Theological and Ethical Perspectives
on Global Communication
Global Cultural War!
The context in which we are speaking about communication is a
"cultural war" between the powerful and the people that is waged through
political propaganda, commercial advertisements and information technology. This cultural
war takes place on both national and global levels assuming the form of ideological or
propaganda war. Sometimes it works to domesticate the minds and desires of consumers
inducing them to buy things that are produced in order to control and conquer the market.
The educational system acts to establish hegemony over the minds of students in the name
of socialization. Traditional cultural processes and religious institutions are also
mobilized to serve the cause of the powers. The most important aspect of this cultural
war, however, is manifested in the modem mass communication media, such as newspapers,
wire services, radio and television.
The ideological battles between the two superpowers have been fought
through political propaganda against each other (communism vs. capitalism), through
ideological inculcation in formal and non-formal education systems, through public media
and information processes and often through religious institutions and practices. Now this
ideological war seems to be over, but power conflicts, violent or otherwise, will continue
to involve semi-ideological battles for legitimacy and support. The communist societies
have complete control over the process of political propaganda, but its effectiveness is
regarded doubtful in recent years. Societies where a liberal press is allowed have a
facade of freedom of speech, but the powers control the media and education in highly
effective ways in these societies. Dictatorships around the world have sought to control
the speech, thought, feeling and perception of the people. Today this process of control
by power is done through high-tech communication and information media; this communication
technology is intensive and, therefore, brutally effective.
The economic life of the people is very much affected by communication
and information in three basic ways. The struggle for decisions on economic policies
involves a fundamental cultural struggle in terms of economic philosophies and economic
objectives, such as economic growth and economic distribution. The most direct way in
which the economic life of the people is swayed is through commercial advertisements in
the communication media. The media is the chief culprit in consumerism, which corrodes the
minds of the people with enticements to embrace cheap materialism and economic hedonism.
Moreover, information has become a commodity and service in economic
transactions, for information is both power and resource. The information and
communication network constitutes the webwork of peoples economic and socio-cultural
life as well, and the powers create, expand and sustain this network of information and
communication on a global scale.
There are three interrelated networks that operate on a global scale.
The political and military intelligence and information network of governments, the
economic network of information of transnational corporate powers and the
religious-cultural networks of world religions have a powerful influence over information
and communication globally.
The term "international information and communication order"
is a misnomer which does not reflect the reality of the present communication and
information process nationally and internationally, although the McBride Report has
clearly shown the nature of the international information and communication order that is
dominated by the powerful. The process of information and communication is not merely the
objective order of society and community; it also penetrates into the mind and brain of
the human person, into the perceptual apparatus of the body and into the heart and soul of
the whole human being. The information and communication process pervades the human self.
The battleground is the consciousness, mind, senses, heart and spirit of the human person
as well as the community.
We would like to discuss three interrelated issues in dealing with our
subject. The first is communication and information in relation to the people as the
subject of history and in relation to the power that dominates the people. The second
issue is a theological reflection on communication. Third is the issue of fundamental
principles that will guide the practice of communication and information action.
II. The People as the Subject of History and Communication
We are accustomed to analyzing the communication and information order
without explicit reference to the people and to power, making it neutral in political
terms. Communication and information is of the people, by the people and for the people.
This means that the people are the subject of information and communication. When
information and communication are dominated by the powers-that-be, the people as the
subject of information and communication are violated.
The most original form of communication is the telling and hearing of
stories in the community of the people. The story is in the form of communication in which
the teller and hearer are subjects, not objects. Communication is the sharing of stories
of the people among themselves. The cumulation and interweaving of such stories forms
cultures of the people and their communities. No other forms of communication can replace
this original mode; other forms of communication can only supplement the original form.
In the original story of the people, all the powers and authorities
take the position of antagonists, for the people are in the position of protagonists. The
people are subjects of the story in terms of content as well as in communication. The
traditional religious and cultural stories of the people are prime examples of their
original story. The story of the Hebrews in the Exodus and its counterparts or equivalents
in Asian religions are concrete manifestations of the original story of the people. For
this reason, the religio-cultural stories are co- opted by the powerful and are twisted
into authoritarian stories in which the people are turned into objects of subjugation.
III. Communication and Information Dominated by the
The McBride Report disclosed the domination of the international
communication and information order by the Western media, which are cultural
manifestations of the Western powers. The breakdown of the socialist states has shown the
dimension and process of their subversion by the Western media, and the Gulf War is one
example in which war and peace have been affected by the Western powers through the media.
