erroneously imputed to the Divine Principle's teaching of Cain and Abel.

In The City of God, St. Augustine spoke of Abel as saved and Cain as damned.2 Augustine saw two different eternal destinations for the human soul after death, heaven or hell.3 In Augustine's view the Abel type represented a faithful pilgrim, who because of his spiritual superiority, had a certain right to utilize Cain's earthly world.4 This view is dualistic with reference to human destiny and led to a type of spiritual arrogance and paternalism in some church doctrines, such as "outside the church no salvation."5 "Judgment day" came to symbolize a day of separation rather than reconciliation.6

Conflict-Based Dualism and Complementary Dualism

In response to Unification eschatology, a distinction has been made between "conflict-dualism" and "complementary-dualism."7 This distinction is illuminating for an understanding of the principle of restoration in the Divine Principle. Barbara Reed has suggested in her criticism of Divine Principle that both types of language are used. The language of conflict is used in the discussion of good and evil, while language referring to complementarity is used in discussing the harmony of mind and body, man and woman, religion and science, and so forth. This harmony is related to an essential yin-yang type relationship in God.

Reed is correct in her reading of the Divine Principle, for there these two distinctions are made. However, she comments after her analysis that "the application of a conflict dualism to the political sphere is inherently dangerous. It obscures any good aspects of one's opponents and destroys the possibility of seeing evil within."8 This criticism should be taken seriously, for there is no shortage of bigotry, persecution, and war built on the premise that a person or group is inferior and therefore can be controlled, manipulated, dominated or eliminated. The warning not to engage in this type of activity applies to Unificationists as well as anyone. However, the abuse of the language of good and evil is not a sufficient reason to avoid facing real conflict constructively. This is precisely what the Divine Principle intends to provide in its use of the Cain-Abel typology.

When the Divine Principle discusses the Cain-Abel typology in the complementary mode, it is referring to ideal human relationships and ontological reality. On the other hand, the conflict mode is discussed in relationship to the unfortunate way things are. Cain killed Abel, A hates B, and so forth, are statements referring to human behavior which is not ideal; the conflict exists because one person wants to destroy another. When this situation occurs it is wise to acknowledge it as such. In other words, if one person is oppressing another, that is conflict and that fact should be acknowledged.

The dangerous aspect of conflict language is when the conflict gets raised to an ontological or sacred status as in the case of a cosmic dualism over which neither God nor human beings have any control. This leads either to resignation and defeatism on the one hand or fanatic opposition which disregards human life on the other. I think that Divine Principle is critical of these extremes and realistic in its concern about human relationships and happiness. There is a very real sense in which there is hope that evil can be overcome without doing violence to people in a "Cain" position. Rather, "Abel's" self-sacrifice is required to win "Cain" through love, not violence.

Perhaps the Divine Principle can be made more clear by distinguishing between two complementary natures and the fallenness with respect to those natures. For example, in the marriage relationship we can speak of a bad woman or a good woman, a bad man or a good man. Because some people are mean, insensitive, irresponsible, selfish, and dominating, many marriages do not work. This does not imply that marriage itself is bad or that nobody should enter a marriage relationship. It does help to know about those attitudes which can be destructive and it is important to make an effort to overcome them if we are to expect the marriage to work. The point is that only a good woman and a good man can have a good marriage. In this example, the term good has been defined by the capability of entering into the complementary relationship of marriage in a harmonious way.

This same principle applies to Cain and Abel who had complementary natures. The Divine Principle makes the comparison of an Abel-type character to the person of religious faith and the Cain-type character to a person of reason and science. This does not mean that a faith orientation is good while a scientific orientation is evil; rather, that the first stands in a position to receive religious revelation from God. Further, both Cain and Abel types can manifest fallen nature. The fallen nature of Cain is typified by resentment, anger, revenge, and violence. Abel's fallen nature, on the other hand, manifests itself in self-righteousness, arrogance, exploitation, and lack of sensitivity.

Unification's Unitive Principle

The Divine Principle takes a very different view from Augustine's theory of double predestination. It is a view similar to some of the other church fathers like Origen who held that ultimately, not only all men, but even Satan would be saved.9 This concept of universal salvation leads to the idea that all, including Cain and Abel who are really brothers of one family, will be reconciled to God and the original order of things.

