null Newsletter No 2/2011

February 2011

In this issue

Editorial by Krysta Bisnauth

The power of networking


Power to the people!
The revolution was televised. And tweeted. And facebooked. And in just 18 days, 30 years of dictatorship came tumbling down. Worldwide, people rejoiced with Egypt. Gurus rushed from all corners and disciplines to explain how Egypt was proof of the power of hope, courage and the collective. But just how did the Egyptians manage to do it? Many are pointing to Twitter and Facebook. To be sure, Twitter did not topple a dictatorship. People – extremely courageous people – did. Change has and always will be the result of hard working people. Facebook groups did not end apartheid. No tweet ever brought down the Berlin Wall. When Gandhi led the salt march to Dandi, he did not blog about it to convince others to join him.
That being said, however, there’s a reason why the Egyptian government shut down the internet. There’s a reason why people are being arrested in Zimbabwe for watching coverage of the recent uprisings. Social media has accelerated the speed and scope with which movements can organize themselves, learn and grow. What’s more, social media has the unique ability to bring otherwise obscure local events to international attention within mere minutes. The knowledge that there might be others mobilizing against an unjust status quo lends inspiration, motivation and a sense of solidarity to the suffering and strikes fear in the hearts of oppressors.
There are places our televisions here in the West won’t show. Places where the “international” news anchors won’t go. Places like Gabon, Ivory Coast, Eastern Congo and Djibouti. In such places, virtual networks can demand the attention of people oceans away. is such a network. is not just an e-library, it is a news carrier, a blog, a directory – a space to report troubling local issues to a global community, a space to organize and strategize future action, a space to turn to for solidarity and encouragement. So, make use of your blogs, initiate conversations in the forums and let your network know what is going on in your part of the world. We are only as strong as we are united.

Power to the people!

Krysta Bisnauth, Research Assistant,

The Libraries

New collaboration with OUP and new reference books in your library is happy to announce that we have started a new  collaboration with Oxford University Press (OUP) and that we have subscribed to their collections of handbooks in Philosophy and Religion. As you will see from the list below, not all of the titles are directly related to ethics. We were able to choose the themes but not the titles themselves so we chose Philosophy and Religion as they are the two pillars of ethics. The following titles are available now for your reference. 

In Philosophy:

- The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics

- The Oxford Handbook of American Philosophy

- The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics

- The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics

- The Oxford Handbook of Causation

- The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy

- The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy

- The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

- The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory

- The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

- The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Literature

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion

- The Oxford Handbook of Plato

- The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics

- The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy

- The Oxford Handbook of Rationality

- The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism

In Religion:

- The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies

- The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies

- The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology

- The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

- The Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology

- The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

- The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies

- The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies

- The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies

- The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements

- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology

- The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics

- The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology

- The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion

- The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science

- The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity

- The Oxford Handbook of Sociology of Religion

- The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology

- The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls

- The Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics.

These titles can be accessed either in Ethics Library > Search the library > Reference Books or in Ethics Library > Reference Books > Oxford Handbooks. It is the same content but with a different display. 


The Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism, otherwise known as GlobTheoLib or GTL was established on 1 January 2011 and  is being hosted by in partnership with the World Council of Churches and its Ecumenical Theological Education programme. Fourteen institutions and networks around the world have signed an agreement to form a consortium to support, guide and use GlobTheoLib in the coming months and years. The full list of Consortium members will be made public in subsequent newsletters and elsewhere on the website.

In the meantime we are pleased to welcome Stephen Brown as the GlobTheoLib E-librarian to  work on the content and to liaise with partners and institutions. He will join the team in April 2011.

The Network

19'000 registered participants!

At the beginning of March we have more than 19'000 registered participants. A warm welcome to the 2'460 new participants who have joined us in February 2011! It is encouraging to see the growing interest in ethics across a variety of sectors, countries and backgrounds. As mentioned in the editoral, do feel free to join in the different workgroups and discussions. Keep your profile up to date and use your own blog space to share information and views.

We are also active in different social networks for which we invite to visit our pages: Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, and Koprol.

