Reverend Moon's Early Teaching on God as Heavenly Parent

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 16, 2015 - Pages 1-26

On January 7, 2013, in the run-up to Foundation Day, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, who since her husband’s passing on September 3, 2012 has led the Unification movement in her capacity as True Mother, declared that henceforth Unificationists should refer to God not as Heavenly Father but as Heavenly Parent.[1] Many members regarded this as a controversial innovation. Some objected to what they saw as unwarranted tinkering with time-honored tradition, while others welcomed it as a step away from a sexist view of God. Disagreement on this point played out in the Moon family.[2] Nevertheless, this paper will argue that the term Heavenly Parent, along with its implication that God is the Heavenly Mother as well as the Heavenly Father, was already an established feature of Rev. Moon’s theology, especially in his earliest teaching, Wolli Wonbon (1951).

Although as a rule Rev. Moon referred to God as Heavenly Father, he occasionally gave voice to the term Heavenly Parent. In the Cheon Seong Gyeong (2008), a large anthology of selections from his sermons,[3] the term occurs more than a dozen times. For example,

That is something of a revelation about the Korean people—living with the Heavenly Parents for thousands and tens of thousands of years. (152)

By attending the Heavenly Parent, the heavenly kingdom and the heavenly ancestors, a royal domain will emerge (912)

We have not known that we have such a Heavenly Parent. (1151)

Have you shown filial piety to me as you would to your Heavenly Parents? (2225)[4] 

The Cheon Seong Gyeong also includes an excerpt of a 1977 speech in which Rev. Moon refers to the two genders of Heavenly Parent, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother:

When you go to the spirit world, you will see that there is not only the Heavenly Father but also the Heavenly Mother. Can a living being come to exist without both a mother and father? Just like that mother and father, behind Adam and Eve you can find God, who has been divided and then united as one. That is why the way to heaven comes through the mother as well as the father. (2014 edition, 719)[5]

The term also occurs once in Exposition of the Divine Principle (151), even though elsewhere God is referred to as Heavenly Father. In fact, that text is equivocal about the gender(s) of God. On the one hand it characterizes God as primarily a masculine being, “In relation to the universe, God is the subject partner having the qualities of internal nature and masculinity.”[6] That statement would seem to imply that as created beings we should relate to God as our Heavenly Father. On the other hand, it states, “God, as the subject partner, has the dual characteristics of yang and yin in perfect harmony.”[7] That statement can be adduced as supporting the notion that God is both genders of the Heavenly Parent. 

The usage of Heavenly Father is not surprising, given Unification Church’s Christian roots. The Unification movement, whatever its present-day international and interfaith reach, began as a messianic movement within Korean Christianity. The Korean churches that are seen as precursors to the Unification Church because they awaited the coming of the returning Christ to Korea prayed to God as Heavenly Father, as all Christians do and as Jesus did.  As much as they identified Rev. Moon as the returning Christ, and flocked to join his Unification Church, they continued the same tradition of faith.

Out of this context Rev. Moon made a most significant innovation by reconceiving the messianic office as one to be occupied by a husband and wife, as True Parents. They were inaugurated at the Holy Wedding of April 16, 1960, identified as the Marriage of the Lamb foretold in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 19:7). There is theological consistency between seeing the Messiah not as a man but as a couple and recognizing God not only as Heavenly Father but as Heavenly Parent.

Nevertheless, in prayers and worship God was still addressed as Heavenly Father. This is the case in all the Unification Church’s “Holy Songs”; and as we know, hymns are the core of worship. Almost all the Holy Songs were composed prior to the Holy Wedding in 1960 or are traditional Christian hymns.[8] This meant that the theology of God as Heavenly Parent of two genders was deemphasized in worship. The resulting gap between worship and theology may be contributing to the current controversy around Hak Ja Han’s proclamation that God should be addressed as Heavenly Parent.


God the Vertical Parent: A Trinitarian Soteriology

I would argue that conceiving of God as Parent is fundamental to Unification theology, in particular to its Trinitarian understanding of salvation. In its brief discussion of the Trinity, Exposition specifies that because God is a being of dual characteristics, God’s primary manifestations must be man and woman: Adam and Eve prior to the Fall, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and True Parents. (EDP, 170-172) This correspondence is strengthened in many of Rev. Moon’s sermons, where he speaks of God as the “vertical True Parent” and he and his spouse as the “horizontal True Parents.” The unity between the horizontal True Parents and God the vertical True Parent becomes the starting-point for a new world where spirit and flesh, God and human beings become one. The description of God as the “vertical Parent” in this context occurs more than forty times in the Cheon Seong Gyeong:

God has are the qualities of both masculinity and femininity. That is why He[9] is called the Subject with dual characteristics.… The one who is invisible is the plus, and the ones who are visible are the minus parents. The invisible Parent is causal, the visible parents resultant. Thus, in the position of parents, God the invisible Parent and these visible parents are to become one based on love. The latter are the horizontal parents and the former the vertical Parent (1728)

God is our real parent. How close He is to us. God as the vertical parent and True Parents as the horizontal parents together realize ideal love. (206, 1805)

Had they not fallen, the original human ancestors, Adam and Eve, would have been the perfected horizontal and physical parents, standing in the position where they could become fully one with God at a 90-degree angle. The Creator is the Parent of heart centered on true love, and Adam and Eve are the horizontal physical parents. If the Heavenly Parent and earthly Parents had united and become one, and then had sons and daughters, no one born on earth would need a religion. Everyone would naturally go straight to God’s kingdom. Heaven and humankind would be united. (CSG, 96)[10]

In other words, creation is based on resemblance, and the core resemblance in creation is between God whose essence is duality and human beings who were created male and female. This is what it means to be created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27). God is one single united being, yet God’s image in creation is two: man and woman. Moreover, since the essence of God is seen in God’s parental love for the human beings as God’s sons and daughters, human beings achieve complete resemblance with God when they take on the role of parents and raise their own children. This also would have been the condition for perfect love between God and humankind, where the inner harmony between God’s masculine and feminine genders and human love between man and woman would entirely cohere. Such is the meaning of identifying God as the vertical Parent and Adam and Eve, the progenitors of humankind, as the horizontal Parents.

Had there been no Fall, the three of them—God, Adam and Eve—would have constituted the original Trinity. However, Adam and Eve failed to establish this resemblance.

Consequently God the vertical Parent has sought for a new set of human “horizontal parents” to manifest the fullness of God’s self within this Trinitarian structure. Jesus was the incarnation of God’s masculine Self, and he was to take a Bride as the incarnation of God’s feminine Self. Yet Jesus died on the cross before achieving this purpose. Then, with his resurrection, he began his spiritual mission, and for that he was given the Holy Spirit, a spiritual counterpart with feminine characteristics.  The resurrected Christ together with the Holy Spirit could re-establish with the vertical God a semblance of the original Trinity. Yet the fullness of the original Trinity in the flesh would have to await the return of Christ and his taking an earthly bride at the prophesied Marriage of the Lamb.[11] Thus, Rev. Moon conceived his mission in Trinitarian terms: to take a bride, conduct the Marriage of the Lamb, and establish the True Parents on earth in unity with the invisible Parent in heaven.

Rev. Moon saw the establishment of this Trinitarian union between the Heavenly Parent and earthly parents as the foundation for uniting spirit and flesh, heaven and earth. Until now, there has been a huge diremption between religion—the life of the spirit—and day-to-day life—life in the flesh. This has led to untold human suffering as people’s hopes and ideals, conceived in the mind of God and communicated to the human conscience, have been continually dashed by the realities of hatred, betrayal and violence. Although Christianity correctly places the root cause of this diremption at the Human Fall, Rev. Moon’s theology clarifies exactly what went wrong and how it disrupted the original Trinitarian relationship between God and humankind.

Rev. Moon discovered that the Fall disrupted the core experience by which the divine Parent and earthly parents were to become one in love.[12] This is the moment sexual union, the very moment of conception where parents’ love and God’s creative power come together to create new life. Conjugal union was to be the moment when God’s dual characteristics completely participated in the love-making of man and woman, uniting divine love with human love in all its dimensions.

Where do God’s absolute love and human beings’ absolute love meet? …It is where the sexual organs unite on the wedding night. Did you ever think about meeting God there?

Where else would you unite with Him? If the base on which the absolute God can settle and base for the ideal love that Adam and Eve desire are not the same base but two different ones, then there would be two different directions and purposes for love. This would mean that human beings could never form a relationship with God’s absolute love, and consequently it would be wrong to say that God created for the sake of love.

Is that not the place where our existence began? Men and women are born there. They did not come into being through kissing, did they? Therefore, would it not be desirable for the male and female sexual organs to unite absolutely? Do husbands and wives long to unite absolutely or moderately? To receive God’s love through that organ, a woman needs to stand in the position where she attends not only her husband, but also God spiritually. Externally, Adam’s sexual organ is his own, but internally, it is God’s. Externally, the woman’s sexual organ is Eve’s own but internally it is God’s. What is invisible is vertical, and what is visible is horizontal. That is how the vertical Parent and the horizontal parents attain oneness. (CSG 1734)

The Fall defiled the love of Adam and Eve’s conjugal union, and as a result human sexuality has careened into places of darkness having little to do with God’s love. Humankind lost the original ideal of sexuality, which was to be profound union with God.

Not only did the Fall sever the central human experience of love from God’s love, since God could not be fully present at the moment of the conception of new life, it separated God from the human lineage. This made that single event the original sin, because it was not limited to Adam and Eve’s single relationship but had far-reaching effects that have been inherited by their descendants ever since.  The resulting severing of spirit and flesh, mind and body, and God and the world has damaged the entire cosmos.

Human beings who sought to climb out of that hell and return to God advocated purity in various ways. If they were Roman Catholics they practiced abstinence, and if they were Jews or Muslims they circumcised the male organ as a way to give its ownership to God. Despite these efforts, they all fall short of God’s original ideal of love, which must be celebrated in a Trinitarian manner. The fullness of God’s love cannot be found by separating from the world or a celibate life, which only perpetuates the fundamental diremption. It can be found only by recovering God’s presence in the core activity of human life that is generative of family and linage. 

Thus, Rev. Moon’s soteriology is Trinitarian. It defines the goal of salvation as the restoration of the original wholeness of creation. And it declares that the starting-point for this wholeness is the original Trinity of God the vertical Parent with True Parents as horizontal parents. By establishing their union as the God-centered True Parents and securing that position on every level from family and tribe to the world and cosmos, Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han made it their mission to establish that Trinitarian starting-point. 

The salvation that arises from that starting-point requires that human beings be reborn as the direct children of God.  As Christian rebirth is effected by the operation of the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rebirth as God’s direct children is effected by the operation of this more substantial Trinity—the vertical Parent and the horizontal True Parents:

Only when the vertical Parent and the horizontal parents harmoniously join together centered on true love can this, the place of convergence of firmly established love, become the origin of life and the connection to God’s lineage. People born from that place are sons and daughters born in God’s love, who can live for eternity with God’s lineage. (CSG 791-92)

The “place of convergence of firmly established love” is the True Parents in their oneness with God the vertical Parent. The rebirth they offer, through the Holy Marriage Blessing, enables couples joined in matrimony to become true parents and participate in that Trinity. The Blessing removes the original sin and engrafts the couple into God’s direct lineage. For Blessed couples there is no essential impediment to God fully participating in their conjugal and family life. This salvation, rebirth into God’s lineage, is freely offered to all humankind.


Trinitarian Christology: Oneness of God and True Parents

The Trinitarian union of God the vertical Parent and the human True Parents is also the basis for understanding Christology—the union of the divine and the human in True Parents. Since God has two genders, no individual of one gender can incarnate the full image of God. This means Jesus as the male Messiah is not the full incarnation of God, but can be only a partial incarnation. It takes True Parents as a couple to fully embody God in the flesh. In keeping with this, Rev. Moon understood that the core of Jesus’ unfinished mission was to take a wife and establish True Parents.

Accordingly, when Rev. Moon began his ministry as the Lord of the Second Advent in 1945, his first order of business was to fulfill Jesus’ unfinished mission by taking a Bride and holding the Holy Wedding in 1960. This inaugurated one couple on earth as the True Parents; yet to fully manifest the divine image they had to reach the level of perfection where they could fully unite with God the vertical Parent. First they went through a course to perfect True Parents on the family level, celebrated by the inauguration of God’s Day on January 1, 1968. Yet Jesus’ mission was more than to perfect his own family; it was to establish the Kingdom of God throughout the world. God’s sovereignty must reach the world; the world is God’s object of governance and care; hence for True Parents to become the embodiments of God they too would need to reach that far. Since humankind had long since multiplied into millions of people on earth, Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han in their position as True Parents would need to reach the level of world-wide recognition and acceptance.

Thus, Rev. and Mrs. Moon worked to expand the scope of their work, first throughout Korea and then worldwide, going through what he termed the eight stages: individual, family, tribe, people, nation, world, cosmos (heaven and earth) and God.[13] Each of these levels was represented by a Marriage Blessing. Thus the Blessing of 36 couples represented the family level, the Blessing of 72 couples represented Jesus’ tribe, and the Blessing of 430 couples represented the people of Korea with their 4300-year history. Since this was a course for True Parents to walk together, Mother participated at each level; for example by making speaking tours to 120 nations. Concurrently True Parents officiated at ever-larger Blessing ceremonies, including the Blessing of 400 million couples on earth and Blessings of millions of couples in the spirit world. By 1997, having completed all of this work up to the cosmic level (cosmos means heaven and earth), True Parents declared that they are the “Parents of Heaven and Earth.”[14]

True Parents completed this ascent prior to the Coronation of God’s Kingship on January 13, 2001. Two years later, on February 6, 2003, True Parents celebrated their Holy Wedding for a second time. This event was the “Enthronement Ceremony of the Parent of the Cosmos and the Parents of Heaven and Earth Who Reign over the Blessed Families as the King and Queen of Peace and Unity,” where Rev. Moon declared the unity of the Parent of the Cosmos (God) and the Parents of Heaven and Earth (True Parents). In other words, their union as husband and wife on earth was now on a higher level—totally one with the incorporeal God who is sovereign over the universe. At that point, True Parents as man and woman stood in the central position to represent the incorporeal God on earth. The three positions—God the Parent of the Cosmos, and Father and Mother as the Parents of Heaven and Earth—had become one. 

In many of his late speeches Rev. Moon referred to True Parents as the “embodiment” (shilchae) of God, literally the “substantial being” of God. Yet it should be clear from the above that the basis of their embodiment is not a simplistic identity, as if Rev. and Mrs. Moon were made of some kind of divine substance, but rather oneness in heart and love, position and authority. It takes nothing away from their humanity. Hence, their union with God is fully in accord with the Creedal statement that Christ is “fully God and fully human.”

Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). If so, then what kind of God do we see in True Parents? If God’s embodiment is Father and Mother together as True Parents, then the nature of God the Parent must also be as both Father and Mother.

In this regard, the Korean language is helpful because it does not normally distinguish between singular and plural. Its word for parent, or parents, is the same: bu-mo (부모), composed of the words father (bu, 부) and mother (mo, 모). In English we typically distinguish singular and plural in translation, thus when bumo refers to God we translate in the singular: jongjeogin bumo (종적인 부모) is “vertical Parent,” haneul bumo (하늘 부모) is “Heavenly Parent,” etc.; while when bumo refers to earthly parents we translate in the plural, thus cham bumo (참부모) is “True Parents.” Both “parent” and “parents” fit within the ambiguity of the Korean language. The decision of singular and plural is an artifact of English, because when it comes to God we wish to maintain the divine unity. Nevertheless, the term bumo itself contains within it two positions: father and mother.

In sum, we have seen based on the teachings in the Cheon Seong Gyeong that God is essentially a being of dual genders who is manifest in creation as the True Parents. The unity of God and True Parents, the vertical and the horizontal, is the fundamental foundation for fulfilling God’s purpose of creation. Its structural integrity depends on the fact that God is a being of dual genders having masculinity and femininity as the Heavenly Parent.


Heavenly Parent in Wolli Wonbon

Reverend Moon’s first manuscript of the Divine Principle is titled Wolli Wonbon (원리원본) or The Original Text of the Divine Principle. According to Jin-Choon Kim, former president of Cheongshim Graduate School of Theology, Rev. Moon began writing Wolli Wonbon at the end of April 1951, just a few months after he arrived in Pusan following his escape from North Korea. According to an official history,

Around the end of April 1951, during the six months while Rev. Moon was staying at Mr. Kim [Won-pil]’s home, a special event took place. One day Rev. Moon started writing Wolli Wonbon. He titled the first section, “From the One to All Beings.” This was the beginning of the Divine Principle on earth.[15]

Despite the historical importance of this work, to date it has not been published, either in Korean or in English. Difficulties in understanding its condensed and complex thought, as well as deciphering the script which in some places is faded and in other places covered with corrections, has made the publication of Wolli Wonbon a forbidding task. The Unification Theological Seminary library was able to obtain a photocopy of the original manuscript, written in Rev. Moon’s own handwriting and consisting of some 695 pages.

We also obtained a photocopy of the handwritten copy made by Won Pil Kim, but it is only 185 pages long and is missing numerous sections. Efforts to transcribe and translate these manuscripts began in 2003 and are ongoing.

It is evident that Wolli Wonbon is not merely an early draft Exposition of the Divine Principle but a far greater work. Much of it is concerned with the Principle of Creation, or as it is phrases it, “the Principle of the Ideal,” and its coverage of topics in the Principle of Creation is far beyond what is found in Exposition. Wolli Wonbon spends nearly twenty pages discussing universal prime energy, in contrast to Exposition which devotes only one paragraph to its description and less than a page to explaining its action. Another topic elucidated in great detail is the Principle of the Object Partner, which Exposition condenses into one short paragraph called the “Three Object Purpose” (EDP, 25). Then there are scientific topics, including evolution, gravitation, formation of the solar system, electricity and magnetism.  It also includes an extensive critique of Marxist dialectical materialism, which would become the nucleus for Sang Hun Lee’s writings on the subject. Also, and a propos our topic, there is considerable emphasis on the genders within God and God’s position as Heavenly Parent—Heavenly Mother as well as Heavenly Father.