Unification teaching agrees with Augustine that Abel represents the brother who was more faith-oriented, while Cain was more earth-oriented; the first pursues the fulfillment of "original nature" by internal means, while the latter through external means (Divine Principle, 459-63). Divine Principle differs from Augustine in that it speaks of the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth; whereas, Augustine spoke of it as the soul's destiny after the death of the flesh. In the Unification view, Cain is as essential as Abel for the establishment of the Kingdom of God, while in the traditional view Cain is forever cursed, expendable, and not to be included in the kingdom. Therefore, while there may be problematic elements in the Divine Principle in its teaching on Cain and Abel, it must be recognized that the dualism common in the Western usage of the concept is improperly imputed to the Unification doctrine.

It should be remembered that the Divine Principle was revealed in

Korea where the Bible was read by eyes conditioned with Confucian family ethics.10 The Augustinian worldview was not a part of this tradition. Unity of the family under the will of the parents is the Confucian norm. From this perspective the Unification view of Cain and Abel as brothers is more clear.

Narrative, Virtue, and Character Ethics

The Cain-Abel typology of restoration ethics fits into the category of character ethics or virtue which is being developed by Christian ethicists such as Stanley Hauer was and Alasdair Maclntyre and Michael Goldberg. Its mode of transmission is in the form of narrative, the classical foundation for integrating human approaches to situations. This is a distinct contrast to the deontological or rule ethics popular in the modern era.

The modern era has been characterized by analytic and empirical methods of study. It was the period shaped by the Newtonian world view of matter in motion, popularly now called the "billiard ball" model of the universe. Ethical laws were sought from this viewpoint but were never adequate. Today it is felt that such a task is in vain because the premises are wrong. Michael Goldberg has written:

Neither 'the facts' nor our 'experience' come to us in discreet and disconnected packets which simply await the appropriate moral principle to be applied. Rather they stand in need of some narrative which can bind the facts of our experience together in a coherent pattern and it is thus in virtue of that narrative that our abstracted rules, principles, and notions gain their full intelligibility.11

French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard has come to much this same conclusion in his post-deconstructionist thinking. In The Post-Modem Condition he states that it is philosophy's task to restore the place of narratives about the good human life. For the narrative dimension of human life is essentially related to social bonds.

Philosophy must restore unity to learning, which has been scattered in separate sciences in laboratories and in pre-university education; it can only achieve this in a language game that links the sciences together as moments in the becoming of spirit, in other words, which links them to rational narration or metanarration.12

Christian ethicist Stanley Hauer was argues that modernism had an aversion to narrative because of the reaction to the Medieval imposition of dogma through the biblical narratives. However, narrative is the medium where images of character and virtue are transmitted; and these reveal the unified response of a person to a situation.

Many have tried to free the objectivity of moral reason from narrative by arguing there are basic moral principles, procedures or points of view to which a person is logically or conceptually committed when engaged in moral action or judgment....

Our argument put in traditional terms is that the moral life must be grounded in the 'nature' of man. However, that 'nature' is not 'rationality' itself, but the necessity of having a narrative to give our life coherence. The truthfulness of our moral life cannot be secured by the claims of 'rationality' in itself but rather by narrative that forms our need to recognize the many claims on our lives without trying to subject them to a false unity of coherence.13

Aristotle quite appropriately defined virtue as a disposition of the human soul14 which could balance the competing forces and claims on human agency. Virtues are not easy to pigeonhole, they are elusive. This fact made talk about virtues unpopular and perhaps impossible in the modern era. In his book After Virtue, Alasdair Maclntyre noted the confusion which could result from pre-modern uses of virtue.15 Nevertheless, he gives virtue a general definition which is independent of any particular teleology:

A virtue is an acquired human quality the possession and exercise of which tends to enable us to achieve those goods which are internal to practices and the lack of which effectively prevents us from achieving any such goods.16

Maclntyre takes this notion a step further and explains the relationship between the virtues and virtue. Virtue is that aspect of the human disposition which corresponds to the wholeness or integrity of the person, what Tillich would call the personal center.17 This unity can best be achieved when the individual frees himself from lesser attachments by purity of heart.18 This type of virtue ethic, in contrast to rule ethic, is most appropriately expressed in narrative form.

