null Newsletter No 7/2011

September 2011

In this issue

Editorial by Christoph Stueckelberger 

Your freedom to decide

Human existence is characterised by freedom: the freedom to decide. We cannot just follow our instincts or given traditions or natural laws. We have the freedom and the burden to choose between options. Each decision we have to take includes a moral question, to make the choice between good and evil, right and wrong or between different good or bad options. To eat meat or to be vegetarian, to cheat or to be honest, to pay a higher price or a lower price, but what criteria do we use to make our decision? Ethics helps to decide on the basis of values such as justice, peace, sustainability, freedom. The basis of values are world views: do I make my ethical decisions based on a rational, philosophical or religious perspective? If the decision is made from a religious point of view is it from a Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish or syncretistic world view? supports you in your freedom to decide by providing access to the Global Ethics Library, GlobeEthicsLib with more than half a million full text online documents. A second library is now also at  disposal the recently launched GlobeTheoLib, the Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism, which already has hundreds of thousands of documents, including perspectives from all the different Christian denominations. GlobeTheoLib has been established following requests from many participants and institutions. We are happy to offer it as an additional tool that allows a greater depth of research into this world view.
Importantly, remains a multicultural and multi-religious network. All those who  look for ethical, religious, and non-religious orientation are most welcome. The plan already exists to add within the next  few years a GlobePhiloLib, a global library for philosophy, and GlobeIslamLib, a global library on Islam. These libraries are being added so that you can take better ethical decisions and get clarity for your worldviews in your professional, private and political activities. Also  that our mutual respect for the otherness of the other can grow and humankind can become a true community in diversity.
The launch of GlobeTheoLib is combined with  renewal of the website where you will find many new features and tools. Find more about it in this newsletter.
Christoph Stueckelberger, Executive Director and Founder,
News from the International Secretariat

Your new website!

The new website is now online. There could not have been a better day to launch the new website and GlobeTheoLib; Friday 23 September was International Media Ethics Day. With a new visual identity, the website offers you easy access to the online digital libraries of, as well as to its networking and research facilities.

Having access to information is of key importance in responding to ethical challenges. With more than 940'000 documents covering the whole spectrum of ethics, the libraries offer an important resource for taking part in ethical debates. 

The website gives you new opportunities to browse journals, special collections, and hundreds of thousands of documents. You can make use of the improved networking facilities to make contact with other participants with similar interests and to promote joint web-based research projects.

The new page is your central hub. On this page you can keep all of your favourite journals, library documents, and links to workgroups that you are a member of in one place.  After signing in you are taken directly to a newly designed profile. The left hand side includes a personal menu - here you can click on My Profile and My Biography to write something about your interests and/or something about your work in the “about me” section or to upload your CV. The page also offers you the possibility to create blogs and to post updated information on to your wall.

The website is for the time being in Beta version. This means that you can try out new features that are still in development, also that you may run into technical problems from time to time.

We hope that you enjoy the new design and new features of the website and that it will help you organise your research and to foster your network.

We are interested in hearing your thoughts, comments and suggestions on the new site and invite you to contact us at

Launch of the GlobeTheoLib project

A unique and ambitious web-based theological resource was launched in Geneva on 23 September by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and It aims to redress a global imbalance of access to research materials in theology and related disciplines.
The Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism (GlobeTheoLib) contains several hundred thousand of articles, documents and other academic resources that can accessed online free-of-charge by registered participants from anywhere in the world via Internet (
“The time has come to launch a new model of ecumenical sharing of theological resources in order to prepare world Christianity for the 21st century," said the WCC General Secretary, the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
GlobeTheoLib is intended to use new digital models of information exchange to make the theological voices and resources of the global South more visible and accessible, across national, cultural and denominational barriers.
It uses the electronic platform of, the Geneva-headquartered organization that already holds more than 650’000 full-text documents in its Global Digital Library on Ethics.
Professor Dr Christoph Stückelberger, the Founder and Executive Director of, said GlobeTheoLib represents a determined attempt to redress the balance in global knowledge transfer.
“GlobeTheoLib harnesses the potential of the internet to offer theological research and education new possibilities for international networking, exchange and digital sharing,” said Stückelberger.
GlobeTheoLib provides access to journals, books, training materials, and theses and dissertations on theology and ecumenism. It also gives registered participants the opportunity to submit their own documents and publications to share with others from around the world.
The project is supported by a consortium that includes associations of theological libraries and seminaries, as well as mission organizations, foundations, Regional Ecumenical Organizations, and Christian World Communions. The project has been co-initiated and planned by the WCC programme on Ecumenical Theological Education (ETE).
“GlobeTheoLib offers a new and creative opportunity to promote the sharing of theological perspectives between fast-growing churches in the global South as well as with churches and theological institutions in the North,” said the Rev. Dr Dietrich Werner, the international Project Coordinator for ETE.
Content for GlobeTheoLib comes from four major sources: commercial publishers with whom GlobeTheoLib has subscriptions to make content available to registered participants; rapidly growing Open Access repositories; partner institutions that make their own resources available via GlobeTheoLib; and registered participants who are able to submit their own documents to the library.
The technical implementation of the libraries has been undertaken by Pointsoftware in Zürich, specialists in online libraries and data management.
For more information contact: Dr Stephen Brown, Programme Executive, GlobeTheoLib, brown (at)
Launch of GlobeTheoLib Launch of GlobeTheoLib Launch of GlobeTheoLib




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