The globalization of communication and information has become
technetronics-intensive through high-media technology on all levels. Symbols, images and
pictures in full color and simultaneously translated languages as well as scenarios and
sequences of events are instantly transmitted to the people, who are turned into the
victims of this global communication onslaught. Technetronics-intensive communication and
information involves the global network of value-adding processes with increasing
acceleration in intensity and speed. Such a global network of communication increasingly
encircles the life of the people; it envelops their perceptions and understanding; it
finally invades the innermost chamber of consciousness, the minds and hearts of the
people, deeply affecting their spirit as well as their life.
The most important consequence of this communication and information
revolution being carried out through high-tech development is the subjugation of the
spirit, mind, will, heart, passion and even desire of the people to the dictates of the
dominant powers, near and remote. Human subjectivity, which is the engine of human life,
is the final territory being conquered through cultural processes of communication and
information. Western development of modern science and technology in the past has excluded
the human subject from the epistemological world, and now its advancement allows the
powers to dominate human subjectivity to domesticate life itself.
This domination is manifested in political and ideological control and
manipulation, domestically and internationally. It involves the total planning and control
of the market. This capacity to subjugate human subjectivity on a mass scale is used to
manage social, political and military conflicts on both domestic and international levels.
This becomes the case because of symbiotic relations of power between the public media and
the political powers in which the peoples participation is prevented. Such power
relations are complex and difficult to discern, but government propaganda, the use of the
media for the implementation of political power and policy and election campaigns are
clear manifestatior.s of such a symbiosis.
The domination by Western political power, especially the United
States, and the West-dominated international communication cj-Jer with its dominant
network of information industry, wire services, satellite communication, etc., makes a
powerful impact upon the peoples in Asia by interlocking with the Asian national
communication media and by subverting these on political, economic and cultural levels.
The economic powers, such as giant transnational corporations (TNCs),
use the public media to dominate and control the market, to create arbitrary needs among
consumers causing a deep sense of deprivation and covering up the ugly image of the
corporate powers. There is no marketing without the media, and the advertisement of
products and services creates false and unsound economic propaganda, often providing false
information and images about the products and services. This process distorts sound
economic values, fostering "cheap and pragmatic materialism."
The media serves corporate powers techno-structures to implement
the total planning strategy of profit maximization by controlling marketing as well as
production. Without such a subservient media, the corporate strategy of total planning
would not be possible. The people as workers and consumers are molded according to the
plan of the economic powers in and through the media; the people have lost their
subjecthood in production as well as in the market; they have become victims of the
distorted information imposed on them and have an inverted self-image implanted in their
consciousness by the media.
In the same way, the transnational corporate structures have pervaded
all Asian societies to subjugate economic selfhood, not only in economic political terms,
but also in cultural terms through their economic propagandistic advertisements. This has
destroyed the health and wholesome vision of economic life of the Asian people.
The Asian national media under the influence of the Western-dominated
global information and communication order with its Western values and lifestyles have
corroded and subverted Asian cultural values and Asian styles of life, particularly the
cultural identity of Asians has been suppressed. Asias religious and cultural
heritages are disparaged as preor anti-modern (meaning anti-Western); the languages,
symbols and images of Asia are suppressed and replaced by Western ones.
This process causes profound cultural dissatisfaction among the people,
even to the point of unhealthy national and cultural romanticism and nostalgia. The
peoples uprootedness is caused by the mass media, which receives heavy doses of
Western cultural injections through the present international information and
communication order. This cultural corrosion and subversion and even "genocide"
are a tragic part of the cultural subjugation of the people through the global media
dominated by the Western powers, a process that is inevitable given the inherent character
of the present global order of information and communication which excludes the
participation of the people, their dialog and interaction.
IV. The "Necessary Illusion" of a Free Press
With the demise of socialist dictatorships and authoritarian powers,
freedom is much celebrated, and there is a prevailing sense of history that liberal
democracy has finally won. There is a celebration that the people under totalitarian and
authoritarian dictatorships have become free subjects.
People who are connected with the Western liberal media believe that a
free press can be free of domination and control by the powerful, be it political,
military or economic powers. The Western media is regarded as free of control and
domination by others, and it is true that there is a certain degree of freedom from the
dominant powers in so far as the media itself is a power that has a capacity to balance
other sectors of power.