The Cain and Abel typology used in the Divine Principle is such a narrative which provides insight into a flaw of human nature which prevents the establishment of harmonious human relationships which are required as the foundation for a non-violent and just society. The Cain and Abel story is a failure of human relations; it is a tragedy which leads to separation from God and the possibility of acquiring those virtues necessary for restored human relationships. The story of Jacob and Esau, as interpreted by Divine Principle, is another narrative, this time an account of the successful overcoming of "fallen nature" and the unity of two brothers based on the transformation of the human heart and the subsequent virtuous activity which led to reconciliation.

III. Jacob And Esau

In the Jacob and Esau story the problems of resentment and hatred over not receiving a blessing once again occur. This time, however, through a "course of restoration" the killing of one brother is avoided and Jacob acquires a character which enables the brothers to be reconciled. The Divine Principle lists this as a paradigm story for the overcoming of resentment and the establishment of a foundation of unity upon which a God-centered society can develop.

The Biblical Account of Jacob and Esau

The lives of Jacob and Esau are discussed in far greater detail than Cain and Abel. The birth of Jacob and Esau is found in Genesis 25 and Jacob's death is reported in Genesis 49-50. We will highlight a few major events.

Isaac, Abraham's son, married Rebekah, who did not bear children in twenty years. After prayer to the Lord, Rebekah conceived twins who struggled within her womb. A prophecy was received from the Lord: "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples born of you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the eldest shall serve the younger" (Gen. 25:19-23). When the boys were young, Jacob tricked Esau into exchanging his birthright for bread and lentils when Esau was famished (Gen. 25:27-34).

When Isaac was old and was prepared to give his blessing to Esau, Rebekah schemed to deceive Isaac by having Jacob dress as Esau and receive the blessing instead (Gen. 27: 5-17). Isaac gave Jacob the blessing; "Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow down to you" (Gen. 27:18-30). When Esau found out about this, Isaac would not bless him but told him to serve his brother. Esau hated Jacob for this and planned to kill him. But Rebekah sent Jacob away to her brother Laban to flee from Esau's wrath and find a wife not of the Canaanites (Gen. 27:30-28:5).

Jacob, enroute to his uncle Laban's house in Haran, had a dream that God would protect him and bring him back to his father's house in peace (Gen. 28:10-22). Jacob was welcomed by Laban and worked seven years to receive Rachel as a bride. But after the wedding, when Jacob awoke, behold, Leah had been given to him instead. He had to work another seven years for Rachel. He had several children and prospered with many flocks, servants, and camels. Laban's own sons became jealous and the Lord told Jacob to return to his homeland. After a series of harrowing events Jacob succeeded in gaining Laban's blessing (Gen. 29:31-31:55).

Jacob was afraid to return to Esau directly. Therefore he sent ahead messages of wealth and gifts he would share with Esau; he sent ahead over 500 animals and servants instructed to say that they were a present from him. If only he could appease Esau and be accepted! Then Jacob wrestled with a man sent by God all one night. When he was victorious the man blessed him with the name Israel. At that moment Esau was coming. Jacob bowed down seven times to him as he approached and Esau embraced him and they wept (Gen. 32:1-33:12).

The Interpretation of Divine Principle

The Divine Principle interprets this story as a victory for the unity of two people based on God-centered give and take activity. It was a foundation upon which the Messiah could be born of the nation of Israel. The conditions at the time of Jacob's departure to Haran were parallel to when Cain killed Abel. A price had to be paid to restore this relationship. The Divine Principle terms this payment "indemnity."

The Divine Principle says that Jacob went through a period of purification, of "separation from Satan." This is a course through which all Abel-type people, including Jesus, have to pass (Divine Principle, 281). Jacob was wise while Esau was irresponsible and thought of himself. God was behind Jacob's receiving his father's blessing for this reason. Through his faithful perseverance and his humility despite Laban's tricks Jacob established a "foundation of faith" through which God could work (Divine Principle, 278). His successful reunion with Esau established the "foundation of substance," a substantial human relationship, upon which the national level foundation to receive the Messiah could be built (Divine Principle, 278-84).