News from the network: Education is a vocation and not for sale

Renowned economist and participant Professor Kamran Mofid is the Founder of the Globalization for the Common Good Intiative, a partner organization of Their journal is available in the library, here. Professor Mofid wrote the following article on the resignation of the Director of the London School of Economics (LSE) following a scandal concerning  money received by LSE from Gaddafi whose son received his PhD from LSE:

"My heart-felt thanks to the students of the LSE and a few still existing 'academic activists' who fought for this. The neo-liberals and the cheap so-called academics that have taken over our universities must be held to account. These neo-liberals operate in a moral and ethical free zones. The only value they adhere to is the value of 'Dosh'! The more dosh the bigger things they give you: PhDs, naming buildings and centres after you, dancing and singing for you, any thing! 15 years ago I stood up to these no good-doers. I told them education is a vocation, bonuses has no place in our profession. We must not give an easy ride to foreign students, because they give more Dosh. I said we cannot dish out so many first class degrees. I told them this will devalue the whole university education. I said without moral and ethical values universities are nothing but a house of cards, built on a shifting sand, ready to fall one by one. They laughed at me. They gave me pain and anxiety. But looking at it today, I say 'thank you God' that today I can keep my head high and sleep like a log at night. I am saying these,  not because I take joy in their misery. No. Never. Long time ago when they pained me, I learnt that 'Forgiveness is the best present I can give myself'. I am writing these to invite all to join us and let us march together for: Value-led education. Education is for the Common Good. Education is a vocation and not for sale to the highest bidder.

Thanking you, Kamran" 


Launch of new publication 'Sharing Values' is please to launch a new publication! 'Sharing Values - A Hermeneutics for Global Ethics', edited by Ariane Hentsch Cisneros and Dr. Shanta Premawardhana. As global ethics emerges as an important answer to the common issues facing humankind, we cannot spare a reflection on the process leading to a consensus on global values. If we are to break political, economic, ideological, cultural, religious and gender-based patterns of domination in the debate on global ethics, we must ensure that all parties to the dialogue are able to express their values freely and in their own fashion. This book provides indications of the current reflection on the hermeneutics of intercultural and interreligious dialogue on ethics, with an attempt to formulate in a decentralized manner priorities for future implementation of this dialogue. These include using our own religious resources to foster dialogue on ethics, searching in the transcendental or the holistic for a solution to moral diversity, dealing with the deep suffering caused by colonization and neo-imperialism, and addressing the mutual challenges of traditionalism and modernism. Also presented are the “ Principles on Sharing Values across Cultures and Religions”.

News from the International Secretariat

Global Ethics Forum 2011

The Global Ethics Forum 2011 will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva and at the International Conference Centre Geneva, Switzerland from Thursday 30 June to Friday 1 July 2011. The Forum is being co-organized by and Paris-based conference specialists  EIE Global. This is the second Global Ethics Forum; the first Forum took place in Geneva in 2009.

Up to date information about the Global Ethics Forum including the programme can be found here.

Note that registration will open to participate in the Forum in March.

Visit to Iran Executive Director, Christoph Stueckelberger visited Iran to speak at the International Congress on Bioethics in early February. He took the opportunity to invite participants to meet with him on the first evening of his visit.

Over 800 people from Iran have already registered as participants. Students and teachers are especially well represented. Prof. Dr. Stueckelberger met with some of them in Tehran, whose interests ranged from environmental ethics, interreligious ethics and medical ethics and others. The group have decided to meet regularly and to build an online workgroup on bioethics, which is a topic of current interest in Iran as in many countries, contributing from their tradition and Islamic background. The moderator of the workgroup is Prof. Dr. Kiarash Aramesh, Professor of History of Medicine and Medical Ethics and editor of the bilingual Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine.

Participation in UNESCO conference: 'Imagining the Worst: Foresight, Ethics, and Extreme Climate Scenarios'

From 1 to 3 March, a conference on climate change was held by UNESCO and the Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office in Ljubljana, bringing together experts from various fields, from academia to government to international organizations, to discuss the ethical implications of climate change in the future on domestic and global governance. Project and Network coordinator, Nadia Gianoli, joined the other conference participants in Ljubljana via Skype to contribute to the Ethics, Responsibility and Foreknowledge session. Ms Gianoli presented the special collection on Climate Ethics and invited the participants to join the network so that they may upload the written contributions to the conference to share with participants. Moreover, she invited them to collaborate with the many participants in the network who are also concerned about the future and climate change. She noted that at we understand the importance of stimulating wide ranging discussions and of providing a platform to talk about the ethics of climate change. 

News from the Regional Programmes

Welcome to submitters in India and Indonesia

Following the invitation made at the end of 2010, the India and Indonesia teams are being joined by two new submitters, Lijo John in Bangalore and Yuyun Sunesti in Yogyakarta. Their role is important as they will ensure that more content for the library is submitted from those two regions, thus giving network participants access to increased diversity. We thank them for accepting the invitation to lend their energies and expertise to . India Ethics Research Scholarship (GENIERS) India has launched a scholarship for ethics-related research for students at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram in Bangalore. The scholarship will be awarded annually to one research scholar who successfully completes research either at licentiate or doctorate level with a special focus on ethical issues. It carries a cash reward of Rs. 20,000.00 (twnety thousand rupees) and the thesis will be added to the library. For more information contact India Director, Professor Dr. Saju Chackalackal. 


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