However, the fact that the Western media is a dominant power is implied
in its capacity to balance other political, military and economic sectors of the dominant
powers. So long as the Western media is a sector of the dominant power constellations of
the Western powers, it serves the interests of the Western powers as it balances other
sectors of the same power constellation. Thus, the belief that the Western media is free
is an illusion, which is a necessary self-justification in a liberal society. The Western
media cannot balance the government, the military and economic powers in absolute terms
but only in relative terms to the extent that the power of the Western media is secured.
This is particularly the case in the United States. Objectivity, balance and truthfulness
of information are always claimed as the final measure of a free and fair media, but the
terms of reference are culturally and ideologically oriented towards the Western powers.
The power of the Western media violates the rights of the people in
their own society, and often the people have no means to redress these violations. It also
violates the cultural and ethnic rights of the people in the world. It promotes Western
racial, cultural and religious values and inherently dismisses the value of the racial,
cultural and religious heritages of the other peoples of the world.
Disinformation and misinformation, partial truths and small lies and
sheer ignorance and prejudice are mingled and spread in the process of communication and
information in various ways in different situations. These phenomena are directed against
the oppositional forces of the people in both liberal societies and dictatorial societies,
in their conduct of international policies as well as in domestic affairs. The whole
process serves the power interests of the powerful.
When the Western media criticized the dictatorial powers in the Third
World for their violation of human rights and dictatorial control of the media, this was
regarded by these Third World powers as hypocritical behavior, infringement of their
national sovereignty or interference in their internal affairs.
In recent years, certain democratic reforms are being promoted in the
Third World by the Western powers so that these same Western powers can directly intervene
in the Third World through the investment and trade of TNCs, through political pressure in
such areas as human rights and especially through the Western media. The introduction of
"liberal democratic reforms" opens Third and Second World societies to more
direct penetration of those societies by the Western media as well as by Western market
forces. Thus, the Western media of communication and information become instruments of a
"low intensity strategy" in the arena of "cultural domination and
The communication and information media construct a strange world out
of arbitrary and superficial combinations of colors, images and languages that are
simplified and separated from reality. The perceptual world thus created has no relation
to the real world; it is rather in opposition to the actual world. However, this strange
new world of illusion occupies the minds and hearts of the people everywhere.
In this way, the peoples of Asia are victims of the powers militarily,
politically, socially, economically and culturally; and the international media networks
constitute an integral dimension of the victimization process as the cultural power of
domination that victimizes the people culturally.
V. Stereotyping thePeoples Movements, Including the
One of the outstanding examples of the low intensity strategy through
the media against the people and their communities when they struggle against the powers
is the case of stereotyping the ecumenical movement as an enemy of the powers. In a
similar way, the political and social movements of the people are depicted and stereotyped
as enemies. Often leaders of the peoples movements are attacked and tried in the
media, before and outside of the juridical process. Racial and ethnic as well as religious
communities are often targets of media attacks and media manipulation.
People of low social class or status are stereotyped as second- class
humans in religious and cultural terms as well as in socio- economic terms. Low and
outcaste people are perpetually condemned to such reinforced traditional stereotypes,
their human dignity and subjecthood mutilated by society.
The stories of the people in Asia, past and present, are full of old
and new stereotypes, for example, women as non-persons, inferior beings and sex objects.
The Chinese are Charlie Chans; Koreans are Chos~jins ~to the Japanese); the
Vietnamese are gooks and so on. More modern stereotypes include the Asian people as
"esthetic, contemplative and intuitive," meaning incapable of rational thinking;
Asians as people prone to authoritarianism and, therefore, incapable of democracy; the
poor and oppressed as unreasonable or violent; and outcaste people as dirty and ignorant.
The ethnic, national, racial, religious and cultural minorities are subject to old and new
stereotypes in their own situations as political or social separatists. The Christian West
also has its prejudices and stereotypes against people who believe in Asian religions.
These false images and stereotypes are powerfully and subtly projected in the global
In all these areas, the communication and information media play the
role of supporting the powerful in the final analysis, and they victimize the peoples in
Asia as well as in other parts of the world, including the people in the West.
VI. Communication for Participation and Solidarity of the
The people as subjects of history have always struggled to overcome the
domineering communication and information process. The people create their own ways of
communication, ranging from stories in oral traditions to folk art and music, from popular
histories to religious and cultural symbolism. The history of the popular communication of
the people has not been thoroughly investigated, just as the cultural history of the
people has not been written from the peoples perspective. Traditionally the
communication process of the people is suppressed by that of the powerful rulers who have
controlled the message and media through ruling elites and have established cultural and
religious institutions. Nevertheless, the peoples ways and means of communication
have not been completely suppressed. The people assert their subjecthood in communication
through various forms of expression and with ingenious creativity. The rise and
development of the peoples movements have usually been accompanied by a new and
creative communication process, which is often closely associated with popular religious
Originally, the sacred books of the religious communities among the
people rose as a new way of communication among the people with new messages to them. The
stories and writings of the Taiping Movement in China and the Tonghak in Korea as
well as similar movements in other Asian countries are manifestations of a new
communication paradigm among the people. The Bible is the example par excellence.