The God of Dual Genders

Wolli Wonbon in its treatment of God discusses the dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity, which it calls the two “genders” of God. There is no mention of God as having the dual characteristics of Internal Character (sungsang) and External Form (hyungsang).  That God is a being of dual genders is a major theme from the very outset. The God of gender made the creation to exhibit gender, thus:

God is the One Being, but exists with dual genders.… The creation, the cosmos, is where God’s attribute of dual genders, namely masculinity and femininity, or positivity and negativity, unfolds as individual beings from the infinitely small to the infinitely large. This is the actual state of the cosmos, and it can be seen in the arising of all things everywhere. This is evidence in natural law that all beings were set up by the Will of the Origin. (6-7)[16]

Human beings were created in separate genders, divided from God’s dual genders, so that they can unite in perfect love and dwell in joy. When a man and woman unite in love there comes to be a complete correspondence between God’s love and human love, bringing perfection to both:

When God created human beings, He expressed Himself by dividing His genders—male and female, or yang and yin. God created them this way to have them dwell in perfection through their give-and-receive action with each other. (26)

God wants human beings to have perfect love. For this reason, He gives each person an object partner of the opposite sex and wants to express His precious love to each person through their partner. When a man and a woman give and receive such love in oneness of heart and body, then in heaven the genders of God’s love—masculine and feminine—completely manifest the form of God’s Principle of Creation. That is when God can finally bestow His infinite love upon human beings as He has purposed. (31-32)

The division of God’s dual genders into man and woman and their subsequent unity in conjugal love is as much for God’s ideal of love as it is for human love:

God created human beings in order to realize His ideal of utmost love. That is why God, who exists as harmonious duality, manifested Himself by dividing His original form into male and female when He created human beings and all things. God divided His own genders because He wanted to realize His utmost love through them. (36)


God’s Genders Manifest in Creation as Trinity

In a fascinating section called “The Principle of the Ideal from the Perspective of God’s Duality of Creation and Its Restoration,” we have a discussion of the Trinity explicitly named as such and identified as the unity of God, man and woman. We can see in this explanation a precursor to Exposition of the Divine Principle’s concept of the four-position foundation, which had not yet been elaborated when Wolli Wonbon was written. The duality of God is manifested as genders in the creation so that in their conjugal union they can “realize God’s duality together.”

I am supposed to become a perfect object partner to God, and at the same time to fully accomplish the same with my partner of the opposite gender. When I do this in union with the Original Being, I move in an orbit with the positions of a trinity: God, my object partner and myself. This is what is meant by the duality-principle in the creation. (342)

To understand this, first we must grasp the unique meaning of “object partner” in Wolli Wonbon. The term “subject partner” is nowhere to be found; hence an object partner is not a position that one takes in relation to a subject partner, as is the case in Exposition.  It is not about the order or hierarchy of relative positions. Rather, in Wolli Wonbon the concept of object partner (daesang, 대상) speaks to the quality of a relationship with the other where there is unity in heart and purpose. Its contrasting element is counterpart (sangdae, 상대), which signifies the position in a relation¬ship where unity of heart and purpose is lacking or not yet attained. Simply to take a position to relate with another is to become a counterpart. Likewise, that other to whom you are relating is your counterpart. Then, as the two counterparts give and receive and come into unity, they rise from counterparts to become object partners. 

A typical example is the journey from engagement to marriage. When the young man and young woman first meet and are attracted to each other, they engage in giving and receiving but each on his or her own terms, as counterparts. But after they commit to one another in marriage, as they grow together as husband and wife sharing the same purpose and placing their partner’s happiness ahead of their own, they become object partners to one another.

When we find a counterpart, we begin to fulfill the purposes desired by both parties, although centering on ourselves. Yet this begins an action to whose purpose is to form an object partner relationship with the other, in which we no longer center on ourselves.

Therefore, once we find someone to be our counterpart, we seek to be qualified to become his or her object partner. Thus, a counterpart is a beginning position, but to be an object partner is to move beyond the stage of pursuing one’s purpose centering on oneself to the stage of fulfilling it centering on the other.

Accordingly, all beings want to have someone or something in the position of their object partner, as the measure of their own happiness. A person who does not have a counterpart cannot manifest the value of his or her existence. It is because only by having a counterpart can we advance from the position of its counterpart to the position of its object partner. The more we do so, the more we manifest our value and expand our circle in a world of happiness. (340)

It is incumbent upon every individual to find a partner. Then it is incumbent for each partner to make effort to become the other’s object partner, and also to strive to win the heart of the other and make that person his or her object partner. Being an object partner and having object partners gives value and meaning to our life. It is through such object partner relationships that human beings find happiness.

By the same token, this principle requires that we establish a relationship with God whose quality also should not be merely as a counterpart but as an object partner. This leads us beyond simple faith in God to provide, to wanting to know God’s heart and purpose. God is not so distant and inscrutable that we cannot know His heart because we are created to become His object partners.

To become God’s object partners, we should manifest His likeness:

In this regard, every existing being needs to establish the relationship of object partner to the Original Ideal Existence, as likenesses that reflect His ideal state. This is an absolute requirement. (340-341)

A man by himself or a woman by herself is may be an object partner to God to some extent (although Wolli Wonbon advocates for the importance of following one’s conscience, it does not discuss resemblance to God in Exposition’s terms of the mind-body duality of sungsang and hyungsang), but not completely because his or her oneness with God is not complete. Since God is a being of dual genders, an individual by him or herself cannot fully manifest the value of God’s object partner. This is only possible as a couple, because when they fulfill an object partner relation¬ship with someone of the opposite gender they can become “likenesses that reflect the ideal state” of the God of dual genders.

In terms that prefigure Exposition’s concept of the four-position foundation, Wolli Wonbon declares that a Trinitarian relationship—God, man and woman—must be established as the “foundation” for human beings to fulfill the Principle of Creation:

Every human being must reach perfection as an individual by taking the position of an object partner to God. Further, he or she must relate with someone else in the position of his or her counterpart on the physical plane and fulfill the purpose to become another object partner, this time to an actual person. Then, the person and the object partner take a path together, positioned as if on a circular orbit. This is how human beings can be in accord with their original value as God’s object partners.

In other words, I am supposed to become a perfect object partner to God, and at the same time to fully accomplish the same with my partner of the opposite gender. When I do this in union with the Original Being, I move in an orbit with the positions of a trinity: God, my object partner and myself…

Therefore, each of us must first direct our body based on our conscience. Next, each man must choose a counterpart of the opposite gender and make her his object partner; they must unite conjugally in order to become totally one. This is what is required to take the track of the Original Principle.

This is the foundation for manifesting the Principle of Creation, the foundation upon which God can dwell. To realize this foundation is the highest ideal a human being can attain…. This is the peak of the Principle. It is where everything is fulfilled, and it is the basis upon which everything begins: happiness, joy, and more. (342)

Phrases like “the track of the Original Principle” and “the peak of the Principle” indicate that the godly union of man and woman is the purpose to which the Principle is pointing. Indeed it was so in 1951, when the most important mission in True Father’s life was to find his Bride and establish the four-position foundation. Although the latter terminology wasn’t developed, we have the terms “foundation” and “foundational point” with the same meaning:

An individual who establishes this foundational point centering on the Original Being starts out as a counterpart and then perfects him or herself as an object partner to someone of the opposite sex. It is on this foundation that he or she establishes the track of the Principle and, together with his or her object partner, fulfills the purpose of the Principle. In that position they manifest the fundamental Principle of Creation, which is good. There they become a foundational point of happiness, where they can realize God’s duality together. (345)

What comes into focus here is that the four-position foundation, conventionally diagrammed as God, man, woman and children, logically originates from the duality within God. God having dual genders is the reason the creation manifests as dual genders. God’s dual genders manifesting in creation naturally prompt men and women to form conjugal relationships with a counterpart of the opposite sex and grow to become object partners to one another.  Moreover, the logic of the Principle implies that for people to become fully the object partners to God, who is of dual genders, they need to be living in conjugal relationships. It is in giving and receiving love with one’s spouse that one is in a position to fully resemble God and understand the love and heart of God.


God as Heavenly Parent—Heavenly Father and Mother

In Wolli Wonbon, the principle that God is the union of the two genders naturally leads to the identification of God as Heavenly Parent, and more, to distinguishing within God’s parental position the dual aspects of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Let us look at some of the relevant passages.

Our original Father is the Eternal Father. He is looking for us because He loves us. When we come to know this Being and attend Him as our Father, and likewise when we know this Being and attend Her as our Mother, that is the time when the ideal of re-creation will commence on earth. We must know when this time is. We must have the experience of finding our Father and Mother once and for all. (55-56)

Just as most people have two parents, a father and a mother, God the Heavenly Parent has two aspects as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

Wolli Wonbon states that knowing God as our Father and Mother is the gateway to knowing the fullness of God’s love—as divine fatherly love and divine motherly love. It can open us to be receptive to the love that God wishes to give us in both genders

That we have not known God as both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother is an indication that our relationship to God has been imperfect and our connection to God’s love has been incomplete. Wolli Wonbon laments that humankind’s insensibility to God as both our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother has been a source of tremendous pain and bitterness to God. Even the progress that Jesus made in bringing to light that God is our Father only brought humankind part-way towards resolving this problem. God the Father is deeply pained that people do not know God the Mother, because it means that human beings do not really know God and cannot fully become children of God. It stakes out Rev. Moon’s mission and responsibility to resolve this problem:

We human beings must know why throughout human history we have related to God only as our Father and not as our Mother. We have not even thought about why God had to become the Father, but not the Mother. Further, we have not even considered that the fundamental meaning of God is as our Parent—our Father and Mother. How can we even fathom the pain and bitterness of God the Father, who has had to face such children? Human beings have endured all manner of suffering throughout history, yet still they do not grasp this fundamental issue, which is at the root of their difficulties. What a tragedy! 

God must be inaugurated as the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Only then can we begin the ideal family as God’s children… The one who will have to realize this ideal on earth is the Lord of the Second Advent. (278)

This last statement speaks directly to the Enthronement Ceremony for the Kingship of God, which True Parents held on January 13, 2001. At that ceremony two white thrones were employed, representing Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Fifty years earlier in Wolli Wonbon, Rev. Moon already envisioned such a ceremony, bringing God into His/Her complete manifestation on earth as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.


Attending God as Heavenly Parent and Attending Our Earthly Parents

Wolli Wonbon explicitly discusses what it means to relate to God as our Heavenly Parent. It links what is expected in our relationship to God, our Heavenly Parent, with the standard of filial piety to our earthly parents. Here we need to reckon with Rev. Moon’s deep roots in Korea’s Confucian culture. As a boy he was raised at the feet of the village schoolmaster in his hometown of Jeongju with the ethic of hyo, filial piety. However, in learning the Principle he came to realize that the ultimate basis for the ethic of filial piety to our earthly parents is because they manifest the image of God the Heavenly Parent, and as such are His representatives:

In order to unite with God, we must accept that God is our Heavenly Parent, and that the way to return to God’s bosom is by filial attendance to Him. This is how we can fulfill the Principle of the Ideal of Creation, ideal goodness.

Also, we human beings who exist in the flesh have our physical parents as the image of the Heavenly Parent, the being in the first position. When these physical parents stand in front of the Will and attend the Heavenly Parent with all of their sincerity, their children should unite with their own parents as if one body. This is the fundamental viewpoint of the Principle of Creation.

It is because we must honor our physical parents as representing our Heavenly Parent according to the Principle of Creation that we must be filial to our own parents. The root of the Confucian teaching of filial piety is thus based on the Principle. (364)

This way of reasoning places a condition on the parents, that they be worthy of their children’s attendance because they are truly attending God “with all of their sincerity” in order to properly represent Him. The fact that many earthly parents do not so attend God presents a flaw in Confucian ethics that opens the door to abuse. Nevertheless, the advent of the True Parents allows for the restoration of true filial attendance. For the first generation of converts to the Unification Church, it meant attendance to True Parents in lieu of their physical parents, who often disapproved of their religious choice. Even so, as the world progresses towards the original ideal, everyone must reckon with their obligation to be filial to their parents.

Thus, Wolli Wonbon sees that the purpose for maintaining the Confucian ethic of filial piety down through history was to prepare for the time of the Second Advent, when it would be perfectly fulfilled: “God has been educating human beings throughout history with the Three Bonds[17] by Confucius… because they would be helpful for fulfilling this point of the Principle of Creation at this time.” (364-65) It envisions that in God’s ideal of creation, when all families are living by the Principle, God the Heavenly Parent, our earthly parents, and we as their adult children will be on the same line, each manifesting God’s duality of male and female, husband and wife:

Heavenly Parent, physical parents, and their children as husband and wife are to unite in inseparable oneness and manifest the ideal form of object partners, as partners of God’s duality of creation. This is the original Principle of Creation. (365)


Loving One’s Spouse to Manifest God’s Gendered Self as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother

According to Wolli Wonbon, it is in married couples that God’s dual genders as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother become fully manifest. Each husband is a “second self” of Heavenly Father, and each wife is a “second self” of Heavenly Mother. It is the basis for a passage on the duties of husbands and wives that is comparable to Ephesians 5:21-33:

Husbands! In order to receive love from God, your first duty is to stand before Him as a person of beauty. When you receive God’s love, return beauty to Him and attain goodness. Next, stand as “love” before your wife, your second object partner, while representing God in the position of the Father of love. Only if you do that will you become a man of the Principle, who is qualified to have dominion over your wife.

Wives! Manifest beauty when relating to your husband who treats you in that way. Thereby, as the second self who represents Mother God, in oneness of love with your husband, perfect the second goodness and create the original circuit of goodness. Only then will you realize ideal goodness.

In this way, a couple represents Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, and each spouse, standing as an object partner, is extremely precious to the other. Each respects and attends the other as they would Heavenly Father and Mother. The children of such couples will be honored as Heaven’s children, for they manifest the image of the Original Being, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Since children represent their father and mother who love each other, their parents regard them as precious. (368)

This passage is noteworthy in several respects. First, just as the Principle grounds the Confucian notion of filial piety described above based on the parents’ position to represent God, here the traditional obligation of a wife to be faithful and supportive to her husband is grounded in the husband’s obligation to stand with God.  Hence, the first duty of a husband is to receive God’s love and return the “beauty” of devotion to God and obedience to His Will.[18] The goodness generated by that circuit of giving and receiving with God then makes him a “man of the Principle who is qualified to have dominion over his wife.”

Second, the giving of love and the returning of beauty denotes a specific order: from God to the man and from the man to the woman. Implicit here are the positions of subject partner and object partner as described in Exposition of the Divine Principle, even though the term “subject partner” is not used in the text. Beauty is returned from the objective position in the form of filial piety to one’s parents, loyalty to one’s superior, and fidelity to one’s husband. Yet it is significant that Wolli Wonbon makes the quality of relationship—the giving of love and returning of beauty—the governing principle, rather than the positions that do the relating.

Third, this text explicitly refers to Mother God, Heavenly Mother. Every woman is called a “second self who represents Mother God.” There is an implication, though unstated, that she has established herself in her relationship with Heavenly Mother prior to relating to her husband. Due to her direct relationship with Heavenly Mother, she can manifest the quality of beauty to her husband that will enable her to “perfect the second goodness,” the first goodness being her husband’s goodness in his relationship to Heavenly Father.  In this way, the husband and wife “create the original circuit of goodness” centered on the love of God that manifests through them both.

The passage concludes by describing the ideal quality of love between husband, wife and children, which stems from the love of God whose fundamental nature is as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, and as the Parent of humankind. Thus, it states that a husband should attend his wife bearing in mind that she represents Heavenly Mother, and the wife should attend her husband always bearing in mind that he represents Heavenly Father. Each spouse should cherish the other, very much aware of God dwelling in him or her. Likewise, they should cherish their children, whom they created out of their love. Echoing Genesis 1:27, they should cherish their sons and daughters because they manifest the image of God, “Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.”

Family roles are one thing, but Wolli Wonbon does not apportion all public responsibility to Heavenly Father and the sons who manifest His nature, while limiting God the Mother’s role and the missions of Her daughters only to the private sphere of family and child-rearing. As the Heavenly Parent of the whole universe, God calls His/Her children of both genders to take up public missions. It is a call coming from the heart of both genders of the Godhead:

Heaven’s purpose is to build up the entire world into the ideal nation, where there are no distinctions among peoples because united with Heaven they are all brothers and sisters.  Therefore, believers who know the Principle are responsible to make effort until the entire world fulfills this purpose. We are called to missions for this purpose by our Heavenly Father and Mother. In order to become His, Her filial children and loyal subjects, we must do our best to accomplish our missions. (583)

This implies that just as men receive love from God as Heavenly Father and return beauty in order to attain goodness, women are meant to receive love from God as Heavenly Mother, understand the Will through Her, and then return beauty to Her and attain goodness. If we recast the language for husbands, “representing God in the position of the Father of love,” in the above passage from p. 368, it means that women too may establish their own circuits of love and beauty directly with God to “represent God in the position of the Mother of love.”


The Perfection of God as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother

Rev. Moon in Wolli Wonbon teaches that that this complete manifestation of God as Heavenly Parent, having distinct persons as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, is linked to the appearance of True Parents, who are God’s embodiments on earth. It will only happen when the Lord of the Second Advent brings the era of restoration to a close. That is because the Fall was the failure to achieve a perfect loving union between God and Adam and Eve. As result the cosmos was made doubly imperfect: human beings have been unable to become true parents, and God has been unable to fully manifest to human beings as Heavenly Parent. Indeed, the fact that humankind has known God only as Heavenly Father and not as Heavenly Mother is an indication that we are still imperfect. Consider this striking statement:

The perfection of the whole can only begin when God and human beings are united as one body. However, this purpose was not realized due to the Fall. As a result, although the primary goal of the Original Will for the creation was that God be the Heavenly Parent, thus far He has been only Heavenly Father. Hence we must consider that the purpose of creation is not yet complete….

As long as God remains as only the Heavenly Father in relation to human beings, it means they are not yet fully mature. It means that God’s purpose according to the Principle, which He intended to realize by uniting with the first human couple on earth in body centering on His love, has yet to be realized. It means that the Heavenly Parent and the earthly parents are not yet established.

As a result of the Fall, Heavenly Parent was rendered imperfect. Parents on earth as well have faced an unprincipled state of existence. The fact that God still remains only as the Heavenly Father to us human beings is an indication of our present condition: we are still as immature as at the time of Creation. (631-632)

God’s condition of imperfection is regarding His position as the Heavenly Parent of human beings, not regarding His position as the Creator of the universe by the perfect Principle. But God never intended to remain only as the God of the Principle; His purpose has always been to be our Heavenly Parent. His purpose has always been to participate in loving union with His earthly embodiments, perfected Adam and Eve.