The narrative account of Jacob and Esau is an account of a world of separation from God, immaturity, violence, resentment, mistrust and sin which is transformed into a world of harmony, brotherhood, peace and sharing. It is a story about the transformation of fallen human attitudes and character traits to a world of virtue. Jacob was transformed from a youngster who engaged in trickery to a man of faith, humility, wisdom, compassion, and integrity. He came to learn to share his blessings and talents with his brother. The anger, resentment, jealousy and self-pity of Esau were melted away by Jacob's love, wisdom, and desire to live in peace.

Manipulation of Resentment

One of the most universal human responses to trickery, deceit, or exploitation is resentment against the oppressor. This sentiment is frequently played upon and manipulated by Marxists in fomenting violent revolution. It is also played upon by politicians in a democracy as they campaign against adversaries by promising an end to their misdeeds, rather than a constructive solution to social problems. Resentment is a negative way to respond to someone who frustrates our goals; it is a response to a feeling of betrayal, of broken trust.

It has been all too common in Christian history for oppressors to tell the oppressed that they must be patient and forgiving. Oppressors have done this to keep the downtrodden down and their own exploitative structures intact. This has only served the interests of power struggle, division, and violence. Divine Principle argues that we cannot rest content with asking the oppressed to forgive their oppressors; rather, it wants to restore the original betrayal in the "fall of Adam and Eve" and create God-centered men, women and societies, people with a new character.

Liquidation of Resentment

While Unification theology would agree with Marx that the exploitation of one human by another should cease, it does not agree with manipulating or increasing the resentment of the oppressed. As Jesus, Gandhi and many religious leaders have taught, we should love and pray for our oppressors.19 The idea of wanting to save even Hitler, Stalin, and Lucifer, the greatest oppressors of the human race, is rooted in a spirituality which seeks freedom from resentment. Unificationism disagrees with the position of seeking violently to liquidate those who cause one resentment. Cain violently killed Abel, who represented the source of his resentment. Esau sought to kill Jacob when he was tricked. It is clear that unity between any two brothers will not come about on earth if one of them is dead. Likewise, a parent will have no joy if one child kills another over such an issue.

What can be considered evil in Cain or Esau is not the fact that they are oriented toward earthly things, rather it is the attitude, disposition, or heart that wishes to end one's resentment by eliminating one's brother. It is a direct violation of the will of the divine Parent and therefore sinful. Further, it is clear that Jacob's trickery and insensitivity could only increase Esau's resentment.

Violence is not the only response possible to resentment. Recent research in social-psychology confirms that positive responses are possible and indeed preferable. Learning non-aggression and non-vindictiveness are essential ingredients in a peaceful world. In his book The Social Animal, Elliot Aronson described the predicament of perpetuation of prejudice and resentment common in society. He calls on the need for a new spirit in the educator which can inspire an environment of community in the classroom, rather than alienation for the students.20 Someone must pay the price to lead the way.

Jacob revealed a constructive and virtuous response to resentment. He voluntarily paid the price to restore a relationship full of hatred, mistrust, and violence by force of love, patience, and wisdom. This is the source of his victory and the reason why the Divine Principle refers to his life course as a model.

The Transformation of Heart

Unity between Jacob and Esau did not come about until their attitudes, or "hearts," had been transformed. At the time of the deception, the fallen attitudes of both brothers were irreconcilable. Jacob had acted in total disregard of the future of their relationship. However, he soon came to realize that he had not fulfilled his own goal of inheriting his father's land by tricking his brother. The resentment of Esau was ultimately liquidated only after Jacob first transformed his own attitude. Jacob's experience in Haran with his uncle Laban had enabled him to identify with Esau's suffering. By being deceived several times, Jacob had likely come to understand the feeling of Esau when he had been deceived. However, Jacob did not seek the violent death of his uncle Laban but was patient and sought creative ways to earn Laban's blessing on his family and property. In this regard, his response to frustration was superior to Esau's "fallen" reaction.