The main feature of such communication of and by the people is their
direct participation in the communication process and the immediacy of the message without
long mediation; another characteristic is the bonding of a new and liberating community,
that is, the wholistic solidarity of the people. This implies three fundamental
characteristics of genuine communication: immediate participation, solidarity and
The Bible is a book of communication among those who call themselves
the people of God or the people of the Messiah. Therefore, we will seek to discern from
the Bible a paradigm of communication among the people.
The Hebrew (Hapiru) people and their descendants lived
under empires throughout the ages, such as ancient Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Greece and
Rome and their vassals. This meant that they lived under the imperial communication order
of the ancient empires.
The classical account is the Tower of Babel. The imperial project of
building the Tower of Babel required, among many things, a monolingual communication
(command) system. This meant suppression of all languages and cultures of nations and
peoples for their integration into one imperial language. This is the language and
communication of imperial domination, a paradigm wl~iich fundamentally holds true in all
imperial situations, even today.
The counterparadigm of such communication is the Biblical communication
of the people of God. When they were filled with the Spirit, the paradigm of imperial
communication was replaced with the communication of the people of God, which is
illustrated in the Pentecost experience. At Pentecost, thepeople with different languages
spoke and heard the message of God in their own languages, which meant the creation of new
koinonia (participation), a new household (oikonomia), a new identity as a
people of God (a new culture) and a new community (new solidarity).
Thus, the movement of the Spirit means freedom and liberation of the
people from the oppressive languages and communication of the powers. The Spirit creates
the liberating communication to overcome cultural domination. The Spirit is against the
law of dominating communication.
The Bible has several genres of communication, being itself the major
communication medium among the people of God throughout their history. It is a story of
the people and an account of events. It contains various forms of communication and
contents. The first is the communication of Gods promise for a new future and the
vision of this future over the imperial order. The story of the Creation (Gen. I and 2),
the vision of the Messianic Reign (Isa. II, Rev. 21 and 22) and other apocalyptic visions
belong to this category - the communication of the vision among the people living under
imperial powers. The content of the communication of the vision is the Messianic Reign in
which life and shalom will prevail over the power and violence of death.
This vision is deeply rooted in the story of liberation of the Hebrew
people from the imperial despotism of ancient Egypt, that is, the story of the Exodus. The
Hebrew slaves cried out in their toil, agony and suffering, and their God Yahweh listened
to their cry and knew their pain. God communicated the message of liberation to the
people, a message against the pharaoh who refused to release the people. Moses and his
company bore the message of liberation among the Hebrew slaves. Thus, the Exodus event
materialized in history. Such a vision manifests itself clearly and decisively among the
people in the message and movement of Jesus, who gives it the name "Reign" or
"Realm of God."
Jesus message about the Realm of God is, indeed, the Good News -
the Gospel among the Galilee Minjung. His message, teachings and actions as well as
His life, death and resurrection are the ultimate communication of God among the people
who are subjugated under the powers of death. The people of God become the bearer of the
message of Gods Reign - the Gospel among all naŁons.
Communication in the early community of the people of God was the
covenant code or the Torah, which means "wisdom and guide." The origin of the
covenant codes or the Torah is also the Exodus event in which the people of God were
liberated by God and which granted the wisdom of the covenant code to prevent encroachment
by the pharaohs ideology and religion of oppression, to undercut the vicious bond of
slavery and to protect the poor, oppressed, weak and alienated. Literally the Torah of the
covenant is the living Word of God spoken among the people and indwelling in the hearts of
the people. The Wisdom is an integral part of this second form of Biblical communication.
The third form of communication among the people of God is the
prophetic movement under the kings, who are often allied with or influenced by surrounding
imperial or despotic powers with domineering communication systems. The classic example is
the confrontation between the message of Elijah against King Ahab and Jezebel the Baalist
over the destiny of Naboth, the steward of the vineyard. The prophetic movements, led by
the major and minor prophets, communicate the message of Gods justice, judgment and
promise of shalom among the people who have become subservient to the ideology and
religion of the despotic kingdom and the dominant empires. Their communication is that of
Gods justice among the people.