Perfection was to have begun at that original point—when perfected Adam and Eve become one with God in love. God was to have participated in that loving union, forging an eternal connection of love. Then as human Parents they would resonate in perfect oneness with God as Heavenly Parent. This is what Wolli Wonbon terms the “Origin,” the original point of creation. In the language of Exposition of the Divine Principle, it is the point of establishing the four-position foundation. To “perfect the Origin” means to fulfill the four-position foundation for the first time.

The perfect human beings, Adam and Eve… must become one with God in body, and by so doing, inaugurate the perfection of God as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. In other words, they must perfect the Origin. (632)

Wolli Wonbon declares that with Adam and Eve’s perfection will also emerge the perfection of God. It is the Origin point where God emerges from just the Creator to being the Heavenly Parent to His children, who relate to both genders of God. The same point is made in the Cheon Seong Gyeong:

Originally, when Adam reached perfection, the Heavenly Father would be perfected, and when Eve reached perfection, the Heavenly Mother would be perfected. (CSG, 294)

It goes without saying that a key mission of the True Parents has been to re-create the perfected Adam and Eve and thereby establish the Origin point of creation, which was not done at the time of the first Adam and Eve.  What is less commonly recognized is that the emergence of the True Parents also brings about the emergence of the Heavenly Parent.

Wolli Wonbon indicates the profound correspondence between the True Parents and the Heavenly Parent with the ambiguous term Haneul Bumo (하늘  부모), which depending on the context can mean either “Heavenly Parent”—God, or “the Parents from Heaven”—True Parents.  Consider the following passage:

God purposed that human beings become ideal husbands and wives, and we can only become people who fulfill this fundamental purpose when we are united with the Parents from Heaven [True Parents]. However, because the Parents from Heaven were not established, human beings thus far, whether in heaven or on earth, are imperfect. Accordingly, it is natural that they do not have ideal object partners. Therefore, at the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, the fulfillment of Heaven’s Will requires that we attend the Parents from Heaven. Then, people on earth who attend the Parents from Heaven can be perfected as eternal husbands and wives. (632-633)

Translating Haneul Bumo as “Parents from Heaven,” meaning True Parents, seems to be the meaning that the text calls for. Yet it would not be wrong to translate it “Heavenly Parent,” because in the absence of True Parents can be no perfection for God as Heavenly Parent. The close connection between True Parents and God the Heavenly Parent continues in Rev. Moon’s speeches and proclamations throughout his life, as was already touched upon in the Christological discussion, above.

Why is Wolli Wonbon so much more explicit about elucidating the nature of God as Heavenly Parent than Exposition of the Divine Principle?  First, Wolli Wonbon was written as a complete blueprint of the Principle. It was not for public consumption, but as an internal guide to senior members of the church. Therefore, it did not mince words about the Principle or the purpose of the Lord of the Second Advent in order to meet Christian sensibilities. Exposition of the Divine Principle, on the other hand, was written as a teaching textbook for Christians. Therefore it used measured language meant to convince its audience and left out more “advanced” concepts that Christians would find off-putting. The notion of God as Heavenly Mother would have fallen into that category.

Second, when Rev. Moon wrote Wolli Wonbon in 1951, he still conceived the possibility that significant leaders of Korean Christianity would receive him fully as the Lord of the Second Advent. It was prior to the beginning of the 40-year “wilderness course,” from 1954-1994. Hence he would have felt free to provide a complete explanation of the Lord of the Second Advent’s purposes from beginning to end. However, once the rejection of Christianity became fixed, Rev. Moon established the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity as a church that could represent faithful Christianity. It was during this period that Exposition of the Divine Principle was written as a text for evangelism and instruction within the context of HSA-UWC. This is another reason why Exposition presents only a limited expression of the Principle that avoids transgressing Christian norms of expression for God.

In conclusion, Wolli Wonbon is explicit in stating that the Christian concept of God only as Heavenly Father is incomplete.  Yet even though God would wish that humankind knew Him/Her as Heavenly Mother as well as Heavenly Father, that concept could not really emerge into human consciousness until the establishment of True Mother on earth.

This insight can give a better appreciation of True Father’s task to find and establish True Mother. Anticipated here are Father’s efforts to find and establish True Mother at the Holy Wedding on April 11, 1960 and then to erect her in the highest position at the Coronation of the King of the Blessed Families in the Peace and Unity of the Cosmic True Parent and the True Parents of Heaven and Earth on February 6, 2003. The following passage speaks to this effort:

God’s earnest desire is to realize this purpose, the completion of the Origin. Therefore, to this day He is seeking for the Mother. There must be a Mother from Heaven as well as a Father from Heaven, because there are earthly fathers and mothers. Only when the Mother from Heaven is established can God become the Original Being and can the earth become the second being, His object partner. This is in accord with what God revealed in the Bible, that the earth is a shadow of heaven (Heb. 8:5).  Yet it is here on earth that the entire Principle must be fulfilled. (633)

Thus, the record of Rev. Moon’s usage of the term Heavenly Parent to refer to God is well attested in his words and in his theology. He consistently conceives of the divine-human relationship in terms of a Trinitarian structure rooted in God’s dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity, reflected in and revealed by the perfection of True Parents on earth.  In particular, Wolli Wonbon, which he wrote at the very beginning of his ministry, provides a comprehensive explanation of his core theology of God as both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.



[1] Douglas Burton and Lymha Kim, “Hak Ja Han: Address God as ‘Heavenly Parents,’” FFWPU website, January 8, 2013., accessed May 22, 2015.

[2] Yejin Moon, the eldest daughter, wrote a ringing endorsement; see Yejin Moon, “God as the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother,” Applied Unificationism, January 20, 2014; On the other side, Hyungjin Moon, the youngest son and claimant to the throne, initially adopted the term Heavenly Parent; see “True Parents are Offering Tearful Devotions, February 17, 2013; However, since founding the Sanctuary Church he has instructed his followers to address God as Heavenly Father; see Richard Panzer, “8 Key Differences between FFWPU and Hyung Jin Moon’s Unification Sanctuary,” April 18, 2015; Hyunjin Moon, the eldest surviving son, continues to speak of God as Heavenly Father; see “Letter to All Blessed Central Families on the Meaning of Foundation Day,” February 6, 2013;

[3] Cheon Seong Gyeong: Selections from the Speeches of True Parents (Seoul: Sunghwa Publishing Co., 2008) translated from the 2006 Korean edition. [CSG] Many of the same passages are found in the 2014 edition, translated from the 2013 Korean text that was revised under Mrs. Moon’s auspices.

[4] Cf. CSG, pp. 96, 1194, 1470, 2141, and 2523.

[5] Cheon Seong Gyeong: An Anthology of True Parents’ Teachings (Seoul: Seonghwa Publications, 2014).

[6] Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: HSA-UWC, 1996), p. 19.

[7] Exposition, p. 18

[8] See “History of the Holy Songs of the Unification Church,” Blessed Family Department USA, 2007., accessed April 16, 2015. Among the 40 major holy songs, 10 are traditional Christian hymns or Korean songs. Most were composed in the 1950s; only two were composed after 1960. Interestingly, neither of those contains the words “Heavenly Father.”

[9] Korean does not employ pronouns that distinguish gender, so the use of “He,” “His,” and “Himself” as pronouns for God is an artifact of translation into English, which has yet to develop a vocabulary adequate to the task of representing God who is both masculine and feminine. Although this translation conventionally signifies God the Creator by the masculine singular pronoun “He,” it should not be taken as imputing that God’s gender is masculine.

[10] Other passages from the Cheon Seong Gyeong:

What is our hope? God is the vertical parent, and Adam and Eve, the horizontal parents. We should be the sons and daughters who can receive love at the point where the vertical and horizontal parents can be one and rejoice. (180; cf. 1730)

Originally, human beings, as horizontal parents, were supposed to make a joyful beginning of love with God as the vertical parent. (236)

The term True Parents means God as the vertical parent and True Parents as the horizontal parents. God, the vertical parent representing the spirit world, and True Parents, the horizontal parents representing the physical world, are united into one. These worlds are united through true love. The core essence of these two worlds is True Parents. (937)

God is standing in the position of the vertical Parent (413, 598, 732, 962)

Once you establish a horizontal position that can represent the vertical Parent centering on God’s love, Satan is eliminated. That is the realm of direct dominion. (1111)

What kind of God does the Unification Church speak about? We say that He is the vertical Parent of true love. (1135, 1512)

Externally, Adam’s sexual organ is his own, but internally, it is God’s. Externally, the woman’s sexual organ is also Eve’s but it is His internally. What is invisible is vertical, and what is visible is horizontal. That is how the vertical Parent and the horizontal parents attain oneness. (1734) Cf. CSG, pp. 821, 1414, 1512, 1518, 1550, 1729, 1735, 1740, 2247, 2281, 2418, 2448 and 2535.

[11] Jesus also alluded to this marriage in the parables of the marriage feast, Matt. 22:1-10 and the wise and foolish bridesmaids, Matt. 25:1-13.

[12] See Pledge 8, “the ideal of God and human beings united in love.”

[13] CSG, pp. 1181-84

[14] Chil Pal Jeol on August 9, 1997 (7.7 by the lunar calendar) was the day of declaration of the “Realm of the Cosmic Sabbath of the Parents of Heaven and Earth;” see CSG, pp. 1326, 1395, 1397.

[15] Jin-choon Kim, “A Study in the Formation and History of the Unification Principle,” Journal of Unification Studies 2 (1998): 54.

[16] Refers to page numbers of the original manuscript

[17] The Three Bonds delineates the responsibility of the minister to serve his king, the son to attend his father, and the wife to be faithful to her husband.

[18] This follows the traditional Confucian concept of beauty as discussed in Exposition, in which the highest forms of beauty are children’s filial piety to their parents, a wife’s fidelity to her husband, and a subordinate’s loyalty to his ruler; see Exposition, p. 38.

God and the World: Advantages of the Unification Doctrine of God’s Dual Characteristics

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 16, 2015 - Pages 27-64

The Unification notion of God’s dual characteristics as presented here may initially sound unfamiliar to many, especially in the Christian tradition. As the present essay proceeds, however, it will gradually become apparent that this Unification notion was already present in the Judeo-Christian tradition in a profound way, even though it may not have been explicitly recognized due to the predominance throughout Christian history of what is called “classical theism.”[1] So, please bear with the rather unfamiliar terminology of Unification theism at least in the beginning.

According to Unification theism, God has the dual characteristics of Sungsang (original internal nature) and Hyungsang (original external form), which are the root causes of the dual characteristics of sungsang (internal nature) and hyungsang (external form) of each and every creature in the world. God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang are God’s mind and body, so to speak, similar to the mind and body of a human person, which are that person’s dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang. God also has another kind of dual characteristics, the dual characteristics of Yang (original masculinity) and Yin (original femininity), which are the root causes of the yang (masculinity) and yin (femininity) characteristics of creatures in the world. The relationship between the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang and the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin is that while the former are “direct” attributes of God, the latter are “indirect” attributes of God by being attributes of the former.[2]

Unification theism thus holds that God is “dipolar” primarily because of the dipolarity of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and secondarily because of that of Yang and Yin. This is what makes Unification theism quite different from classical theism, which teaches that God is “monopolar”[3] rather than “dipolar” because God is believed to be “pure act” (or “pure form”) devoid of any potentiality, and also because God is referred to only with masculine pronouns due to God’s masculine names such as Yahweh in Hebrew.

It can be surmised fairly easily from the above that Unification theism considers God and the world to be much closer to each other than classical theism does. The purpose of this essay is to show that Unification theism may be more advantageous than classical theism in explaining the close relationship of God and the world, because the world—which can already be understood to be dipolar due to its being composed of “form” and “matter” and also due to its possessing both masculine and feminine characteristics—resembles the dipolar God of Unification theism more than the monopolar God of classical theism.

Classical theism, which may not consider God and the world to be as close as Unification theism does, has long played an important role, of course, to make believers humble enough to acknowledge the apparently great power of God’s grace needed for sinful, finite human beings. But Unification theism may be more suitable for us today than classical theism. For today a new age of our spiritual maturity may have come when we can no longer be considered to be sinful recipients of divine grace but rather God’s close “partners,” “friends,” or “sons and daughters,”[4] and who can also be considered to be equally valued men and women without any gender discrimination.  

The first section of this essay will introduce the Unification doctrine of God’s dipolarity in the context of the existing biblical, theological, and philosophical traditions, and explain how this Unification doctrine can secure the close relationship of God and the world. It will also discuss the Hyungsang aspect of God in some detail. Also dealt with will be the gender of God, a rather complicated subject, as understood in Unification theism and also, by contrast, in classical theism.

The second section will make a comparison between Unification theism’s doctrine of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang and classical theism’s monopolar view of God as “pure act,” in order to see if Unification theism is more advantageous than classical theism in explaining the God-world relationship. At least the following possible advantages of Unification theism will be explored: 1) Unification theism may be able to affirm the similarity between God and the world better than classical theism. 2) It may be able to secure the unity of God and the world better than classical theism. 3) It may be able to say that God is a personal God better than classical theism. 4) It may be able to explain God’s purpose of creation more clearly than classical theism. 5) It may be able to offer a better definition of God’s perfection than classical theism. 6) It may be able to present a better definition of God’s omnipotence than classical theism. 7) It may be able to explain the unity of individual creatures under God better than classical theism. 8) Finally, it may, much to our surprise, be more compatible with the very important traditional Christian notion of the Trinity than is classical theism, because it believes that God is a God of dipolarity centering on “Heart,” thus constituting the threeness or complexity of God rather than a God of monopolarity or simplicity.

The final, third section will address the question: How do you know, as Unification theism affirms, that God is a dipolar God? This question needs to be addressed well, lest any dipolar theism, including Unification dipolar theism, should be deemed heretical, given the predominance of classical theism to the virtual neglect of dipolar theism in Christian history. We will argue for dipolar theism from the authority of God’s revelation, like Karl Barth does through the “analogy of faith” (analogia fidei), which echoes Sun Myung Moon’s dictum of “absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience.”

In the long history of Christianity, insightful theological traditions and/or theologians such as primitive Hebraic (rather than later Platonic) Christianity, Eastern (rather than Western) Christianity, Karl Barth (1886-1968), and Jürgen Moltamann (1926- ) were already, at least to some degree, addressing what appeared to be the disadvantages of classical theism, whether deliberately or not. What they did naturally points towards Unification theism, and they will be appreciatively recognized throughout this essay.


God’s Dual Characteristics

1. Heart

Unification theism refers to the essence of God’s love as “Heart,” and it is the inner core of God’s Sungsang (original internal nature).[5] Heart is defined as the “emotional impulse to seek joy through love.”[6] There are two distinguishable, if inseparable, and successive aspects of love in God’s Heart: 1) unconditionally living for the sake of creatures to warmly encourage and help them to reach unity for the realization of the values of beauty and goodness in them; and then 2) loving them in the sense of appreciating and enjoying the values they realize in them in response to God’s encouraging help. These two aspects of love in God’s Heart are respectively unconditional love and appreciative love, so to speak, and they involve “joy” on the part of God, although joy in unconditional love can be called the joy of “hope,”[7] and joy in appreciative love the joy of “fulfillment.”[8]

As has been shown elsewhere by the present writer,[9] God’s Heart of love in Unification theism is very similar to the Hebrew word chesed (usually translated as “steadfast love” or “loving-kindness”) in the Old Testament and the Greek word agape (“love”) in the New Testament, and also to the notion of God’s “longing” or “desire” in the theologies of Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948) and Jürgen Moltmann, because these biblical words meaning love and the notion of God’s longing by Berdyaev and Moltmann contain both unconditional and appreciative love at once. Anders Nygren (1890-1978) mistakenly separated the two inseparable aspects of God’s love into “unmotivated love,” which he called agape, and “acquisitive love,” which he called eros, as if the former alone belonged to God and the latter to the human ego.

Heart is indeed God’s “irrepressible desire” of love, which “wells up from within”; hence, God cannot but have object partners of love to experience joy, and this constitutes God’s “motive” for creating human beings as God’s “direct” object partners of love and also all things as God’s “indirect” object partners of love that God loves through human beings. Thus “creation was necessary, inevitable, and can never be considered as merely accidental.”[10] 

2. Dual Characteristics

God’s Heart of love was first expressed at the time of creation. Centering on Heart in its feature of “purpose,”[11] God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang had complete “give and receive action” for the generation of “forming energy”[12] to create the world with its dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang endowed in resemblance to the divine dual characteristics.[13] God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang are thus respectively the “root causes” of the sungsang and hyungsang of each and every creature, i.e., of its “intangible, functional aspect” and “tangible, material aspect.”[14] The Korean terms Sungsang and Hyungsang in God are usually translated into English as “original internal nature” and “original external form” (and sungsang and hyungsang in each creature as “internal nature” and “external form”),[15] and they are respectively mental and physical in nature.

The sungsang and hyungsang of each creature are roughly equivalent to the “form” and “matter” of each substance in Aristotle’s philosophy.[16] While the sungsang and hyungsang of each creature can ultimately be traced back respectively to the Sungsang and Hyungsang of God, in Aristotelian philosophy the “form” and “matter” of each substance can ultimately be traced back respectively to “pure form” (God) and “prime matter.” The difference here is that while in Unification theism the Sungsang and Hyungsang of God are “homogenous” as “two forms of expression of one and the same essential element” of God, in Aristotelian philosophy “pure form” (God) and “prime matter” are two entirely different ultimate origins independently preexistent from all eternity.[17]

Unification theism believes that God is always perfect as a God of the already perfectly united dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and that a creature too can become perfect as long as its dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang become completely united in resemblance to the perfect unity of God’s dual characteristics.[18] By contrast, classical theism, equating God with “pure form” in the manner of Aristotelian philosophy, and having this God create “prime matter” out of nothing in a Christian manner, believes that only God is perfect in the sense of being perfectly actualized “pure form” devoid of any unrealized potentiality or matter, and that the world, which is composite of “form” and “matter,” is always imperfect.[19] Plato’s philosophy, too, is known to have influenced classical theism; and according to his philosophy, God is perfect as the immaterial Idea or “highest form” of the Good, and the world is imperfect because it involves matter.[20]

Since the creation of the world, God’s Heart of love has constantly been at work. Centering on Heart, God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang have always been having complete give and receive action to generate “acting energy.”[21] This acting energy is a unifying thrust of love from God for the transformation of the world. It encourages the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang within each individual creature (e.g., the mind and body of a human being) to be completely united individually, and also encourages different individual creatures (e.g., a man and a woman) to be completely united socially, so that the complete unity at individual and social levels in the transformed world may resemble and reflect the complete unity of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang to “stimulate” God to feel joy in Heart when God sees and loves it. God’s joy in this regard is the “purpose of creation,” although it should not be forgotten also that when the purpose of creation is realized, there is an experience of joy on the part of God’s object partners of love as well.[22] If, however, the purpose of creation fails to be realized, God cannot see such unity and only sees disharmony in creatures, with the result that God feels sorrow and pain in Heart instead of joy and happiness.[23] Creatures, too, feel sorrow and pain in this case, needless to say.