We might say that Jacob's heart was transformed by gaining a certain "solidarity" with his brother. As such, he had the power to transform his brother's heart so that the two could be reconciled to each other and Esau could finally be connected to God, restoring Cain's banishment.

The direction of this process can also be found in Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Freire noted that revolutionary leaders emerge from the oppressor class with a transformed attitude and desire to end dehumanizing action and organize with the oppressed:

Revolutionary leaders must avoid organizing themselves apart from the people;... Revolutionary leaders commit many errors and miscalculations by not taking into account something so real as the people's view of the world: a view which explicitly contains their concerns, their doubts, their hopes, their way of seeing the leaders, their perceptions of themselves and of the oppressors, their religious beliefs, their fatalism, their rebellious reactions.... The oppressor elaborates his theory of action without the people, for he stands against them. Nor can the people -- as long as they are crushed and oppressed, internalizing the image of the oppressor -- construct by themselves the theory of their liberating action. Only in the encounter of the people with the revolutionary leaders -- in their communion, in their praxis -- can this theory be built.21

For Freire, revolutionary transformation into the ideal world involves the transformation of people of the oppressor class who, in gaining a feeling of solidarity with the oppressed, risk their privileged positions and enter into liberating actions with the oppressed through a method of non-coercive problem-posing education. Such a leader might be viewed as the one given by grace of God. The Divine Principle also has a revolutionary view of transformation that begins with a transformation of attitude on the part of the one identified with the oppressor class, in this case Jacob who subsequently risked all to reconcile himself to his brother.

The Use of "Blessing" and "Chosen"

There is a problem with dividing the world up into good and evil and then identifying oneself with the good; it is the problem of arrogance and self-righteousness. The Christian Crusades against the "infidels" is an example that is hard to forget. The words "blessing" and "chosen" have frequently been used to justify one's privileged position. The Bible has been exegeted so as to justify slavery in the United States, apartheid in South Africa, and countless crusades and wars. As a result, the use of these words has been condemned along with the evil policies they have tried to justify.

The Divine Principle in no way intends to justify self-righteousness or oppression when it uses these terms. "Blessing" refers to God's acknowledgement of one's potential as a responsible person and a bestowal of trust in that person. The three blessings which are at the core of Unification ethics are "be fruitful, multiply and have dominion." They refer to personal integrity, family responsibilities, and environmental consciousness, respectively. Receiving a blessing can be compared to rites of passage in traditional societies; it signifies liberation and new responsibilities simultaneously. Inheriting these blessings in the Unification movement, unlike most traditional societies, involves global consciousness transcending one's own society. In this regard it should be an integrative factor, rather than a divisive one, in the quest for global community.

Being "chosen" by God does not mean that one has the right to sit in splendor and opulence at the expense of others. Rather, one is chosen for a mission of service. As a result one is asked to sacrifice some of one's personal goals for the sake of one's society, nation, and world. One wins loyalty through love and service rather than force of arms. This ideal is similar to the ethical commonwealth which Immanuel Kant envisioned in his late work Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone. Kant maintained the distinction between a juridical-civil political state of affairs which required coercion and an ethico-civil state which is united under the non-coercive laws of virtue alone. He further believed that this commonwealth could only appear in the form of a church since it represents the city of God, a voluntary, universal, and enduring union of hearts.22

Abel as a Loyal Servant

American philosopher Josiah Royce's concept of loyalty is a further development of the notion of community in the direction of Unification thought. For Royce, loyalty is something given as devotion rather than obedience extracted by force. His religion of loyalty defined salvation for the individual in the devotion to a genuinely real and universal community related to the divine being. The community must be a union of loving members before it can elicit the love of an individual.23 He considered the big historical mistake to be the equation of Christian love with self-abnegation or pure altruism. Love does not merely stem from one's own subjectivity; if we do not know the heart of our neighbor, unilateral love can lead to offense or paternalism. In Royce's words, "It is not love's task to set the whole world right -- rather to act in the Father's spirit."24 This distinction is helpful in understanding the actions of a "fallen Abel figure" as opposed to a "true Abel." The true Abel figure attempts to act in God's spirit, not control the events affecting the destiny of other people.