Priestly practices and movements are a fourth form of communication
with their message of restoration, reconciliation and healing of the community of the
people of God and their sharing of the message of shalom. Rites of sacrifice and
worship constitute communication for restoration of broken relationships, injured bodies
and communities divided by hostility and enmity. The Psalms are an integral part of this
communication. As depicted in the letter to the Hebrews, the Prince of Shalom Himself
is the sacrificial lamb and at the same time the priest who presides over the sacrifice of
reconciliation, forging a new covenant of shalom. This is an act of communication
of the peace of God among the people who have become victims of the violence and wars
between nations and powers.
The Bible is the book of communication among the people of God. In it
the people are the partners of God, who communicates with them through various media,
channels or modes of communication. Often the people are hardhearted, refusing to be
communication partners with God and with each other. They see but do not see. They hear
but do not listen. They are taught but do not understand. This is because they are
enslaved in heart, mind and spirit to the messages of the dominant communication apparatus
of the powers-that-be.
The Biblical communication, however, is the event of the Word among the
people to restore them as partners in communication with God and, therefore, among
themselves. Gods message is heard, understood and be-comes the spirit and the power
of the people to overcome the power of the communication that enslaves them and turns them
into objects of communication.
Biblical communication builds new, faithful relations between God and
the people and among the people. In place of domination, enslavement and enmity, new bonds
of solidarity are established. Solidarity, as the covenant of faithful relations among the
people, is the foundation of a humane community.
VII. Five Columns upon Two Foundations
We regard the two foundations of the household of God as peoples
participation and their mutual solidarity. Standing upon these two foundations are the
five columns of justice, human dignity, peace, identity and life. We seek to discern these
structural elements from the Biblical communication in the context of the present global
order of communication and information.
We have already indicated that the sovereign partner of the sovereign
God for covenant and communication is the very people of God, not the powers-that-be, who
subjugate the people under their ideology and their religion of domination. This is the
basis of the peoples participation. We have recognized that the free individual
subject in a liberal democracy is a precarious and illusory being in communication as well
as in all other areas of power relations. Therefore, the peoples participation
should be more than individual freedom as seen in liberal democracy. Participation should
mean direct, immediate and effective access by the people to the processes of deciding and
relating. Jesus made the people directly accessible to the Realm of God through His
communication of the Good News and through the peoples faith that was evoked by His
As sovereign partners, the people have newly entered into covenant with
God, breaking all their enslaving bonds with the dominating powers. The sharing of new
bonds of koinonia, love, justice, peace, hope and life was communicated through the
crucifixion of Jesus as the Sacrificial Lamb of the New Covenant. This communication is
reenacted in the sacraments of the Baptism and the Holy Supper, both of which are the
culmination of the forging of the solidarity bond among the people through Jesus their
Paul advised the Galatians about the fundamental truth of the Gospel
found in the Baptism: that there is neither "chosen" nor Gentile, neither free
nor slave, neitber male nor female and so on. Communication is an act binding the people
together as one body, one household, one nation and one people - an act of forging a new
covenant among the people.
The people in this covenant are the stewards of their own economic
household (oikonomia). We have seen the centrally planned command economies of the
socialist states. A chief cause of their failure may have been the lack of peoples
participation in the planning and managing of the economy as well as in distribution. Many
Third World economies are also centrally planned and controlled according to the dictates
of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and
The giant global corporations are also highly centralized as planning
techno-structures. They neither recognize the oikonomia as the common household nor
allow the participation of the people. The people are relegated to the position of objects
in the big and highly planned projects and are instructed by communication to follow and
obey the rules of the dominant economic powers: states or corporate entities.
Communication should awaken the people as autonomous economic subjects,
as sovereign stewards of their own life. Self-reliance is not a message of the rich to the
dependent poor; it is the people claiming their sovereignty over their household (oikonomia).
The people must participate directly in planning and management, in production and
distribution and in the market. The people as sovereign users of resources must
participate in communication (advertisements) to resist being domesticated as obedient
consumers. The people must make direct interventions in the market to fight domination and
monopoly since the political process is not working in this direction. It is essential
that the people must participate in economic communication to be economically sovereign
over their own life.
The celebration of the rise of liberal democracy in the Third World and
in Eastern Europe can be a very deceptive political ritual. The political reality is that
the people become more powerless than ever to decide their own political life and destiny.