There is actually another kind of dual characteristics in God, i.e., the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin, and Unification theism refers to Gen. 1:27 as its biblical evidence: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”[24] The dual characteristics of Yang and Yin, however, are “different in dimension” from those of Sungsang and Hyungsang, for while Sungsang and Hyungsang are God’s “direct” attributes, Yang and Yin are God’s “indirect” attributes, by being merely attributes of Sungsang and Hyungsang.[25] Each creature, too, has the dual characteristics of yang and yin, and again they are merely attributes of its sungsang and hyungsang, which directly make it up as a particular individual substance.[26] This means that just as God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang each assume both Yang and Yin characteristics, a creature’s sungsang and hyungsang each carry both yang and yin characteristics.

Unification theism has the notion of “Divine Image,”[27] which is the same as the biblical notion of “the image of God.” Just like the image of God in the Bible is both male and female, the Divine Image in Unification theism is both masculine and feminine, containing the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin. Even more importantly, the Divine Image, as can be seen from above, also contains God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang.[28] How about the image of God in the Bible, then? Does it also have a dipolarity of spiritual and physical aspects? While classical theism’s answer is in the negative because of its monopolar understanding of God, the answer from the prominent German Old Testament scholar Gerhard von Rad (1901-1971) is in the affirmative, as he sees the whole man, both spiritual and physical, in the image of God:

The marvel of man’s bodily appearance is not at all to be excepted from the realm of God’s image. This was the original notion, and we have no reason to suppose that it completely gave away, in P’s theological reflection, to a spiritualizing and intellectualizing tendency. Therefore, one will do well to split the physical from the spiritual as little as possible: the whole man is created in God’s image.[29]

At this juncture, let us deal with the genders of creatures. Creatures differ from God regarding the gender issue. God’s Yang and Yin are “in perfect harmony,”[30] implying that God has a kind of gender neutrality, as will be further discussed in the final subsection of the present section. Many creatures, however, such as human beings, animals, plants, and ions, have either the masculine gender or the feminine gender, for they are either: 1) “with relatively more yang qualities” or 2) “with relatively more yin qualities” in their dual characteristics of yang and yin as attributes of their own sungsang and hyungsang. A creature of the former type, i.e., with the masculine gender, is called a “yang substantial being,” while a creature with the latter, i.e., with the feminine gender, is called a “yin substantial being.”[31] A man, for example, is a yang substantial being because his mind (sungsang) and body (hyungsang) are relatively more masculine than feminine, while a woman is a yin substantial being because her mind and body are comparatively more feminine than masculine.

When God’s acting energy encourages two different individual creatures to be completely united socially, the two are usually a pair of yang and yin substantial beings. There are, of course, many other creatures that are basically gender-neutral (e.g., mountains, rivers, and desks), but they, too, participate in “the relationship of subject and object”[32] to make social unity through the encouragement of God’s acting energy. This social unity among individual creatures, whether gender-oriented or not, is still considered to resemble and reflect the unity of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang to realize the purpose of creation.[33]

When creatures in the world realize complete unity at individual and social levels through the encouragement of God’s acting energy coming from the complete give and receive action of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart, the world completely resembles and reflects the inner unity of God at individual and social levels to make God joyful. Here God and the world reciprocate with each other: God provides acting energy for the unity of the world, and the world through its unity returns joy to God. Joy is experienced in this kind of reciprocal relationship between God and the world. In the words of Sun Myung Moon,

Why did God create the universe? God is the absolute subject [partner], but, when alone, He cannot feel joy. Peace, happiness and joy do not come when one is alone, but occur through reciprocal relationships. Thus, on His own, God does not play the role of creator.[34]

When this reciprocal relationship happens between God and the world, they unite with each other to be completely present in each other.

Unity of God and the world involves at least two other important things. First, God’s acting energy, when encouraging the world to be united individually and socially, is not coercive. It is rather an encouragement of unity coming out of God’s Heart of love. Nor does the unity of the world occur automatically because of the divine input. Rather the world creatively responds to it in order to reach its unity. Hence creativity is not only on the part of God but also on the part of the world. “Creativity” here can be defined as the ability to have give and receive action between the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang on the part of God, and between the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang on the part of each individual creature.[35] Needless to say, the creativity of the world involves give and receive action among different individuals as well for their unity. Human beings have the highest level of creativity amongst creatures, and it is “their portion of responsibility” as compared with “God’s portion of responsibility,” which is God’s own creativity.[36]

Second, although God and the world are discrete from each other, the complete unity between them is made possible because of the dynamic nature of give and receive action of the dual characteristics. Dynamism, being far from fixation, is open for input or impress. So, even if God is a perfect God with the perfectly united dual characteristics of Sungsanag and Hyungsang, God is open for any impress from the world as long as the give and receive action of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang is dynamic. The dynamic give and receive action of each creature’s dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang, too, is open for any input from outside. So is the dynamic give and receive action between different individual creatures.

Rev. Moon explains about the second point by using the metaphor of two tuning forks affecting each other through resonance, because each of them has two prongs like the dual characteristics in question:

I have drawn here a man with two layers which work like two [prongs of a tuning fork]. When you hit a tuning fork it vibrates with a certain frequency, and its vibration will automatically cause the second tuning fork to vibrate in the same way. The sound waves travel and create the same reaction on the second tuning fork… Then together the mind and body will make up one tuning fork and God will be another tuning fork.[37]

Moon also says that a pair of a man and a woman centering on God’s love are like the two prongs of a tuning fork which resonates with another tuning fork symbolizing God:

As you become a vertical pair, the same wavelength will travel to God and He will respond to your vibration. Why are men and women a necessary unit? Because men and women vibrating on the same wavelength create one tuning fork that responds to God’s tuning fork. Then the vibration between God and man and woman will produce ecstatic joy.[38]

3. The Hyungsang of God

The notion of the Hyungsang of God, the physical side of God, in Unification theism may be rather novel and even unacceptable to classical theism, which believes that God is purely spiritual as the “highest form” (Plato) or “pure form” (Aristotle) without any physicality. Therefore some more words of explanation would be needed.

The Hyungsang of God is the fundamental cause of the corporeal, material aspect of all created beings. Today’s science knows that the physical world is composed of fundamental particles, which in turn emerge from energy. This energy is dealt with by science. God’s Hyungsang is the fundamental cause of this energy; so, Unification theism calls God’s Hyungsang “prior-stage energy” or simply “pre-energy.”[39] As long as Unification theism teaches that the physical aspect of the world comes from God’s “pre-energy,” one may get the impression as if Unification theism were not actually theism but merely a kind of material pantheism. But Unification theism is far from material pantheism, because it does not believe God’s “pre-matter” to be the essence of God but rather only an attribute of God, out of which the world was created. More precisely, the world was created out of God’s Hyungsang coupled with God’s Sungsang, the spiritual side of God that is the other attribute of the divine dipolarity.

At least during the period of primitive Christianity, God was fairly commonly believed to be physical as well as spiritual, because the Old Testament—which was still used as the Church’s main Scripture for the first hundred years as it took quite a while until the New Testament was canonized—describes God’s appearances in human form, and this description was taken rather literally during that period. Although Platonic Christian theologians such as Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–c. 215) and Origen (c. 185–c. 254) presented a new view of God as a purely incorporeal deity and came up with an allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament, their new view of God and allegorical interpretation of the Bible were not spread yet among the earliest Christians who tended to be more Hebraic. Thus the noted Church historian Adolf von Harnack (1851–1930) in his major work, History of Dogma, reports about “the idea of a corporeality of God” held by primitive Christians based on the Old Testament during this period.[40]

The Old Testament indeed describes divine appearances in human form. For example, God spoke to Moses “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex. 33:11). God said to Moses: “I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen” (Ex. 33:23). God “put forth his hand and touched my mouth” (Jer. 1:9). God had “a form that had the appearance of a man” (Ezek. 8:2). Therefore the Old Testament scholar Terence E. Fretheim believes that God, while being spiritual, must have some kind of form within the Godhead: “To speak of God as spirit does not necessarily entail formlessness.”[41] He further explains: “it is probable that Israel did not conceive God in terms of formlessness, but rather that the human form of the divine appearances constituted an enfleshment which bore essential continuities with the form which God was believed to have.”[42]

For Fretheim, one main point here is that God, a spiritual being who at the same time has some kind of corporeality, can never be an impersonal Infinite or Absolute. God is rather a personal God who can, and wants to be, truly accessible to people in the world: “God… has determined to be present in the world and to God’s people in such an intensified way… [and] in as personal a way as possible.”[43] From the viewpoint of Unification theism, this means that God with the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang can establish a very close, reciprocal relationship of unity with human beings who have the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang.

Classical theism would still insist that God is purely spiritual because the New Testament says that “God is spirit” (Jn. 4:24). But the Greek word pneuma for “spirit” literally means “air” or “wind”; so, as the incorporealist Origen reluctantly reported, the Christians of his day still believed this pneuma of God to be physical.[44] Furthermore, as Origen admitted, the Bible never describes God as purely incorporeal, given the absence in the Bible of the Greek word asomatos (“incorporeal”).[45] Even Augustine (354–430) reported that there still were Christians in his day who believed God to be corporeal, and that it was the reason why for years he as a Neoplatonist originally could not accept the Christian faith.[46]

If Christianity had not been as much influenced by Hellenistic philosophical schools such as Platonism, Neoplatonism and Aristoteli-an¬ism as it actually was, and if it had stayed basically with the Hebraic tradition of the Old Testament, the God of Christianity could have continuously been believed to be corporeal in some sense as well as spiritual, and the anthropomorphic language of the Old Testament could have been accepted in Christianity without as much hesitation and resistance.

It should be mentioned here that classical theism seems to have a fundamental point of difficulty regarding the status of “prime matter,” the material cause of the world, as long as it sticks to its assertion that God is purely incorporeal. For it maintains that God created or caused prime matter: “God is the cause of prime matter.”[47] The difficulty here is: If God is entirely immaterial, how can prime matter be created or caused by such a God? Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), an influential classical theist, replies that God must have had an idea of prime matter before its creation.[48] If so, however, wouldn’t it be better to say that prime matter is already an attribute of God, just as Unification theism says that God’s Hyungsang is a divine attribute? Perhaps Christianity could have said so, if it had not been so influenced by ancient Greek philosophy.

4. The Gender of God

According to Unification theism, God’s Yang and Yin are in chunghwa, “perfect harmony.” The Korean word chunghwa literally means neutralization without either of the two aspects being stronger than the other. Thus God’s gender appears to be androgynous and neutral. This must be the reason why Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon correctly announced in January, 2013 that we should henceforth address God as “Heavenly Parent” (Hanul Bumo), a gender-neutral term, instead of “Heavenly Father.”[49] The Korean word bumo, composed of bu, “father” and mo, “mother” usually means a couple, a father and a mother, but Mrs. Moon here must have meant only one gender-neutral Parent because God is only one.

Even before her announcement, sometimes Rev. Moon himself also called God “Heavenly Parent,”[50] although most often he and his Church called God “Heavenly Father.” He also reminded us in the final years of his life that the “Heavenly Mother” side of God has long been forgotten in favor of the Heavenly Father side of God, and that the Heavenly Mother side needs to be restored now.[51] Andrew Wilson, a Unificationist scholar, has made a good effort to restore it in his illuminating essay, “Heavenly Mother,” saying that “today as we seek to realize the full ideal of creation, it is now possible to appreciate Her [i.e., Heavenly Mother’s] femininity, with the goal of attaining perfect balance.”[52]

Unification theism’s assertion that God has both sides of Heavenly Father and Mother because of the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin can be well supported not only by Gen. 1:27 but also by many other passages in the Bible. The Bible, on one hand, talks about the masculine side of God: God is “Father” (Ps. 89:26; Is. 63:16; Mt. 6:9, 14; Jn. 14; etc.); God is like the “father” of the prodigal son (Lk. 15:11-32); God is “king forever and ever” (Ps. 10:16); and God is “like a mighty man” (Is. 42:13). On the other hand, God’s feminine side is also described: God is like a “mother” at whose breast a child is quieted (Ps. 131:2), and like a “mother” who comforts (Is. 66:13); God is like a “woman” who cannot forget her sucking child, and who has compassion on the son of her womb (Is. 49:15), and like the “woman” who found the lost coin (Lk. 15:8-10).

In our society, human beings are only supposed to have either the male gender or the female gender. So, androgyny in any human being is usually regarded as a baffling gender disorder. One would, then, have much difficulty in accepting a God of an androgynously neutral gender, unless one is a pagan with whom androgynous deities are not unfamiliar. But it may be that Unification theism, while staying in the biblical tradition, believes that God, and only God, has this special neutral gender in order to be able to completely unite with men and women in the world to realize God’s own lineage of love through them.

According to Rev. Moon, God, an invisible being, created Adam and Eve as two different visible substantiations of God in order to substantially realize God’s ideal of love through the union of both of them.[53] If Adam and Eve had not fallen, God would have been able to love Eve through Adam, who was God’s male substantiation, and God would also have been able to love Adam through Eve, who was God’s female substantiation.[54] In other words, Adam as God’s male substantiation would have loved Eve, and Eve as God’s female substantiation, in turn, would have loved Adam: “Had Adam and Eve not fallen, the idea would have been formed here that Adam on behalf of God loves Eve, and Eve on behalf of God loves Adam.”[55] This close-knit, intimate relationship of love among God, Adam, and Eve is made possible only because God, and only God, has an androgynous neutral gender due to the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin. Perhaps this explains why it can be said that human beings “were created as God’s object partners who can receive the love of God’s direct lineage.”[56]

While Unification theism believes that God has an androgynously neutral gender explained above, classical theism holds that God has no gender. It should be noted that classical theism never maintains that God has a male gender either. Those who think so misunderstand classical Christian theism. According to classical theism, God has no gender whatsoever, for the reason that God as “pure form” is purely spiritual, having no physical body and thus incapable of having a gender. Hence C. S. Lewis says: “God is in fact not a biological being and has no sex.”[57] And the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God.”[58] Classical theism, therefore, regards the biblical descriptions of God as both male and female as mere allegories. Nevertheless, classical theism has long referred to God with only masculine names and pronouns. The reason for that will be explained shortly.

If God, as classical theism asserts, has no gender by reason of God having no physical body, there seem to emerge at least two problems: 1) that kind of God can hardly be a personal God; and 2) the notion of God’s lineage is unthinkable. Unification theism, by contrast, does not have these problems.

Why, then, did the Unification Movement most often call God Heavenly Father before the announcement of 2013? The reason is that, given the initial creator-creature relationship between God and the world, God can at least initially be considered to stand comparatively with more masculine characteristics, and the world as a whole with more feminine characteristics.[59] Hence, God can be called Heavenly Father, as Exposition of the Divine Principle states.[60] But, after the full realization of God’s ideal of creation is reached, going beyond the initial creator-creature relationship of God and the world and also overcoming their gap which was widened because of the fall of human beings, God and the world will now be completely united; and the reciprocal and complementary nature of their relationship will make their gender role distinction much less sharp. As a result, God will no longer be addressed exclusively as Heavenly Father but rather as “Heavenly Parent.” The announcement of 2013 marked this.

Most likely the same is the case with the Bible. The biblical writers, too, were aware of the initial creator-creature relationship between God and the world in which God was transcendent and initiating in relation to the created world. This must be the reason why they used only masculine names for God—Yahweh, Elohim, El, Adonai in Hebrew, and Theos in Greek—as well as masculine pronouns, although they were also aware that God is female as well as male. Thus “the Jewish revelation was distinctive in its exclusively masculine pronoun because it was distinctive in its theology of the divine transcendence… despite the fact that Scripture [also] ascribes to him feminine attributes.”[61] Classical theism in Christianity, therefore, addresses God as Heavenly Father. In fact, the Bible has about 170 references to God as “Father.” But the question is: Can classical theism come to realize, like Unification theism does, that God, who is both male and female, will eventually have to be called Heavenly Parent rather than Heavenly Father?

Perhaps the answer to this question is in the negative, because classical theism, which believes that God has no gender as a purely spiritual being with no physical body, in the end is not interested in asking what God’s gender is to be. Classical theists are rather satisfied with simply accepting God’s exclusively masculine names and their masculine pronouns as seen in the Bible, which for them are not an indication of God’s male gender but merely a way of allegory. On this issue, therefore, they typically talk about two things which appear to be in some tension with each other, but which they think should be accepted categorically: 1) that God has no gender; but 2) that God is allegorically revealed in the Bible exclusively in male form:

In examining Scripture, two facts become clear: First, that God is a Spirit, and does not possess human characteristics or limitations; second, that all the evidence contained in Scripture agrees that God revealed Himself to mankind in a male form.[62]

In this sense, classical theists continuously insist on the importance of referring to God with masculine pronouns only, even if they do not believe in God’s gender at all. Perhaps, therefore, they will not be able to have genuine dialogues with feminists who assert that the feminine side of God’s gender, whether allegorical or not, has long been neglected and needs to be restored.

At this point, we would like to make a statement on our use (or non-use) in this essay of pronouns for the God of Unification theism who has an androgynously neutral gender. We will not use double pronouns (e.g., “he or she,” “his or her,” “him or her,” and “himself or herself”) nor slashed pronouns (“he/she,” “his/her,” “him/her,” and “himself/herself”), which are cumbersome, although they may be intended to be gender-neutral. Nor will we alternate between “he” and “she,” lest it be confusing. Nor will we use impersonal pronouns such as “it,” “its,” and “itself.” So far, we have tried not to use any pronoun for God, only repeating the words “God” and “God’s,” even though it, too, may be awkward. We will try as much as possible to stay with this option in this essay, except when using quotations from Unification materials of the pre-2013 period which already used masculine pronouns. In Korean, by the way, this option of repeating the words “God” and “God’s” is far from awkward and is commonly used, in part because gender-specific pronouns were not developed until the end of the eighteenth century or the beginning of the twentieth century. English seems not to have a very good alternative for our purpose.