At this point in his argument, Royce recognized the human predicament which I have mentioned. In other words, true community cannot exist without true loyalty, and true loyalty cannot exist without true community.25 Royce concluded that loyalty needs for its beginning the inspiring leader who teaches by example of his spirit. This can only begin by some miracle of grace.26 Christ, through his death and in his resurrection became one with the spirit of the Christian community. Royce recognized the Problem of Christianity in making the universal spiritual community and the ascended spirit of Christ concrete. These problems were to be explained by the doctrines of the church, trinity, and christology. However, the Christian cannot find the universal and beloved community in concrete existence. Royce thus concluded that other personal examples do not provide a code of morals, but rather serve to inspire our own creative contributions.

If loyalty is the positive force that binds together and motivates human relationships and communities, then betrayal is the sin which shatters a community. Royce was concerned to describe how the betrayed and betrayer could be reconciled. His answer is that of the traitor being redeemed through trust. Even though the past cannot be retrieved, new deeds of service and repentance can transform the meaning of the past.27 Royce's view of healing scarred relations is similar to the Unification doctrine of indemnity. He argued that the real heroic deed is when one suffers personal pain and yet takes it as an opportunity to serve the community.

Royce argued that the moral mandate of the Christian was to create the beloved community through loyal service. Since loyalty is a virtue, Royce argued against the modern notion that Christians could follow a set of dictates or personal examples. Royce believed that the objective study of certain narrative illustrations could prove the validity of the life of loyalty to the universal community. He used the narrative about Joseph's loyalty even after his brothers had betrayed him: "God's providence sent Joseph into captivity... God rewarded his patience and fidelity... "28 Royce wanted to offer up such examples to science for scrutiny as to their value, thus making his philosophy of religion a scientific social theory.

The Image of Hero as Loving Servant

What we have in the Divine Principle, as is the case with Royce, Aronson, and Freire, is a new vision of authority and leadership. Authority is not dispelled but works hand in hand with freedom because it is non-coercive in nature. Rather than rejecting the concept of heroism, Divine Principle seeks to eliminate its perversions. Jacob is seen as a hero, not because he tricked Esau, but because he was able to overcome his separation from Esau's feeling and transform their relationship to one of unity.

The Divine Principle warns however that the unity of two brothers, or the solidarity of one people with another, is not enough. The unity must be centered on God's ideal and not unity for its own sake. The unity of Jacob and Esau, from the perspective of the Divine Principle, only acts as a foundation which can inspire unity in an ever expanding set of human relationships. The preparation of the nation of Israel involves the creation of a people with the ability to receive Jesus as an Abel figure who could lead to the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth (Divine Principle, 369-70).

IV. The Mission Of Jesus

In the Divine Principle, Jesus is seen as the hero par excellence as he gave his life for the purpose of liberation of God and all people. But Jesus, in solidarity with the Divine Being, was ultimately crucified by the people. Using Freire's language, this was a case when the oppressed could not gain confidence in their revolutionary leader as a result of the divisive action of the oppressor class, in this case the Sanhedrin and the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate. Jesus' loyalty to the people was not understood until the crucifixion and resurrection made it more clear who he was. Divine Principle maintains that the people, in a Cain position to Jesus, should have united with Jesus, who could show them the way of the Kingdom of Heaven (Divine Principle, 355-7). This means that the people should have had faith in the revolutionary One before his crucifixion. The foundation of faith is prerequisite to the foundation of substance. The crucifixion of Jesus only delayed the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

Unfortunately, many times the oppressed have been deceived by false leaders who promise salvation but then go on to become new oppressors. This situation led Freire to acknowledge that it is easy for the revolutionary leader to turn his back on the people after taking power. This fact also leads a person of the status quo to use this as an excuse to prevent any revolutionary leader, true or false, by force if necessary, from taking power. Divine Principle stresses the importance of following true Abel figures in order to get closer to the Kingdom of God. This requires discernment and conditions of faithfulness. A true Messiah, Abel figure, or revolutionary leader will not use physical force to keep people in their place, but move people through God-centered inspiration. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ signify the possibility of such a true, universal Abel figure entering human existence.

V. National Level Cain And Abel Types

The Divine Principle gives importance to the modern "Abel-type democracies" which makes it less likely that a leader in the spirit and power of Christ will be nailed to the cross another time.

