Weltethos Institut


The Global Ethic as a Research Project

The idea of a Global Ethic Research Project refers to the quest to identify common attitudes and approaches to questions of morality among the world’s religious and cultural traditions. Early steps in this direction uncovered several common features of a potential Global Ethic accepted by the diverse signatories of the Declaration Towards a Global Ethic at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1993. These pillars of an international morality included the principles of humanity and reciprocity, as well as core commitments to respect for life, economic justice, truthfulness, and gender and racial equality.

In order to elaborate and extend this common intercultural heritage, however, the Global Ethic Project must reach beyond the sphere of narrowly interreligious dialogue. Research at the Global Ethic Institute therefore seeks to incorporate humanistic learning into its broader mandate of addressing concrete economic, political and social problems.

Responsible Freedom as a Guiding Principle

Following the pioneering work of the Institute’s Academic Director Claus Dierksmeier on the theme of ‘responsible freedom’, research at the Global Ethic Institute addresses the challenge of encouraging individual and collective moral responsibility without resorting to the language of coercion or sermonising. Of particular interest, therefore, are creative approaches to the ethical dilemmas and challenges - old as well as new - of corporate governance, together with reform of leadership education and business school curricula.