Advantages of Unification Theism

From the preceding section it is quite clear that Unification theism can secure the close relationship of God and the world through its idea that God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang are resembled individually by each creature’s dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang, and socially by the give and receive action between different creatures. The present section will make a comparison between Unification theism and classical theism to see if the former is more advantageous than the latter in explaining the God-world relationship. The following several possible advantages of the former will be explored.

1. Similarity between God and the World

Unification theism may be able to see the similarity between God and the world better than classical theism. For according to Unification theism God has the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and the world, in resemblance to God, has the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang on the part of each creature. Moreover, God’s dual character¬is¬tics of Sungsang and Hyungsang are resembled by the give and receive action between different creatures. According to classical theism, by contrast, God is monopolar as “pure form,” while the world is dipolar, being composite of “form” and “matter.” Classical theism, therefore, may not be as able to affirm the similarity of God and the world.

Thomas Aquinas, one of the most famous adherents to classical theism, maintains that God and the world are similar, if not perfectly similar, in that both have something in common: being. According to him, this is the case because the world receives being from God when it is created by God who is its cause: “things receiving existence from God resemble him.”[63] This similarity between God and the world, according to Aquinas, is a proportional similarity. Therefore one’s description of the God-world relationship, which normally starts from one’s knowledge of the world that one applies to God, is “analogical.” “Analogical” means that a word of description linguistically has “proportional” uses for God and the world due to a certain order they have; it is not “univocal” (“univocal” means that a word has “exactly the same meaning in different applications”) in describing God and the world due to their total similarity; neither is it “equivocal” (“equivocal” means that a word has “different meanings in different applications”) in describing God and the world due to their total dissimilarity.[64] This approach of Aquinas is usually called the “analogy of being” (analogia entis).

Yet, this approach ends up seeing a large gulf between God and the world, when it concludes that God as pure form without any matter is “limitless” or infinite, while the world composed of form and matter is “limited” or finite.[65] Thus God and the world do not belong to the same order, although this does not mean that their relationship is to be described as equivocal.

Aquinas’ assertion that one’s description of the relationship of God and the world is analogical, not being univocal nor equivocal, may be generally acceptable. But the distance between God and the world, as understood by his analogy of being, seems to be way too large. Like Aquinas, Karl Barth also accepts the concept of “analogy” as “unavoidable” in order to stay away from the false thesis of “parity” between God and the world and also from the equally false thesis of “disparity” between them.[66] Nevertheless, Barth differs from Aquinas and resembles Unification theism when he recognizes more affinity between God and the world than Aquinas, by seeing the “analogy of relation” (analogia relationis) between the I–Thou  “relation” within God, which can be viewed as equivalent to God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and the I–Thou “relation” between human beings in the world.[67] This point from Barth will be dealt with again in a different context in the final section.

2. Unity of God and the World

Unification theism may be able to secure the real unity of God and the world better than classical theism. For it maintains that God and the world can reciprocally act upon each other: God provides acting energy to encourage the world to be united at individual and social levels, and the world, in turn, gives joy to God through its unity at individual and social levels. This is made possible because there is dynamism within the give and receive action between the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang of God, between the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang of each creature, and between different creatures. As was mentioned previously, this is like the unity of resonance of two different tuning forks, each of which has two dynamically vibrating prongs (equivalent to the dynamic dual characteristics) that make the resonance possible.
By contrast, the monopolar God of classical theism as pure act or pure form is completely actualized and immutable; so, this God cannot be acted upon by the world at all, while being able to definitely act upon the world. In the words of Aquinas, God is the “first cause of change not itself being changed by anything.”[68] There is thus no reciprocal relationship between God and the world. This means that there can be no real unity between them.

Theologians such as Jürgen Moltmann are critical of this aspect of classical theism. Like Unification theism, Moltmann holds that there is a real unity between God and the world through their reciprocal relationship by which they affect each other: “Just as God goes out of himself through what he does, giving his world his own impress, so his world puts its impress on God too, through its reactions, its aberrations and its own initiatives.”[69] Moltmann can say this because he believes that God has the dynamic inner relationship of love between the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, which may be equivalent to God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart, and that the world, too, has the dynamic relationship of love among human beings through the external works of the Trinity.[70] As long as the inner trinitarian relationship within God and the relationship of human beings in the world outside of God correspond and resonate with each other, it can be said that God and the world have a real unity.

If the Trinity as understood by Moltmann and others, is equivalent to God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart in Unification theism, and if the Trinity, just like God’s dual characteristics centering on Heart, is believed to encourage the world to be united so that the world may resemble the inner unity of God, it is a very significant point. It will be discussed in the final subsection of the present section.

3. A Personal God

One issue which cannot be ignored when dealing with the reciprocal relationship between God and the world is this: Is God a personal being like human beings, and can God have a reciprocal relationship with them? According to Millard J. Erickson, an evangelical theologian, God is a personal God as “an individual being, with self-consciousness and will, capable of feeling, choosing, and having a reciprocal relationship with other personal and social beings.”[71] 

Unification theism accepts Erickson’s definition. The God of Unification theism can self-consciously feel and willfully choose like human beings do, because God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang are like the mind (sungsang) and body (hyungsang) of each human being. This God can also have a reciprocal relationship with human beings, because God with the dynamic dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang and human beings with the dynamic dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang can reciprocate with each other. In the words of Sun Myung Moon:

If God exists, what kind of relationship does He have with human beings? To have a relationship with human beings, He must be a personal God. And to be a personal God, He must resemble human beings. People have the attributes of mind and body. Then God, as their Creator, has to have similar attributes if he is to share with them a common purpose. This point marks the origin of the concept of dual characteristics.[72]

But the God of classical theism, who is pure act or pure form, not only looks unlike human beings with mind and body, but also cannot be acted upon by them while being able to act upon them. There is, therefore, no reciprocal relationship between God and human beings. Strictly speaking, therefore, the God of classical theism cannot be a personal God based on the above definition by Erickson. In fact, Erickson is a classical theist who believes that God “is spirit” and “does not possess a physical nature”;[73] his position as a classical theist contradicts his own definition of God above as a personal being. Classical theists like him may still assert that God as pure act or pure form can think and act like a personal being, but if so, there cannot be reciprocity between God and human beings. Thus the God of classical theism can hardly be a personal God. Unification theism, therefore, may be able to say that God is a personal God better than classical theism.

The monopolarity of God as pure act or pure form in classical theism is usually called the “simplicity” of God. The basic argument for the divine simplicity according to Thomas Aquinas is that if God were composite of items such as form and matter without being simple, God would have to be caused by these component items and dependent on them, which would contradict God’s status as “the first cause” of all beings.[74] Therefore the doctrine of the divine simplicity, which is derived from God being pure form,[75] also denies God other kinds of composition such as the essence-properties composition.[76] This means to say, for example, that God is identical with each of the properties God has.

Alvin Plantinga, an American philosopher in the Reformed Christian tradition, takes issue with this simplicity doctrine, because according to him it ends up saying that God is not a personal being. For when we think of God’s property of being good, for example, “God isn’t merely good, on this view; he is goodness, or his goodness, or goodness itself.”[77] If this is the case, complains Plantinga, God cannot be a personal being but an abstract object: “If God is a property, then he isn’t a person but a mere abstract object; he has no knowledge, awareness, power, love or life. So taken, the simplicity doctrine seems an utter mistake.”[78]

4. God’s Purpose of Creation

Unification theism may be able to explain God’s purpose of creation more clearly than classical theism. When the unity of the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang in God is resembled and reflected by the unity of the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang of each creature individually, and also by the unity of different creatures socially, God appreciates and loves it to feel joy from it. God experiences joy, by having an object partner of love resembling God. And, given the irrepressible nature of God’s Heart of seeking joy through love, God necessarily and inevitably created the world as God’s object partner of love. Hence the “Heart Motivation Theory”[79] that seeks to explain God’s purpose of creation. It goes without saying that when the purpose of creation is realized, the world, too, feels joy, by resembling God and also by being appreciated and loved by God.

Classical theism usually says that God created the world so that it might “glorify” God (Jn. 15:8). This does not mean, however, that God aimed at receiving something from the world. God, who is totally actualized as pure act, is in want of nothing, according to classical theism. Therefore, even though “all things are said to be good by divine goodness,” as Aquinas says,[80] and the world thus may glorify God, nevertheless it adds nothing to the perfection of God. In the words of the Angelic Doctor: “Since… the divine goodness can be without other things, and, indeed, is in no way increased by other things, it is under no necessity to will other things.”[81] Thus God did not have to create, strictly speaking.

God, who is perfect, created the world freely and not out of any necessity.[82] God’s freedom is so absolute that it is not constrained by any kind of external determination or even by God’s own nature. Therefore God could also have absolutely freely decided not to create the world. “God did not have to create… He freely chose to create for reasons not known to us.”[83] This means that for classical theism God’s purpose of creation is unknown. Or at least it is not clear.

Jürgen Moltmann basically disagrees with classical theism and agrees with Unification theism on this matter. As was seen above, he believes that God has the inner relationship of love between the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, and that the world, too, has the relationship of love among human beings through the external works of the Trinity. This solidarity of people in the world becomes “the trinitarian glorification of the Father and the Son through the Spirit,” expressing their joy to give God “bliss.”[84] When the divine love is “responded to” by the world this way, God “rejoices over” it; and thus, God “needs” the world.[85]

5. God’s Perfection

According to Unification theism, God is perfect because God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang are perfectly united. Human beings each have the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang in resemblance to God’s dual characteristics, and as long as they fully unite their dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang, they each also can become perfect like God, even acquiring “a divine nature.”[86] This may be supported by the Eastern Orthodox notion of theosis (“deification”), which is a participation in the triune God.[87] This perfection is possible, as the Bible says: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). Even non-human creatures, whether animals, plants, or minerals, also can reach perfection at their own respective levels, as long as their sungasang and hyungsang are fully united.

According to classical theism, by contrast, God is perfect, as perfectly actualized pure act or pure form devoid of any unrealized potentiality or matter, while the world is always imperfect, as it is composite of form and matter. The perfect God is also immutable as pure act, while the imperfect world is mutable.

Unification theism’s definition of God’s perfection can allow creatures to become perfect, as long as they reach the full unity of their sungasang and hyungsang in resemblance to God. It also can allow the perfect God to be acted upon by the world. The reason is that God’s Heart of love stands behind the whole thing. God’s Heart is channeled through the unity of God’s own dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang to emerge as a unifying thrust of love which encourages the world to be fully united. Out of love, God’s Heart wants the world to fully resemble the inner unity of love within God, so that it may become a good and happy place, which God also can rejoice over. God wants the world to be perfect, and God does not mind being acted upon by such a perfect and happy world God loves so much.

Classical theism’s definition of God’s perfection, by contrast, does not allow creatures to be perfect. Nor does it allow the perfect God to be acted upon by the world. Its God seems to be a God of sovereignty over the world rather than a God of love for the world. Its concept of God’s perfection seems not to go hand in hand with the divine love. Theologians such as Thomas Jay Oord, therefore, observe that classical theism’s approach has largely neglected the centrality of God’s love in favor of other things such as God’s sovereignty, even though God’s love should be the center of theology because it is biblical: “This approach often neglects the motive [of love] God might have for relationship and the motive we might have to respond lovingly.”[88]

In Unification theism, the perfection of God is entirely compatible with God’s Heart of love and even grounded on it. In classical theism, however, the perfection of God seems not to be compatible with God’s love. Unification theism’s definition of God’s perfection, therefore, may be better than classical theism’s.

6. God’s Omnipotence

In Unification theism, God’s Heart is understood to be an “irrepressible” desire of love, which wells up from within. It is not only unconditional love but also appreciative love to seek joy. Because of the irrepressible nature of Heart, God necessarily created the world as God’s object partner of love. Even after the fall of humanity, at which God’s Heart grieved, and in spite of their continuous rebellion in human history, because of which God’s Heart has been aching again and again,[89] God has always been showing the unwavering Heart of love for fallen humanity to restore them. God’s will, therefore, will eventually be realized without fail. In this sense, “His Will for the providence of restoration, the goal of which is the accomplishment of the purpose of creation, must … be absolute, unique and unchanging.”[90] This “irrepressibility” of God’s Heart is a new definition of the divine omnipotence suggested in Unification theism.[91]

Classical theism, however, is still preoccupied with God being pure act when it defines the omnipotence of God. Anything in actuality possesses active power, while anything in potentiality has passive and receptive power. Now, God is pure act devoid of potentiality; so, God’s active power is infinitely great, while creatures composite of act and potentiality are partially active and partially passive, thus having only limited active power. In the words of Aquinas, “God, who is pure actuality unmixed with potentiality, has active power infinitely beyond all things.”[92] This defines God’s omnipotence.

An important point of difference between Unification theism and classical theism here is that in Unification theism God who is omnipotent can still suffer out of compassion for the miserable condition of the world, while in classical theism the omnipotent God, who cannot be acted upon by the world, can not suffer, thus being an impassible God.

You can decide whether or not Unification theism defines the divine omnipotence better than classical theism. Others have taken issue with classical theism in this regard, notably Jürgen Moltmann, who says that the omnipotent God of classical theism “who is incapable of suffering is a being who cannot be involved” and “cannot love,” and that this God “would be a being without experience, a being without destiny and a being who is loved by no one.”[93] For Moltmann, as for Unification theism, divine omnipotence is the omnipotence of God’s love of longing for the world expressed through God’s self-limitation and self-humiliation for the world. God’s love expressed this way is omnipotent because “God is nowhere greater than in his humiliation.”[94] Moltmann talks about it more explicitly: “It is not God’s power that is almighty. What is almighty is his love.”[95] The Jewish theologian Abraham J. Heschel, too, believes that divine omnipotence means the omnipotence of God’s love and concern: “The most exalted idea applied to God is not infinite wisdom, infinite power, but infinite concern.”[96]

7. Unity of Individual Creatures

Unification theism maintains that the unity of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart generates acting energy, which encourages different individual creatures in the world to be united socially (as well as the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang of each creature to be united within itself individually) to reflect the unity within God. Hence the unity of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart is the source of the order of the world. Individual creatures are called “individual truth bodies,” but because they are always ready to connect with each other under the acting energy coming from the unity within God, they are also called “connected bodies” at the same time.[97] This topic is discussed elsewhere in considerable philosophical detail by the present writer.[98]

In classical theism, by contrast, God is not dipolar but monopolar, as pure act or pure form. Therefore, while God’s pure actuality supremely acts upon each and every creature directly, it does not necessarily coordinate the unity of different individual creatures in the world. Thomas Aquinas, of course, believes that the goodness of God, which includes “order,”[99] is the source of the order of the world,[100] and that creatures, each composite of form and matter, can cooperatively act upon, and be acted upon by, each other in conformity with that order: “things tend toward the divine likeness by the fact that they are causes of others.”[101] But he makes no real explanation of the reason why the goodness of God should be the source of order. The God of Aquinas is not a God of ordered dipolarity; so, it may be rather difficult for him to explain the reason for the order.

Although he may try to trace the order of the world to the trinitarian relationship within God, following Augustine’s doctrine of vestigia trinitatis in creatura (“vestiges of the Trinity in creatures”),[102] nevertheless, as will be discussed in the following subsection, Aquinas’s doctrine of God (and classical theism in general) actually ends up neglecting the importance of the trinitarian complexity of God in favor of the divine simplicity. Therefore classical theism may not be able to secure the unity of individual creatures as much as Unification theism.

8. Compatibility with the Trinity

Unification theism believes that God is a God of threeness because God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang have Heart as their center. As is shown elsewhere by the present writer,[103] Heart—the “motive of creation,”[104]Sungsang—containing the “Logos,”[105] and Hyungsang—“pre-energy”[106] in Unification theism are respectively equivalent to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit of the Trinity in the Christian tradition. Thus God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart actually refer to the intra-divine relation of the three persons of the Trinity, meaning that the Son and the Holy Spirit are united centering on the Father.

By the way, Eastern Christianity is of the opinion that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (single procession), while Western Christianity asserts that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (double procession). Perhaps Unification theism is closer to the Eastern version than to the Western one, although a detailed exploration of it is beyond the scope of the present essay. The main point here is that God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart in Unification theism refer to the intra-divine relation of the Trinity in Christianity theology, whether Eastern or Western.

But the question to be asked here is: Can the intra-divine relation of the Trinity in the Christian tradition, whether Eastern or Western, play the same important role as God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart in Unification theism? In other words, can the Trinity in the Christian tradition send a unifying thrust of love to the world for its transformative unity, so that the world may be able to reflect the trinitarian unity within God to make God happy? This way, can the Trinity also unite God and the world closely? Actually, Jürgen Moltmann would answer the question in the affirmative, because this is what he asserts, if from a Western perspective, regarding the role of the Trinity, as was seen above. He seems to keep some distance from classical theism.

Classical theism especially in the West usually does not recognize this important role of the Trinity. Augustine, for example, was so preoccupied with the simplicity of God as a Neoplatonic Christian theologian that he tended to emphasize the oneness of God even to the neglect of the dynamic work of the three distinct persons of the Trinity for the transformation of the world. In Augustine’s theology, therefore, the absolute oneness of God’s essence directly deals with the world with irresistible divine power and authority, and the Trinity is basically pushed aside to become an esoteric concept of intra-divine relations irrelevant and unrelated to the world.[107] Thomas Aquinas followed this tradition of Augustine regarding the Trinity. His Summa Theologiae, therefore, begins by treating the oneness of God first and then moves to the Trinity, making the Trinity not as important. Hence occurred the “defeat” of the Trinity, according to Catherine Mowry LaCugna.[108] In fact, classical theism may not be able to be truly compatible with the Trinity. Much to our surprise, Unification theism seems to be able to appreciate the role of the Trinity more than classical theism, being more compatible with the Trinity than classical theism is.