In its lengthy discussion of providential history, the Divine Principle places democracies in which there is religious freedom in the Abel camp (Divine Principle, 467-8). While I grant that there are many problematic elements in Divine Principle's exposition, I want to argue that there is an important point to be made in this discussion. Such democracies open the way for a revolutionary leader, inspired by the word of God, to transform the hearts of the people and change their fallen activity into God-centered activity without being killed by the government, but in fact be protected from mob action by the government.

By saying that the United States is in an Abel position, the Divine Principle is not affirming the fallen Abel-type characteristics of national self-righteousness and exploitation of third world peoples exhibited by the United States and other powerful nations including the Soviet Union; on the contrary, it is critical of such attitudes. The true Abel nation is the one which is capable of connecting others to the will of God by paying indemnity for them. Thus the Divine Principle is in effect saying that without a fundamental transformation of the "heart" or "spirit" of the United States, it is a fallen nation, even if it is in an Abel position.

From the story of Jacob and Esau we can make the analogy of contemporary America to the time where Jacob had been given the blessing of his father, but before he had transformed his heart in Haran. The message of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon to America has been that "we need a spiritual revolution in America." "A revolution of heart must come to America...." "All of your pride, your wealth, your cars and your great cities are like dust without God." "America doesn't seem to care about the rest of the world." "When America helped others,... she enjoyed her golden age." "Unless this nation, unless the leadership of this nation, lives up to the mission ordained by God, many troubles will plague you."29 Attacking the United States per se is dangerous if it leads to the destruction of liberty at its core. What should really be attacked are the fallen Abe type attitudes displayed in the policies of the United States.

The Soviet Union and other human-centered, or Cain-type nations, on the other hand, are not condemned by the Divine Principle for their concern for human welfare; rather, they are considered evil if their methods of and the attitudes behind their ideas of justice involve the fallen Cain type characteristics of envy, jealousy, resentment, or revenge. Typically, communist revolutionaries manipulate the victims of injustice and move them to revolutionary violence precisely by encouraging these fallen attitudes. They are criticized for attempting to build a Utopia through coercion; to seize a blessing by force, as did Cain. Marxist polemic against the United States is often loaded with the rhetoric of resentment and reveals fallen Cain-type attitudes, or we may say fallen Cain-type spirituality. The typology the Divine Principle employs is thus primarily directed at the spirituality of the ideologies, not nations or peoples per se.

From the Unification perspective, the real issue between democracy and communism in the twentieth century is the ability of the people under such systems to receive Abel-type figures and to transform society into a God-centered society. The freedom in the United States allows such a possibility, while the perpetuation of power and the system of communism prevents such a radical transformation.

The issue of capitalism vs. socialism, so prominent in the rhetoric of the two superpowers, is an ill-founded debate from the perspective of virtue or character ethics, of which the Divine Principle is an exponent. These two economic theories are of the rule or principle oriented type, characteristic of the modern era. However, most holistic perspectives and theories of virtue recognize competing forces in human life, the integration of which is necessary for existence. From this perspective, freedom and economic justice are both desired ends. A pure theory or pure economy of either the capitalist or socialist type is unable to be virtuous by definition. Rather, it would seem that the Kingdom of Heaven would involve some type of mixed economy and the real virtue will be found in the character of the mix. The Divine Principle talks about a socialist society centered upon God (Divine Principle, 444). However, the importance of human creativity and freedom as part of "original human nature" in the Divine Principle runs against any notion of a centrally planned and controlled economy.

Conservatives are critical of the liberationist content of Marxist thought; however, the Divine Principle advocates a thoroughgoing philosophy of liberation in its understanding of restored human relationships. Jacob did not seek to dominate Esau; and, after the foundation of substance was established in their relationship, Esau no longer sought to dominate Jacob. Both were liberated from the oppression that comes from the brokenness of a relationship, from suspicion, fear, anger, jealousy, and resentment. The Divine Principle sees this as part of the liberation of original human nature to a God-centered order of society. The Divine Principle is neither critical of social justice nor liberation but rather the spirituality of the forms of Marxist-Leninist power groups. It is critical of motivation based on division and resentment, of action based on violence and coercion, and of the human arrogance of social planning not open to the free intervention of God through God's messengers in our day. It is also critical of the pretensions of a fallen Abel-type of spirituality which are expressed in the United States democracy.

