May 14, 2020

[The Ecumenical Review] Communication for Life in Cyberspace

Communication for Life in Cyberspace
Young‐cheol Cheon

First published:23 April 2020
The Rev. Dr Young-cheol Cheon is general secretary of Korean Diakonia, a Korean ecumenical
NGO, and is an honorary life member of the World Association for Christian Communication.

Cyberspace communication is a key driving force of the neoliberal globalization that has led to worldwide crisis. Despite some positive perspectives, cyberspace communication has played a crucial role in the dominance of global markets by transnational corporations. The ethical foundations of the problematics of cyberspace communication lie in a social Darwinism that leads to ruthless competition based on egoistic morality. This article posits the notion of love as an alternative ethics, drawing on perspectives of Christian love (especially those of US ethicist Paul Ramsey) as unselfish love for others, as well as on East Asian traditions of love (such as Buddhist compassion, Confucian jen, and Korean jung). The article argues that unselfish love offers a perspective to overcome an anthropocentric perspective of communication. In this way, human beings can build a community with all living beings and develop harmonious relationships with them to live together on the earth.

March 15, 2019

All living beings have right to communicate, says WACC honorary life member

The right to communicate must apply not only to human beings, but all living beings, says the Rev. Dr. Young-cheol Cheon, who was named one of WACC’s 12 honorary life members in 2018.

“Communication is the essence of all living beings,” Cheon, who is an ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, says in an email interview. “The concept of communication needs to overcome human-centered ways of thinking.”

Cheon points to the Busan Communication Statement issued by WACC and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 2012. The statement cites John’s Gospel (1:1, 1:3), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…All things came into being through him,” and concludes that “without communication there would be no life,” and that “creation was, and is, an act of communication.”

The Busan statement underscores that “communication is the essence of life” and that it plays “a vital role in confronting threats to life.” It states that “all living beings consist of many cells that can only survive if there is communication between them,” and notes that “in the traditional Eastern worldview, as well as that of many indigenous peoples, the universe is understood to be an integrated whole, an interdependent organism.”

August 24, 2018

WACC proudly names 12 new Honorary Life Members including Rev. Dr Cheon, Young-cheol

WACC’s Board of Directors is celebrating a dozen individuals whose lives are dedicated to advancing communication rights.

Since 1995, WACC has publicly recognised the work of communicators who have upheld its principles and values while working for greater social justice.

WACC’s 50th anniversary was an occasion to recognize a further six women and six men who have significantly contributed to WACC’s life and work.

Each new Honorary Life Member has a lengthy career. More complete biographical information can be found on WACC’s web site here.

The Rev. Dr Young-cheol Cheon is an ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK). He received a PhD in Media, Religion and Culture at the VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2011. He served as a WACC Officer (Treasurer) 2006-11 and as an Asia Region-WACC Officer (Treasurer) 2003-08. He was a director of communication and public relations of the Korean Host Committee for the WCC 10th Assembly for 2011-2014. Since 2015 he has been a Visiting Professor of Christian Communication at the Presbyterian University & Theological Seminary in Seoul, South Korea. Currently, he is the General Secretary of Korean Diakonia.