Classical theism in the East is a little different. While the West pushed aside the Trinity as something disconnected from the world, the East historically understood the importance of the threeness of the Trinity for the world to a considerable degree. Greek-speaking Eastern theologians such as the Cappadocian Fathers recognized the particularity and concreteness of each of the three hypostases (“realities”) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit within God. The three hypostases were considered to be different from the Latin expression of tres personae (“three persons”) coined by Tertullian (c. 155–c. 240), in that the latter only meant three masks or ownerships, which in their view were not particular and concrete enough.

Unlike Augustine and others in the West, therefore, Eastern theologians did not push aside the Trinity. They understood its role to transform the world, even giving human beings theosis (“deification”), if within the limits of classical theism.[109] In the West, the theosis of created human beings is unthinkable because the Trinity is isolated from the world. Unification theism accepts the theosis of human beings through the Trinity, as it maintains that each individual human being can acquire “a divine nature” with a complete mind-body unity under the encouragement of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart, as was seen above. Eastern Christianity, therefore, is closer to Unification theism than its Western counterpart is.


Knowing God’s Dual Characteristics

Classical theism, which believes in a monopolar God, has been predominant in Christianity and still is. Therefore dipolar theism in general, and the Unification doctrine of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyunsang in particular, (more than God’s dual characteristics of Yang and Yin) may still face strong objection and even be deemed heretical. The dipolarity of God needs to be defended.

To defend the dipolarity of God, the present section will first deal with the useful approach of Karl Barth, who according to Pope Pius XII was “the greatest theologian since Thomas Aquinas.”[110] Barth’s approach is that if we become faithful and humble enough in front of God, the dipolarity of God will be given us as a revelation from above, and that it is how we can know the analogical relationship between God and the world. This approach is called the “analogy of faith,” and it is quite widely accepted among conservatives. So, the dipolarity of God should not be heretical at all. The second subsection will discuss Rev. Moon’s approach of “absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience,” which, like Barth’s analogy of faith, can lead us to know God’s dual characteristics through revelation. The final, third subsection will explain that both Barth and Moon also have approaches to know God from the world below, but they ground such inductive approaches in their initial faith-based approaches.

The present section aims to show that Barth is a good defender of the Unification doctrine of God’s dual characteristics, not in spite of, but rather because of, his emphasis on faith.

1. Barth’s Analogy of Faith

As was mentioned previously, Barth agrees with Thomas Aquinas that God and the world have an “analogical” relationship. But they disagree on how to know that analogical relationship. Aquinas holds that we can know it by applying our knowledge of the being of the world to God, because God and the world as cause and effect must have being in common. But Barth maintains that we can know it only through God’s own revelation based on our faith. Aquinas’ approach is usually called the “analogy of being,” and Barth’s the “analogy of faith.”[111] What is noteworthy here is that these two different approaches have two different results. Whereas Aquinas’ analogy of being ends up seeing a large gulf between God and the world, Barth’s analogy of faith finds much more affinity between them.

According to Barth, human beings as sinners have no inherent ability to know God: “We are not capable of conceiving Him.”[112] Our knowledge of God, therefore, “does not begin in ourselves” but “in God’s revelation and in faith to Him.”[113] “It is by God Himself—namely, by His revelation—that we are led to the knowledge of Him, that we and our knowledge do not stand outside and afar off but in the very presence of God Himself,” and this constitutes “the real knowledge of God.”[114]

What God’s revelation has shown us as “the real knowledge of God,” according to Barth, is that God is a God of amazing “love,” who stoops down especially through Jesus Christ to have close fellowship with us, while at the same time staying always as a transcendent God of absolute “freedom” from anything. Thus God has the dual characteristics of “freedom” and “love,” to which Barth devotes a whole chapter entitled “The Reality of God” in his Church Dogmatics.[115] Whether this duality of freedom and love, as understood by Barth, is similar to the Unification notion of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang may be a subject to be explored in the future.

Barth’s list of various theological suggestions for the same kind of dipolarity of God as he himself proposes is drawn from the modern period, including the seventeenth-century orthodox Lutheran idea of God being both “interna and externa” and O. Kirn’s 1930 suggestion of God having both “formal” and “material” attributes.[116] Some of them might fairly easily be able to be related to God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang in Unification theism.

What is extremely important here is that Barth’s suggestion of God being a God of dynamic dipolarity marks a considerable departure from classical theism. In fact, Barth was not entirely satisfied with Aquinas’ notion of God as actus purus (“pure act”).[117] It is amazing that such a conservative theologian as Barth was able to go beyond classical theism whereas Aquinas, another conservative, always stayed within the realm of classical theism. Perhaps it was through Barth’s emphasis on the authority of divine revelation based on our humble faith, whereas Aquinas gave less emphasis to faith in favor of the analogy of being. This is the reason why Hendrikus Berkhof, another Reformed theologian, remarks: “Only the 20th century witnessed a profound change, mainly through Barth’s exposition of the doctrine of God”; and “This fresh formulation of Barth in the doctrine of God has exerted a greater influence than any other part of his theology.”[118]

This formulation of Barth, however, does not see as much corres-pon¬dence between God’s own dipolar unity and the unity of the world as we would expect. Thus it may not be as useful for our purpose here. But Barth actually suggests another kind of God’s dipolarity, which turns out to be helpful for our purpose. It is none other than God’s dipolarity of the I-Thou “relation” within the Godhead, which Barth believes is “reflected” and corresponded to by the I-Thou “relation” among human beings, especially “between male and female” human beings.[119] Barth explains this I-Thou relation within God as a kind of dynamic relation of reciprocity: “In God’s own being and sphere there is a counterpart: a genuine but harmonious self-encounter and self-discovery; a free co-existence and co-operation; an open confrontation and reciprocity.”[120] Then, he says that it is “copied,” “imitated,” “repeated,” and “reflected” by the horizontal relation between human beings in the created realm, as well as by God’s vertical relation to each human being.[121]

There are two points of clarification regarding this. First, by God’s dipolarity of the I-Thou reciprocal relation within the Godhead, Barth as a Western theologian means, like Moltmann, the trinitarian relation of love between the Father and the Son in the Godhead.[122] Second, when the “correspondence” between God’s own dipolar relation of the Father and the Son, on the one hand, and the relation between human beings, on the other, is referred to by Barth as the “analogy of relation” (analogia relationis),[123] this analogy of relation is still based on the analogy of faith, thus being unable to be equated with the analogy of being.[124]

To explain the second point further, although Barth sees a correspondence between the inner relation of the Trinity, on the one hand, and the relation between human beings in the created realm, on the other, acknowledging Augustine’s expression of vestigia trinitate in creatura,[125] nevertheless he does not say that God’s dipolarity, as the inner relation of the Trinity, can be known from our knowledge of various relations in the world. For Barth, only God’s revelation in the Bible, and nothing else, is the “root” of the doctrine of the Trinity.[126] And, in order for us to receive the revelation of God’s Word, we again need “faith,”[127] acknowledging that we by ourselves have no real ability to know God. Hence the analogy of faith again. This point may be related to Barth’s assertion, which Unification theism may not necessarily be able to agree with, that the reflection of God’s inner trinitarian relation by the world does not mean to bring any added joy to the “joy” God already has in that inner trinitarian relation.[128]

By the way, Barth’s statement that the Trinity is known only from God’s own revelation is not unusual in the Christian tradition. Aquinas means the same thing when he says: “It is impossible to attain to the knowledge of the Trinity by natural reason.”[129] But Barth is very different from Aquinas, in that while Barth is quite aware of the similarity and relevance of the Trinity to the world, Aquinas is basically not aware of it due to his emphasis on the simplicity of the absolute and transcendent God.

2. Moon’s Approach of Absolute Faith, Love, and Obedience

Rev. Moon’s approach of “absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience”[130] is epistemologically quite similar to Barth’s analogy of faith. Just like Barth’s analogy of faith encourages us to be humble in order to reach the real knowledge of God, Moon’s approach encourages us to have absolute faith, love, and obedience in order to know God truly. Just like Barth’s approach involves God’s revelation, Rev. Moon’s approach also talks about God’s revelation, through which we know the truth of God:

This ultimate life-giving truth… cannot be discovered through an exhaustive investigation of scriptures or scholarly texts; nor can it be invented by any human intellect… This truth must appear as a revelation from God.[131]

Moon usually talks about absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience together as a group, and his three-term dictum might be equivalent to Barth’s key word: faith. Although the three terms themselves have their own distinctive tones, they are almost synonymous in that they are all related to one fundamental thing: to lower yourself to live for the sake of others in front of God. And, if you do so, you will be led to know God. Through absolute faith, love, and obedience, therefore, we can “enter the realm of God’s love” and “become one with Him,”[132] and “we are returning to the original position of God at the time of creation.”[133]

But what kind of God is it that we can know this way? According to Rev. Moon, it is a God of absolute faith, love, and obedience: “God also created with… absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience.”[134] In other words,

God started creating all things based on absolute faith. He began to create so that He could have object partners of absolute love. Absolute obedience means that there exists no awareness of “self.” It is a state of complete zero—a complete nothingness. Once God returns to nothingness, a circular movement automatically begins. Since everything is given out, and there is no more to give, God returns to the bottom. This has become the origin of the movement of the universe.[135]

What is important here is that God, as the God of absolute faith, love, and obedience, participates in “a circular movement” for the sake of the created universe. The circular movement of God means that there is “give and take action between a subject partner and an object partner” within God, i.e., that God has dual characteristics:

For anything to have an eternal nature it must move in a circle; give and take action between a subject partner and an object partner is necessary for any circular motion. This is true even for God; having dual characteristics allows Him to live eternally.[136]

These dual characteristics of God are nothing other than the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang. As was seen preciously, God, when uniting the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart, generates forming energy for the creation of the world and acting energy for the unity of the created world. In doing so, God is in “a state of complete zero—a complete nothingness” to live for the sake of the world.

Consequently, Rev. Moon’s approach of absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience leads us to realize that God is a dipolar God with the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang. This is indeed similar to Barth’s analogy of faith through which to be able to know that God is a dipolar God.

3. Knowing God from the World as Well?

Regarding how to know God truly, Barth’s analogy of faith is entirely opposite to Aquinas’ analogy of being. It relies on God’s revelation coming from above, while Aquinas starts from human knowledge of the world and applies it to God. Barth, therefore, sharply criticizes the analogy of being for letting us encroach on God instead of having God encroach on us: “The real encroachment on our part consists in resisting the divine encroachment that takes place in the revelation of the truth, in thinking past it instead of our adapting our thinking to it.”[137]

This is not the end of Barth’s story, however. In the end, he comes to recognize some value in the analogy of being, as long as it is within the context of the overarching analogy of faith. If the analogy of being is grounded on God’s revelation in the analogy of faith, it can legitimately describe God, if in a limited way:

This work of ours [i.e., the analogy of being], grounded on God’s revelation, can become a successful work. Our views, concepts and words, grounded on God’s revelation, can be legitimately applied to God, and genuinely describe Him even in this sphere of ours and within its limits. For all their unsuitability, they can still be correct and true.[138]

This means that Barth admits that we can know God from the world as well, as long as we are aware of the priority of the analogy of faith over the analogy of being. Because of this, Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988), a Swiss Catholic theologian, tends to think that Barth’s “analogy of relation” between God’s dipolar relation of the Father and the Son and the relation between human beings in the world is already a part of the analogy of being based on the analogy of faith,[139] although Barth himself may not go so far as to say so very clearly yet.

Unification theism, too, believes that while God’s truth can genuinely be known only through God’s revelation to our absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience, we can also know God’s nature from our observation of the world as long as we are aware of the priority of absolute faith, love, and obedience. Hence Exposition of the Divine Principle states that we can know “the divine nature of the invisible God” by “observing the world which He created,” and that given our observation of the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang and also the dual characteristics of yang and yin universally present in the natural world, we can come to know God to be a God of the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang and of the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin.[140]

When talking about our knowledge of the world inductively leading to our knowledge of God’s nature, Unification theism uses a New Testament passage to support it: “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20).[141] In fact, Aquinas uses the same passage for his analogy of being.[142] Thus there is definitely a similarity between this aspect of Unification theism and Aquinas’ analogy of being. But at the same time there is quite a big difference between them. For while this inductive aspect of Unification theism leads us to know that God is a dipolar God, Aquinas’ approach concludes that God is only a monopolar God. The reason for this difference is that while Unification theism’s approach from below is already grounded in, and presupposed by, its other aspect which involves absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience, Aquinas’ analogy of being is not grounded in anything like the analogy of faith. In this sense, the inductive aspect of Unification theism is similar to Barth’s analogy of relation, which sees a link between the God’s dipolar relation and the relation between human beings in the world. Aquinas’ analogy of being, by contrast, is dissimilar to Barth’s analogy of relation.

Our discussion in the present section has been largely on Barth. We are aware that Barth may have some notoriety due to his initial emphasis on God’s utter transcendence from us. He actually referred to God as the “Wholly Other” in his book, The Epistle to the Romans, whose first edition was published in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I to attack theological liberalism.[143] This initially very conservative position started to change and become more moderate around 1930, and it was after that that he expressed his view of God’s dipolarity between freedom and love in Church Dogmatics II.1 (1940), and his understanding of God’s dipolarity between the Father and the Son in Church Dogmatics III.1 (1945) and III.2 (1948). Barth’s initial position in The Epistle to the Romans had such impact, “like a bombshell on the theologians’ playground,”[144] that most of his critics have paid attention only to it, not giving enough study to his later theological development.

The present writer wants to draw our attention to the profound significance of the growth and development of Barth’s theology, by saying that paradoxically it was because he was a conservative that he was able to outgrow his own initial conservatism. He was not a conservative for the sake of being a conservative but an authentic conservative, and he so faith¬fully humbled himself in front of the “hiddenness of God”  that God’s dynamic dipolarity was apparently revealed to him beyond the hiddenness of God.[145] Barth thus started to talk about the stooping down of the loving God to stay with human beings as God’s partners. Eventually, therefore, he even qualified his initial reference to God as the Wholly Other:

The God of the Gospel is no lonely God, self-sufficient and self-contained. He is no “absolute” God (in the original sense of absolute, i.e., being detached from everything that is not himself). To be sure, he has no equal beside himself, since an equal would not doubt limit, influence, and determine him. On the other hand, he is not imprisoned by his own majesty, as though he were bound to be no more than the personal (or impersonal) “wholly other.”[146]

It is interesting that such a conservative theologian as Barth can be enlisted as a defender of the Unification notion of God’s dual character¬is¬tics of Sungsang and Hyungsang through his analogy of faith, which encourages us to receive the revelation of God’s truth. What he teaches us is that if we first impose our own concepts and ideas upon God, we will not be able to know God’s truth about the divine dipolarity. Rev. Moon would agree with Barth’s approach, although this does not mean that Unification theism agrees with Barth’s doctrine of God on every point.



[1] A very useful definition of classical theism is given in Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2004), pp. 53-59.

[2] For this whole paragraph, see Unification Thought Institute, New Essentials of Unification Thought: Head-Wing Thought (Tokyo: Kogensha, 2006), pp. 2-19; and The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: H.S.A.-U.W.C., 1996), pp. 15-19. Henceforth both will be abbreviated as NEUT and EDP, respectively.

[3] The use of the words of “monopolar” and “dipolar” regarding God was popularized by Charles Hartshorne and other process thinkers. God is “monopolar,” when God is, as in Thomas Aquinas’ theology, treated as “an absolute exception” to the “Law of Polarity” which teaches that “ultimate contraries are correlatives, mutually interdependent, so that nothing real can be described by the wholly one-sided assertion of simplicity, being, actuality, and the like, each in a ‘pure’ form, devoid and independent of complexity, becoming, potentiality, and related contraries”; by contrast, God is “dipolar” when regarded as no exception to the Law of Polarity. For this, see Charles Hartshorne and William L. Reese, Philosophers Speak of God (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953), pp. 1-15. Prior to Hartshorne, the “dipolarity” of God as well as of each and every actual entity was discussed by Alfred North Whitehead in his Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology (New York: Macmillan, 1929); corrected ed., edited by David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne (New York: Free Press, 1978).

[4] Karl Barth talks about human beings as “covenant-partners” of God in his Church Dogmatics, III.2 (London: T&T Clark, 1960). Jürgen Moltmann treats human beings as God’s “friends” in the kingdom of the Spirit in his The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God, trans. Margaret Kohl (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), pp. 219-22. According to Sun Myung Moon, human being are supposed to become “true sons and daughters” of God; see his “Proclamation of True Sons and Daughters and Freedom,” Belvedere, Tarrytown, NY, June 10, 1990.

[5] NEUT, p. 25.

[6] NEUT, p. 23.

[7] NEUT, p. 251.

[8] Sun Myung Moon talks about “the day of fulfillment” as the time of God’s “joy.” See his “True Parents Day from the Historical Point of View,” Manhattan Center, New York, NY, April 18, 1977.

[9] Theodore Shimmyo, “Two Aspects of Love in God’s Heart in Unification Theism: Biblical Evidence,Journal of Unification Studies XV (2014): 101-13.

[10] For the whole paragraph, see NEUT, pp. 23-24.

[11] NEUT, p. 41.

[12] NEUT, p. 8.

[13] NEUT, pp. 105-10.

[14] NEUT, p. 2

[15] EDP, pp. 17-18. Strictly speaking, God’s “original internal nature” and “original external form” are actually Bonsungsang and Bonhyungsang in Korean, where Bon means “original” in the sense of being the cause of the sungsang and hyungsang of each creature. In this essay, however, we omit Bon to say that God has Sungsang and Hyungsang (with the initials capitalized). This is what NEUT does also.

[16] NEUT, p. 11.

[17] NEUT, pp. 9-12.

[18] NEUT, pp. 244-45.

[19] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, ed. Thomas Gilby (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1969), I, q. 4, a. 1-3, pp. 89-95.

[20] According to Plato, is God the Idea of the Good, the Demiurge, or both? This debate is described in Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, vol. I, pt. I (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1962), pp. 215-18. But Neoplatonism certainly equates God with the Idea of the Good.

[21] NEUT, p. 8.

[22] VEDP, pp. 32-36; NEUT, pp. 95-96.

[23] EDP, pp. 8, 81, 196; NEUT, pp. 251-57.

[24] EDP, p. 19.

[25] NEUT, p. 13; cf. EDP, pp. 18-19.

[26] NEUT, pp. 13, 110-13.

[27] NEUT, pp. 1-2.