Divine Principle gives the credit for democracy to the blood of the saints and martyrs of Christian history rather than to the intellectual genius of a few philosophers (Divine Principle, 467). This marks off the distinction between the treatment of religion by the revolutionary National Assembly in France and that given in the constitution of the United States; it has nothing to do about whether American people are better than French people. The National Assembly sought to construct a religion to its own glory, to deify itself. The founding documents of the United States, on the other hand, recognize the ultimate authority of God over all beings and the relative independence of the church from the state.

VI. Conclusion

The Cain-Abel typology used in the Divine Principle is a useful narrative form of description of human relations which conveys attitudes conducive to the integration or disintegration of human relationships centered upon God. It focuses on the transformation and development of the heart. The typology has generally been misunderstood because of earlier (Augustinian) uses of the typology. It has often been ignored because of the modern propensity to seek rules and models rather than to develop virtues. However, the typology used in conjunction with the story of Jacob and Esau provides hope for the healing of the wounds which separate people all over the world.

An obstacle to the acceptance of the Cain-Abel typology is the inability of Christians, including Unificationists, and other religious people, to live according to the norms it reveals. The desire to control and dominate others, whether it is economic exploitation, political oppression, slavery, or charismatic power, is fallen; as is the revolutionary seizure of power by force. Today there are many reasons why the Unification Church is persecuted rather than studied, however its founder, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, has provided a precious gem in the Divine Principle in the Cain and Abel typology. It contains a clue to the restoration of broken human relationships and to the peace of the world.


1. Barbara Reed, "A Response to Unification Eschatology: Conflict Dualism in the Last Days" (Xerox copy, presented at the summer seminar on "Unification Theology and Lifestyle," June 10-17, 1984, Athens, Greece). Nicholas Piediscalri, "Christian-Marxist Dialogues: a Proposed Alternative for the Unification Church" (Xerox copy, presented at a conference on "Unification Social Teaching and Practice," April 5-8, 1984, Barrytown, New York).

2. Augustine, The City of God (New York: Image Books, 1958) 26, 324-35.

3. Augustine, 361, 496-506.

4. Augustine, 464-65, 480.

5. extra ecclesiam nulla salus was uttered by the Council of Florence (1438-45). See John Hick and Brian Hebblethwaite, eds., Christianity and Other Religions (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981) 178.

6. Augustine, 483.

7. Reed, 1.

8. Reed, 3.

9. Origen, De Principiis, 1.6.1-4.

10. Young Oon Kim, Unification Theology (New York: HSA-UWC, 1980) 3-7.

11. Michael Goldberg, Theology and Narrative (Nashville: The Parthenon Press, 1982) 242.

12. Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Post-Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984) 33

13. Stanley Hauer was with David B. Burrell, Truthfulness and Tragedy: Further Investigations into Christian Ethics (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press) 16-7, 27-8.

14. Aristotle, Ethics, II, 6 (London: Penguin Classics, 1973) 66.

15. Alasdair Maclntyre, After Virtue (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 1981) 169.

16. Maclntyre, 178.

17. Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, Volume Three (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963)27-8.

18. Macintyre, 189.

19. M. K. Gandhi, Non-Violent Resistance (New York: Schocken, 1961) 383; "Wherever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love... I have found, however, that this law of love has answered as the law of destruction has never done." Also from the words of Jesus (Mt. 5-44), "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

20. Elliot Aronson, The Social Animal (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1980) 226-34.

21. Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (New York: The Seabury Press, 1970) 183-6.

22. Immanuel Kant, Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone (New York: Harper and Row, 1960)93.

23. Josiah Royce, The Problem of Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1913) 67-8.

24. Royce, 90.

25. Royce, 152-9.

26. Royce, 182-4.

27. Royce, 309

28. Royce, 367.

29. Sun Myung Moon, Christianity in Crisis, New Hope (Washington: HSA-UWC, 1974) 62-5. 

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