The information and communication work of the intelligence agencies is more efficient and
pervasive than ever, replacing the use of force. The powers rely heavily upon
intelligence, information processes and communication ranging from ideological propaganda
to political campaigns, from war management to character assassination of enemies, from
political domestication to political control of the people. Information and communication
is being used as the primary means to achieve the political objective of domination and
control over the people.
The people are deprived of their own means of communication and knowing
(information). They become objects of this communication and information process. The
people must regain their subjecthood as sovereign partners and participants in the
communication and information process, in society and in the world. This demands
peoples participation in the existing communication media; it demands
counter-communication networks to fight the existing communication and information
process. It is also necessary to strengthen the peoples communication network as an
alternative communication order that promotes peoples participation and their
solidarity linkages across all barriers and boundaries throughout the world. Thus,
communication and information with the peoples participation may be one of the
primary means to attain the political selfhood of the people, for such communication can
overcome the dynamics of domestication and fragmentation of community.
The communication and information process that is dominated by the
powerful creates violent conflicts on the social- psychological level as well as on the
cultural level. It accentuates and fuels cultural, social and political conflicts in many
nations when they serve the interests of the dominant power. Racial, ethnic and
religio-cultural and communal conflicts are created through manipulated communication and
information processes when it is hoped that these will weaken the enemies of the powers.
Most of all, the powers are waging small- and large- scale cultural battles and wars to
destroy the enemy in physical, religio-cultural and spiritual terms.
The Biblical paradigm of communication is that of peacemaking,
reconciling and enemy-loving. It is the communication of the Prince of Peace who became
the victim of the cultural and religious violence of the Roman Empire and its allies. The
vision of the Messianic Reign, depicted in Chapter 11 of the prophet Isaiah, is the real
vision of peace that has been transmitted to the people of God throughout history.
In the present changing military alliances and moves for global
security, there is more danger of intensified violence along the dividing lines of race,
ethnicity, religion and culture, society and economy, in addition to political and
military conflicts. It is no wonder that the communication and information process becomes
the arena of cultural wars and battles. The communication and information process is used
as a low intensity conflict strategy against the religio-cultural forces and social-
political movements that are struggling for liberation for justice, peace and life.
In the process of encroachment into Asia by the Western powers and
their culture, Asias people are denied their own cultural roots; their cultural
self-determination and identity is eroded to the extent that their community loses its
cultural life. Herbert Marcuse called the internal cultural phenomenon of the globally
expanding technocratic civilization "one dimensionalization" Soelle calls it
"apathetic"; others call it the "cultural wasteland." Modern high-tech
communication and information processes immediately injure the cultures of the peoples in
Asia, Africa and Latin America beyond recovery. This is a form of cultural genocide.
The world that God has blessed is a world of many races and nations
with different cultures and religious traditions, all of which will be gathered in
solidarity and harmony in the Messianic Reign. The nations will speak their own languages
and share their experiences and cultures through their own communication. The extremism of
nationalism and ethnic and religious communal conflict arises because of their suppression
by powerful cultures and groups. Cultural identity and abundance is an integral part of
human community. Communication and information must foster the creative abundance of
cultures and must strengthen the cultural and ethnic identities of peoples and races
without being exclusive. Today no society can be wholesome without allowing the
self-determination of racial, ethnic and religio-cultural minorities. Communication must
be understood as a cultural koinonia in which all cultures interact creatively to
enrich and fulfill each other. Communication must be understood as a cultural feast of the
The koinonia of life extends beyond the human community.
Communication that is rooted in the koinonia of life means the sharing of life of
all the living, in heaven, on the earth and below the earth. Life shares common
perceptions about the reality of life and about the reality of the threat of death. This
is communication among living beings, which is quite different from perceptions that are
gained through abstract images and symbols. Living beings commune with each other and,
hence, communicate with each other. Thus, communication should be a life-enhancing and
Modern communications media separates human life from the reality of
life and places it in a deadly, artificial cultural environment. Our children live in
cultural boxes that are manufactured arbitrarily by the communications media. They do not
have real life, which is full of tears, lamentation and "Han" (a deep
sense of justice which rises in the hearts of the people when they unfairly suffer in
history) as well as joy and happiness.
Today communication must touch the living reality which is full of
agonizing toils and of grass-smelling freshness. In the Orient, there is the saying that Ki
(active life energy) is communicated among all living creatures. It is like the Spirit
which is the breath of life in Creation.
Communication is the mutually connecting and penetrating interaction
among all living things, including people. Communication binds the five columns of
justice, human dignity, peace, identity and life together in its network and strengthens
the participation and solidarity of the human community in the universe of life.