[28] NEUT, pp. 2-19.

[29] Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary, rev. ed., trans. John H. Marks (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1972), p. 58.

[30] EDP, p. 18.

[31] NEUT, pp. 111-12.

[32] NEUT, p. 123.

[33] To explain it more precisely according to Unification Thought, when the inner unity of sungsang and hyungsang of one individual creature is followed by its outer or social unity with another individual creature, that process is a reflection of the “Two-Stage Structure of the Divine Image” in which the “inner give and receive action” between “Inner Sungsang” (intellect, emotion, and will) and “Inner Hyungsang” (ideas, concepts, and laws) within God’s Sungsang is followed by the “outer give and receive action” between God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang. Strictly speaking, therefore, the social relationship of unity between different creatures is considered to reflect the unity between God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang (NEUT, pp. 49-52).

[34] Sun Myung Moon, Sun Myung Moon’s Philosophy of Peace.

[35] NEUT has quite a detailed explanation of God’s creativity and human beings’ creativity on pp. 33-39, 169-72. But it is yet to develop a sense in which it can be said that non-human creatures, too, have creativity as long as they have the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang.

[36] EDP, pp. 43-44, 157-58.

[37] Sun Myung Moon, “Mainstream of the Dispensation of God,” a sermon given at Belvedere, Tarrytown, NY, USA, November 19, 1978.

[38] Ibid.

[39] NEUT, p. 8.

[40] Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma, 7 vols., trans. Neil Buchanan (New York: Dover, 1961), 1:180, n. 1. Harnack reports that the idea of a corporeality of God in those days was held also by those Christians who were under the influence of Stoic materialism.

[41] Terence E. Fretheim, The Suffering of God: An Old Testament Perspective (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), p. 102.

[42] Ibid., p. 105. Italics original.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Origen, De Pricipiis, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951), p. 242.

[45] Ibid., p. 241.

[46] Augustine refers to the corporealist Christians of his days as  “carnal men, unable as yet to form spiritual conceptions, who think of God as having a human form,” and he says that what they do is a laughable folly; see his “Against the Epistle of Manichaeans,” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, vol. IV (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974), p. 139. He also finds them among “these foolish deceivers” and says: “I was ignorant of that other reality, true Being. And so it was that I was subtly persuaded to agree with these foolish deceivers when they put their questions to me [such as]… ‘Is God limited by a bodily shape, and has he hairs and nails?’ … In my ignorance I was much disturbed over these things and, though I was retreating from the truth, I appeared to myself to be going toward it… and how should I have seen this when the sight of my eyes went no farther than physical objects, and the sight of my mind reached no farther than to fantasms? And I did not know that God is a spirit who has no parts extended in length and breadth, whose being has no mass”; see his Confessions 3.7.

[47] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, II, 16, 12.

[48] Thomas Aquinas, Questiones Disputatae de Veritate, q. 3, a. 5.

[49] “Hak Ja Han: Address God as ‘Heavenly Parents’.” There is, however, a careless mistake which needs to be corrected here. “Parents” must be “Parent.”

[50] See, for example, Cheon Seong Gyeong: Selections from the Speeches of True Parents (Seoul, Korea: Sunghwa Publishing Co., 2006), pp. 734, 912, 1151, 1470, 2141, 2523. Henceforth this book will be abbreviated as CSG.

[51] Sun Myung Moon, “Jesus Came to Be the True Parents,” September 14, 2011.; “How Many Parents Are There?” January 11, 2012. “January 18 Is the Saddest Day for Me,” March 17, 2012. “The Fall, God, Lucifer, Adam and Eve,” July 1, 2012.

[52] Andrew Wilson, “Heavenly Mother,” Journal of Unification Studies X (2009): 74.

[53] CSG, p. 95: “Why did God need Adam and Eve? He had two purposes: first, to realize the ideal of love, and second, for the invisible God to appear after assuming a form. For this reason, Adam and Eve are the base and core upon which the invisible God can assume a visible form and establish a relationship with the visible world.” Note that God here is still referred to with the masculine pronoun of He.

[54] This love relationship of unity between God and Adam, and between God and Eve, is made possible, because God, Adam, and Eve each have the dynamic dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang, or of sungsang and hyungsang, as was mentioned above in the second subsection of the present section.

[55] This is my own translation from the original Korean version, although CSG, an English version, more simply reads: “Had Adam and Eve not fallen, they would have loved each other, but they would have loved each other in place of God” (p. 2245).

[56] Again, this is my own translation from the original Korean text, and I have to emphasize the term “direct lineage” (직혜) here because CSG skips the word “lineage” as it reads: “we were created as God’s object partners who can receive God’s direct love” (p. 92).

[57] C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), p. 237.

[58] “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” 239. p1s2c1p2.htm.

[59] Regarding this, the Divine Principle says that God has “the qualities of internal nature [sungsang] and masculinity” and the created world “the qualities of external form [hyungsang] and femininity” (EDP, p. 19). This means also that the relationship of God and the world is a sungsang-hyungsang relationship as well. This echoes one of the themes of “panentheism” (not pantheism) that the world is “God’s body.” On this particular theme of panentheism, see Michael W. Brierley, “Naming a Quiet Revolution: The Panentheistic Turn in Modern Theology,” in In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God’s Presence in a Scientific World, ed. Philip Clayton and Arthur Peacocke (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), pp. 6-7.

[60] EDP, p. 19: “In recognition of God’s position as the internal and masculine subject partner, we can call Him ‘Our Father’.”

[61] Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1994), p. 98. Italics original.

[62] S. Michael Houndmann, ed., Questions about God: The 100 Most Frequently Asked Questions about God (Bloomington, Ind.: WestBow Press), p. 42.

[63] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 4, a. 3, p. 95.

[64] Ibid., I, q. 13, a. 5, pp. 205-9.

[65] Ibid., I, q. 7, a. 1-2, pp. 117-21.

[66] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1 (London: T&T Clark, 1957), p. 225.

[67] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, III.1 (London: T&T Clark, 1958), p. 196.

[68] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 2, a. 3, p.68.

[69] Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, p. 99.

[70] See especially chapter IV (“The World of the Trinity”) of Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, pp. 97-128.

[71] Millard J. Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, 2nd ed., edited by L. Arnold Hustad (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), p. 93. Italics added.

[72] CSG, p. 61.

[73] Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, p. 92.

[74] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 3, a. 4, and q. 3, a. 7, pp. 79, 85.

[75] Ibid., I, q. 3, a. 1-2, pp. 72-76.

[76] Ibid., I, q. 3, a. 3-8, pp. 76-88.

[77] Alvin Plantinga, Does God Have a Nature? (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1980), p. 46.

[78] Ibid., p. 47.

[79] NEUT, p. 24.

[80] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 6, a. 4, p. 116.

[81] Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles I, 81, 2.

[82] Ibid., II, 27.

[83] Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, p. 122. Italics added.

[84] Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, pp. 126-27.

[85] Ibid., pp. 58-59.

[86] EDP, p. 34.

[87] John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes (New York: Fordham University Press, 1974), pp. 186-88.

[88] Thomas Jay Oord, The Nature of Love: A Theology (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2010), p. 4.

[89] How God’s Heart suffers according to Unification theism is explained in detail in Theodore Shimmyo, “How a God of Omnipotence and Perfection Can Suffer: A Perspective from Unification Theism,” Journal of Unification Studies XIII (2012).

[90] EDP, p. 155.

[91] Shimmyo, “How a God of Omnipotence and Perfection Can Suffer: A Perspective from Unification Theism,” pp. 44-45.

[92] Thomas Aquinas, An Aquinas Reader: Selections from the Writings of Thomas Aquinas, ed. Mary T. Clark (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1972), p. 143.

[93] Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology, trans. R. A. Wilson and John Bowden (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), pp. 222-23.

[94] Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, p. 119.

[95] Jurgen Moltmann, “God’s Kenosis in the Creation and Consummation of the World,” in The Work of Love: Creation as Kenosis, ed. John Polkinghorne (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001), p. 149.

[96] Abraham J. Heschel, The Prophets (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), p. 241.

[97] NEUT, p. 118.

[98] Theodore T. Shimmyo, “Individuality and Relationship: A Unificationist View,” in Explorations in Unificationism, ed. Theodore T. Shimmyo and David A. Carlson (New York: HSA-UWC, 1997), pp. 127-40

[99] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 6, a. 1, p. 111.

[100] See, for example, Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, III, 64, 2 and 10.

[101] Aquinas, ibid., III, 21, 4.

[102] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 45, a. 7.

[103] Theodore T. Shimmyo, “The Unification Doctrine of the Trinity,” Journal of Unification Studies II (1998) : 6.

[104] NEUT, p. 24.

[105] NEUT, pp. 27-33.

[106] NEUT, p. 8.

[107] This can be known from Books V, VI, and VII of Augustine’s On the Trinity (De Trinitate).

[108] Catherine Mowry LaCugna, God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991), pp. 19-205.

[109] Lynne Faber Lorenzen has a good explanation of  this in her The College Student’s Introduction to the Trinity (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1999), pp. 7-23.

[110] Quoted in Karl Barth, Fragments Grave and Gray, ed. Martin Rumscheidt, trans. Eric Mosbacher  (London: HarperCollins, 1971), p. i.

[111] Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Theology of Karl Barth: Exposition and Interpretation, trans. Edward T. Oakes (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992), has an excellent explanation of Barth’s understanding of the analogy of faith (pp. 107-13) and of the analogy of being (pp. 161-67). Balthasar, however, was a Catholic theologian.

[112] Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1, p. 190.

[113] Ibid., p. 192.

[114] Ibid.

[115] Ibid., pp. 257-677.

[116] Ibid., pp. 340-41.

[117] Ibid., p. 264.

[118] Hendrikus Berkhof, Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Study of the Faith, rev. ed., trans. Sierd Woudstra (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), pp. 118-19.

[119] Barth, Church Dogmatics, III.1, p. 196.

[120] Ibid., p. 185.

[121] Ibid.

[122] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, III.2 (London: T&T Clark, 1960), pp. 219-20, 328.

[123] Barth, Church Dogmatics, III.1, p. 196. See also p. 185.

[124] Ibid., p. 195.

[125] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, I.1 (London: T&T Clark, 1936), pp. 333-47.

[126] Ibid., pp. 304-33.

[127] Ibid., pp. 227-47.

[128] Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1, p. 661.

[129] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 32, a. 1.

[130] See the whole section of “Through absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience” of CSG, pp. 2517-27.

[131] EDP, p. 11. Italics added.

[132] CSG, p. 2522.

[133] CSG, p. 2521.

[134] CSG, p. 2522.

[135] CSG, p. 2518.

[136] EDP, p. 32.

[137] Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1, p. 70.

[138] Ibid., p. 227.

[139] Balthasar, The Theology of Karl Barth, p. 163.

[140] EDP, pp. 15-19.

[141] EDP, p. 15.

[142] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 5, a. 5, p. 208.

[143] For references to God as the “Wholly Other,” see The Epistle to the Romans, 6th ed., trans. Edwyn C. Hoskyns (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), pp. 49, 326, 380, 386, 452.

[144] Karl Adam, Das Hochland, June 1926, as referenced in J. McConnachie, “The Teaching of Karl Barth,” Hibbert Journal 25 (1926–1927): 385.

[145] Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1, pp. 179-204.

[146] Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979), p. 10.

From Unification Thought to Unification Philosophy

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 16, 2015 - Pages 129-146

Unification Thought (UT), as systematized by the late Dr. Sang Hun Lee, is currently the only “philosophical” exposition of the Divine Principle (DP or the Principle) in the Unification Movement.[1] The Divine Principle, or simply the Principle, contains the core teachings of Unificationism and it is explored in Exposition of Divine Principle under theological themes.[2] While the Exposition presents the Principle through the interpretation of Biblical narratives, UT presents the Principle in non-biblical language through standard philosophical lenses such as ontology, epistemology and ethics. The attempt to reconstruct the Principle in natural language by asking standard questions of philosophy is a worthy endeavor. Yet, this approach has a fundamental problem. While almost all major philosophies were developed with an element of critical self-examination, UT was not; thus, UT appears as a reiteration of truth-claims without a significant effort in justifying those claims.

The difference in approach is far more important than it seems. By imposing a critical self-analysis, a thought system can clarify its own presuppositions, process of argument, and methodology of analysis. Rigorous self-critique is at the heart of the philosophical endeavor, which intellectuals appreciate regardless of the theistic or atheistic positions of the author. UT has not gained much appeal and acclaim by intellectuals, and in my view the primary reason is because of this lack of self-examination.[3]

This critical position further has the advantage of opening up questions regarding faith and reason, determinism and freedom, the existence of God and the afterlife, and more. Through this process, we can identify the philosophical characteristics of Unificationism and its unique contributions, if any, to the conversations occurring in the philosophy of religion and philosophy generally. Without an element of self-examination, UT’s key concepts and philosophical position remain unclear; without this clarity, UT cannot have a serious dialogue with other philosophies. Developing a critical self-analysis is a necessary step in order to engage with other philosophies and ideas generally.

In my view, in order to cultivate the Principle’s potential, we need to see it as an open system rather than a closed, rigid, system of ideas guarded by religious authority. By making self-critique an inherent stance, one can approach the study of the Principle not simply an apologetic, guided primarily by instrumental rationality, but as an open critique, led by communicative rationality which seeks dialogue with others and an open exploration of its own ideas.[4]

Nevertheless, the attempt of exposing the Principle in non-Biblical natural terms is the notable accomplishment of UT and was an important first step. A philosophical study of the Principle, however, must develop to the next level, and the shift from UT to Unification Philosophy can set the stage for a philosophical study of the Principle in the future.
In this essay, first, I will articulate the reason why we should move to a critical approach. By extending Plato’s “Euthyphro Dilemma,” I articulate the reason why even “revelation” requires interpretation to establish itself as revelation. Second, I will discuss a philosophical methodology of Unification Philosophy and raise questions about the concept of “unification” in Unificationism. I suggest hermeneutics as a possible method in light of developments in the philosophy of sciences.

The primary focus of the essay is the first part, the need to shift from UT to Unification Philosophy. Defining a philosophical methodology of Unification Philosophy requires a thorough analysis of the nature of religion, which is outside of the scope of this essay. My proposal of a hermeneutic method is preliminary and non-exclusive. One may certainly attempt other methods such as logical analysis of language, phenomenology (Husselian) or deconstruction.


The Principle and Rational Critique: The Need for a Unification Philosophy

The essence of philosophical discourse is critical self-examination. The critique and justification of its own presuppositions, points of departure, reasoning processes, truth-claims and conclusions are inherent to the discipline itself. Non-philosophical disciplines do not necessarily examine the nature, limit, and the basis of justification of their own knowledge.[5]

Beside standard fields of philosophy such as ontology, epistemology and ethics, philosophical analysis is carried out along with each field of knowledge: philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of history, and so on. Philosophy is by its own nature self-reflective, examines itself, and therefore includes a meta-philosophical layer in itself.

The critical inquiry is indispensable to a philosophy as it allows one to reveal hidden presuppositions and explore new horizons, thereby cultivating the philosophy’s potential. Consider the major breakthroughs in the history of thought. From antiquity to the present, the critical inquiry has disclosed unrecognized presuppositions of the age and given birth to a series of new ideas, discoveries, social and cultural developments. For this reason, philosophers appreciate radical (meaning “root” in Latin) questioning, which uncovers the unnoticed presuppositions held by the people of that era and opens up new horizons of thought. Uncovering invisible presuppositions applies to the activity of philosophy itself. The philosophical discourse demands the critical examination of its own starting point, process of reasoning and conclusions. In order to break the bondage of the past, philosophy has to liberate itself from the ground from which it arose.

Further, self-critique is necessary because it touches upon the nature of understanding itself. Every understanding presupposes some pre-understanding. Without understanding what one is looking for, even in a vague or implicit way, one cannot even ask the necessary questions. For this reason, the process of inquiry can be best understood as a circular process.[6]

Philosophy does not arise from vacuum. It arises from some understanding which is rooted in the past. Various conceptual tools and languages are inherited from a philosophy’s predecessors. Noticeable and unnoticed presuppositions, habits and customs of thinking, and unexamined biases are buried deep within this heritage. Yet, philosophy is tasked to move beyond the past in order to open new ways of thinking, which requires a critical analysis of its own ground it arose from.[7] Great thinkers have shown various ways in which to make a breakthrough by disclosing hidden presuppositions from the past and presenting new ways of understanding the world.

We learn how to think from those thinkers and appreciate their endeavors even if we disagree with their assumptions, beliefs and substantive claims. For this reason, atheists appreciate Augustine’s works and theists learn from works by avid atheists such as Nietzsche and Sartre. In my view, works of great thinkers exhibit certain elements of undeniable truth and readers learn both from those insights and how they arrived at those insights. Regardless of one’s religion or beliefs, readers can appreciate the merits of philosophical insights. Conversely, if a work lacks the rigor of critical analysis, its merits are limited for those who share the same beliefs.

UT lacks this critical element and the work is basically a reiteration of truth-claims of the Principle with additional truth-claims. Key concepts of the Principle remain ambiguous. This lack of self-examination is the glaring deficiency of UT. There is nothing harder than digesting a cluster of truth-claims which lack a critical analysis and an attempt at justifying those positions. In order to make a breakthrough in the study of the Principle, we must turn from an uncritical reiteration to a serious examination of the Principle.

Is Reveled Truth Subject to Rational Critique?

Some may argue that the Principle and UT are not subject to critical analysis because the Principle is revealed truth and UT is its reiteration; the authority of revelation lies on God and the revealed truth is beyond reason. This argument, however, often presupposes separating revealed truth from natural truth and dividing our cognitive faculties between faith and reason. This categorical separation would insulate revelation from rational critique.

I argue that revelation requires critical examination and matters of faith must be subject to rational critique for three reasons. First, as demonstrated by the Euthyphro dilemma, even revealed truth carries the burden of establishing its truthfulness. Second, as revealed truth requires interpretation, the content and framework of that interpretation must be subject to critical examination. Third, social and historical aspects of identifying and authenticating revelations necessitate a critical examination of revealed truth.

In his dialogue Euthyphro, Plato articulated the Euthypho dilemma: "Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" (10a). In Ethics, the question is formulated as: “Does God command x because it is good, or is x good because God commands it?” The latter position is called God Command Ethics. It holds that whatever God commands is good by virtue of the fact God commands it. There is no account of why something is good except that it is God’s will. The former position, on the other hand, demands an explanation of why and how x is good.

The Euthyphro dilemma can be extended to the relationship between revelation and truth contained in the concept of “revealed truth”: “Did God give revelation x, because it is true, or did x become true because God revealed it?” If the latter is the case, no discussion is necessary to explain why and how something is true. The concept of truth, however, loses its meaning in ordinary sense of the term. The former, however, requires explanations of why and how x is true; truth carries the burden of establishing its truthfulness.

The Principle seems to take the former position. Thus, the Principle claims to have solved biblical enigmas and contradictions in traditional Christian interpretations. The Principle itself is the attempt to establish the truthfulness of the Principle by presenting a consistent and coherent account of traditional theological issues. Similarly, the Principle has the burden of establishing its philosophical truthfulness.

Second, the mode of interpretation of revealed truth must be subject to critical examination. Revelations generally involve interpretation on multiple levels. In order to identify information as revelation in contradistinction with imagined images or even unconscious desires or hallucinations, the receiver must demonstrate its truthfulness. Furthermore, because revelations often involve images and symbols, the receiver must interpret their meanings so as to make sense of them. In order to make the correct interpretation of a revelation, the interpretation itself requires some valid criteria or interpretive schema that constitutes a framework of interpretation. Since the process of interpretation is circular,[8] one must examine both the contents of interpretation and the framework of interpretation within which interpretation is carried out.

Further, revelations are a one-time occurrence that happens to a particular individual at a particular time. In this way, revelations are unlike scientific theories that are repeatable or subject to experimentation. Therefore, the burden of proving the truthfulness of a revelation is arguably greater than a scientific truth as one who claims the truthfulness of a revelation cannot establish its authenticity by proclamation alone. Anybody can claim to be a “messiah” or a “messenger of God,” even those who hallucinate or have delusions. How does one distinguish revelations from delusions? The meaningfulness of the message may be one criterion. Where a delusion can be meaningful only to an individual person, a revelation demands meaningfulness as recognized by people other than the claimant.

The meaningfulness of the message can be established by layers of hermeneutic work. In the case of the Principle, the message can establish its validity and meaningfulness by responding to intellectual challenges. The text Exposition of Divine Principle, be it successful or not, attempts to show how the Principle can resolve problems of traditional biblical interpretation. It is the convincing rationale of the message, if any, which establishes the authenticity of its “revelation.” Similarly, it is the convincing philosophical arguments that can establish the meaningfulness of the revelation. Without such an exposition, revelations remain as philosophically meaningless, self-proclaimed private experiences which no one has access to. Hermeneutic activities are thus indispensable to show why and how the given knowledge is meaningful.

Third, revelations have a social, historical and political dimension. It requires acknowledgement by people in the faith tradition and communities. In organized religions, it is often the case that those who gain political power determine what counts as “revelation” and what the “authentic” interpretation is. Rational critique at this level has social and political dimensions, even though the legitimacy of revealed truth is another issue. Nevertheless, that which is put forward as the authentic interpretation requires a convincing rationale.


Hermeneutics: A Methodology of Unification Philosophy?

Then, if the Principle requires a critical approach, one such approach may be an open, dialogical, and challenge-and-response approach. This approach presents itself as an exploration, rather than an apologetic. A dialogical method is slightly different from deductive or inductive reasoning. Apologetics often utilize deductive and inductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning attempts to draw all possible conclusions and implications from the set premises. Inductive reasoning in apologetics tries to collect supportive evidences to justify the premise. Apologetics often uses reason as an instrument to achieve the ends or goals. 

The task is to explore the premises and its presuppositions themselves. The process, therefore, takes a circular path, as would any hermeneutic work. This type of approach would pose a challenge to the Principle, to which the Principle responds. Key concepts of the Principle can be examined through an open dialogue with the questions of philosophy, and the potential of the Principle can be discovered through this tension between the Principle and the problematics of philosophy generally.

The question remains, however, what would the methodology of Unification Philosophy entail? This is a critical yet difficult question. A methodology is often closely tied with the characteristics of the philosophy that it is applied to. Therefore, in Unificationism the method can be derived from the characteristics of the Principle itself. For this reason, an inquiry into methodology is, at the same time, inquiry into the nature of the Principle itself. As such, the concept of “unification” provides a first step in this examination.

The Idea of Unification in Unificationism

The term unification is symbolic in Unificationism. In the “Introduction” of Exposition of the Divine Principle, the unity of all religions and philosophies is listed as the “mission” of “new truth” that refers to the Principle: “This new truth must be able to embrace all historical religious, ideologies and philosophies and bring complete unity among them.”[9] Among all types of knowledge, the Principle highlights the unity of science and religion as the mission of new truth:

What missions must the new truth fulfill? The new truth should be able to unify knowledge by reconciling the internal truth pursued by religion and the external truth pursued by science.[10]

Referring to the Principle, the text notes, “There must emerge a new truth which can reconcile religion and science and resolve their problems in an integrated undertaking.”[11]

In practice, the idea of the integration of science and religion was also implemented as a series of academic conferences. Rev. Moon initiated and sponsored International Conference on the Unity of Sciences (ICUS) in 1970 and continued its annual conference for twenty-two times until 2000. Participants included prominent scholars including Nobel Laureate such as Lord Adrian (Physiology), Robert S. Mulliken (Chemical Physics), Sir John Eccles (Physiology and Biophysics) and Eugene P. Wigner (Physics). The consistent theme in these ICUS conferences was the relationship between science and values within the overarching theme of the unity of science and religion.[12] 

Throughout these ICUS conferences, UT was presented as the “philosophical” text of the founder, Rev. Moon.[13] Although UT texts were distributed to conference participants, it attracted almost no one.[14] In my opinion, the lack of a critical position of UT was one reason why UT did not gain much attention amongst the participants.

The Unification Thought Institute was established in 1972 in both Korea and Japan, and international conferences on UT have been held since 1983. In 1999, the Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought was established at the University of Bridgeport.[15] Rev. Moon specifically proposed the term “integration of world thought” rather than “unification thought” with intent of developing an integral approach for the study of the Principle. The research at these conferences and institutes has been conducted within the framework of UT. However, the philosophical study of the Principle must extend beyond the current framework of UT if it is to encompass the integration of world thought.

Integration: Substantive or Methodological?

The idea/concept of unification is far more complex than we suppose. Each discipline has its own methodology, norms and standards appropriate to its subject matter. As Aristotle noted, rigor in mathematics and logic is different from that of political science and ethics.[16] Each type of phenomena demands its own type of rigor and specific methodologies. The unity or integration of diverse disciplines or sciences necessarily has to consider a question of a methodology of methodologies, that is, a question of meta-methodology. Since philosophy has a meta-methodological element, we can view philosophy as an attempt at the unification or integration of knowledge. Thus, the idea of the integration of knowledge is not new; the concept of unification is, more or less, inherent to philosophy since antiquity.

Pre-Socratic thinkers developed a substantive theory in order to give a better account of the world than the mythical explanations that were based on the arbitrary will of the gods and a variety of ad hoc hypotheses. Plato attempted to integrate the naturalistic explanations put forth by the Pre-Socratics and socio-ethical approaches of Sophists[17] and Socrates. His metaphysics, a theory of Ideas, which is a substantive theory, is the theory he came up with as the result of his efforts at integrating natural theories and social-ethical theories.

Plato built his theory from an essentialist perspective, which presupposed reality to be unchanging and eternal. Aristotle further developed the most comprehensive theory of his time, or arguably in the history of philosophy. Augustine adopted Plato and Aquinas used Aristotle to develop Christian philosophy. Christian thinkers attempted to integrate their faith with the naturalist explanations of Plato and Aristotle. Thus, Greek and Medieval thinkers both attempted to develop a substantive theory to account for diverse natural, social and human phenomena.

Although methodological concerns were always present in the works of Ancient and Medieval thinkers who focused on a substantive metaphysics, Modern thinkers began to shift their focus to methodology and epistemology.[18] Contemporary philosophers generally take a methodological approach, yet they often question the meaning of the method itself as well as explore underlying issues such as rationality, subject-object framework, and the notion of truth. The integration of knowledge is a continuing issue in philosophy, because philosophy is a discipline that seeks a perspective with which to view all phenomena within a set of principles.

Wittgenstein, for example, took the logical analysis of language as the task of philosophy, which became the source of inspiration for analytic philosophy. Since all ideas and thoughts are presented in language, he argued, philosophical problems arose from a confused way of using language. Analytic Philosophy, which is dominant in the English speaking world, takes the logical analysis of language as the way to do philosophy. Philosophers who take this approach explicitly reject developing any substantive theory. For them, philosophy is essentially critical reasoning; hence the focus on developing a consistent methodology and logic.

Husserl, on the other hand, developed phenomenology as the way to articulate the human experience. He developed phenomenology as the method of doing philosophy and characterized it as the science of all sciences.[19] Phenomenology became the major source of subsequent philosophies developed by Heidegger, Gadamer and others, leading to the philosophical grouping known as Continental Philosophy. While the methods of philosophy employed by Continental philosophers vary, generally they see ideas and thoughts as contextualized in layers of social, cultural, political and historical contexts. Within this tradition, philosophers have taken a variety of approaches in analyzing and articulating the complex mechanisms of contextualization.

The question of a method and a substantive theory is not a clear cut choice as it appears. This is particularly true for Continental Philosophy. Husserl, for example, set phenomenology as the methodology but developed a substantive theory called Formal Ontology. Heidegger used hermeneutic phenomenology as the method but developed an ontology which he called Fundamental Ontology. What distinguishes them from pre-modern speculative metaphysics is a clear awareness of methodology.

The question of the approach or method of the Principle, together with the concept of unification, requires further investigation. No matter what kind of theory one develops, one cannot present it without articulating its methodology.


The Development of the Philosophy of Science: from a Positivist Model to a Hermeneutic Model   

As the history of philosophy directs Unificationism to the direction of a meta-methodology, an inquiry into the development of the philosophy of science can shed new light on what tasks this meta-methodology must undertake. Although imperfect, the modern scientific approach has been highly regarded by the vast majority of people as the most reliable body of knowledge. As the philosophy of science progressed, however, philosophers have recognized the interpretive dimension of this approach and form of knowledge. Thus, the task for a Unificationist methodology becomes not only a hermeneutic one, but a meta-hermeneutic one that encompasses incommensurable systems of thought.

Logical Positivism

In the twentieth century philosophy of science, the way philosophers understood science went through important changes. Logical positivism, which flourished around the 1920s and 1930s, viewed science as un-interpreted, “verified” or “verifiable” knowledge, in sharp contrast to interpreted, un-verified or un-verifiable knowledge in such fields as religion, ethics, arts and literature. They took a linguistic approach and focused on distinguishing verifiable from unverifiable knowledge.

Logical positivists divided knowledge into three categories: First, formal knowledge such as logic and mathematics, whose truthfulness is presupposed; second, knowledge verifiable by empirical sciences; and third, the rest of knowledge including ethics, religion, literature and other knowledge in the humanities. They established the “verifiability thesis” as the criterion of meaningfulness: cognitively meaningful knowledge is limited to knowledge that is verifiable by empirical sciences. Cognitively meaningful knowledge is a kind of knowledge we can determine its truth or falsity. If we cannot, in principle, determine truth or falsity, the knowledge is cognitively meaningless. They argued that cognitively meaningful knowledge is limited to the first two kinds. Knowledge in the third category, such as religion and ethics, is cognitively meaningless. Knowledge in religion and ethics can be “subjectively” meaningful just like poetry and music, but they are “cognitively” meaningless because their truth/falsity is not determinable by empirical sciences. Under this “verifiability thesis,” claims in religion and ethics are understood as expression of subjective preferences or likes and dislikes. In the early twentieth century, a group of philosophers and scientists established the Vienna Circle and their radical scientism dominated communities of philosophers of science.

Logical positivists also attempted the “unity of sciences.” They viewed physics, which led the development of modern sciences, as the most reliable model science and attempted to build a hierarchy of knowledge on the basis of physics, upon which chemistry, physiology, psychology and other “fuzzier” or “less rigorous” sciences are built.

Because they approached science from the perspective of the “meaning” of terms, they attempted to develop a translation mechanism to translate all terms/concepts of various sciences in terms of physics.

Despite subsequent challenges to the verifiability thesis, logical positivism significantly influenced our way of thinking. The thesis of logical positivism entails a sharp distinction of knowledge in science and religion: scientific knowledge is un-interpreted, neutral, verifiable (thus, cognitively meaningful) knowledge; religious knowledge or knowledge in humanities are interpreted, unverifiable (thus, cognitively meaningless knowledge). Once we face the question of truth or falsity of knowledge, we tend to turn to empirical science as the basis to validate the knowledge. Although logical positivist had to abandon their initial position, their verifiability thesis is a clear and radical formulation of what many think about knowledge.

Critique of Logical Positivism

As the philosophy of science developed, however, the verifiability thesis was challenged by subsequent philosophers; in particular, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn challenged the verifiability thesis of logical positivism.

Karl Popper presented “falsifiability” as the essential characteristics of scientific theory as opposed to “verifiability.” Scientific knowledge is, Popper argued, open to falsification whereas non-scientific knowledge or pseudo-science is not, in principle, falsifiable because it can bring in other ad-hoc hypotheses and circumvent contradiction or counter-example.[20]

Popper argued that religion, Marxism and psychoanalysis all fall into the category of “closed” (non-falsifiable) systems. Scientific knowledge, on the other hand, is open to refutation and falsification. Scientific knowledge is tentative and open to change. Religious knowledge is “absolute” and “closed” because the theory is immune to falsification. While Marxists presented Marxism as a “scientific” theory, Popper viewed it as pseudo-science because of its closed structure. Technically speaking, while logical positivists approached the question of science from the perspective of identifying the criteria of meaningful propositions, Popper approached the issue from the perspective of the demarcation between science and pseudo-science or non-science.

Thomas Kuhn, who is known for his “paradigm” concept, criticized logical positivism for its view of science as ahistorical, interpretation-free knowledge. It had been long held by philosophers and others that scientific theories are universal, ahistorical, neutral and free from interpretation.[21] Kuhn’s criticisms of logical positivism led to the realization that scientific theories include hypotheses that are not necessarily testable by empirical methods, and the “valid” methods are those accepted by the scientific community at a particular stage of history. In other words, scientific theories are in fact far more indefinite and loose than they were once believed to be. Kuhn articulated the presence of social, historical dimensions of scientific theories and highlighted their interpretive dimensions.

Kuhn was a historian of science. In his detailed analyses of the development of scientific theories, he pointed out that there are two distinct stages: first, the refinement of scientific theories by “puzzle solving” in “normal science”; second, a radical “paradigm shift” of fundamental assumptions of scientific theories such as a shift from Newtonian Physics to Einsteinian Theories.[22] Pre-Kuhnian philosophers of science viewed the development of science as a linear process. They believed that there are certain standards or ways to falsify an old theory and validate a new theory, and thereby assuming that competing theories are “commensurable.” Kuhn rejected this commensurability thesis and argued that there is no common standard or a way to determine which theory is valid and which one is invalid between competing theories (competing theories are thus “incom-mensurable”). A shift from one theory to another takes place as a paradigm shift. According to Kuhn, this shift is not a matter of theoretical reasoning but a practical decision comparable to a religious conversion. Thus, rationality takes different forms at these two stages of reasoning. In the former stage of normal science, rationality progresses linearly; in the latter stage, scientists make a practical decision to choose or shift from one rationality to another. Put differently, the former form of rationality in the normal science stage of a theory progresses within the same hermeneutic framework, whereas reasoning shifts from one framework to another during a paradigm shift.

Post-Kuhnian philosophers of science further challenged the neutrality of scientific data and observation. They argued that scientific data is not neutral but is loaded with scientific theory as the framework of interpretation.[23] For example, the ampere, a unit of electric current, is meaningful and derived from electro-magnetic theory. Amps, volts and other units are meaningful and loaded with a theoretical framework. Data or observational language is not neutral, but is loaded with a theoretical framework.

Then, if natural science, which was believed to be interpretation-free, objective knowledge, has in fact a hermeneutic dimension, the gap between natural science and human and social science is smaller than previously believed. Later in his career, Kuhn recognized hermeneutics as the common base amongst all disciplines of science. In his essay "Natural and Human Sciences,"[24] he rephrased his concept of paradigm as “hermeneutic core," and explored the extension of his thesis in the natural sciences to social, human sciences.

Although Kuhn recognized hermeneutics as the common framework for all sciences, this approach does not easily lead to the “integration” of knowledge. One of Kuhn’s theses is “incommensurability,” that is, there is no common standard to compare competing paradigms and determine which is better than others. Each paradigm has its own standard, norm and rigor. If there is one common standard by which we can compare the superiority of one paradigm over another, these theories are “commensurable.” Just as we cannot determine the superiority of one language over another for the reason that they are “incommensurable,” Kuhn argues, competing paradigms are “incommensurable.”

We can understand the incommensurability thesis if we consider various religions. Each religion forms a particular hermeneutic system. Although we can see the strength and weakness of each religion and compare them, we do not have one set of standards by which we can rank their superiority. Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis can be applied to religions, languages and scientific theories. It can also cast a new light on the idea of the “unification” of knowledge in Unificationism.

As we see in the Kuhnian and post-Kuhnian development in the philosophy of science, unity or integration of knowledge is like a meta-hermeneutic work among diverse hermeneutic systems. Each theory, be it scientific or religious, is a hermeneutic system with its own rigor, rules, norms and practices. If Kuhn is right, they are “incommensurable.” The idea of integration or unification of competing theories is like a hermeneutic of “incommensurable” hermeneutic systems.

Kuhn and post-Kuhnian philosophers of science are pluralists. From their perspective, the integration of various sciences/religions is not possible, just as the integration of languages is not possible. Thus, the task of unification and developing an appropriate methodology must engage in a meta-hermeneutic work that can encompass diverse hermeneutic systems. As critics of Kuhn argue, the incommensurability thesis may entail radical relativism. Juxtaposing competing theories is not integration. Yet, we cannot ignore challenges Kuhnian philosophers are posing. Unificationism is tasked to find a new ground which makes it possible to deal with the relationship between unity and diversity at a new level.



The concept of “unification” or “integration” is symbolic to Unificationism. The Principle discusses all kinds of unity: unity of mind and body; unity of religions; unity of science and religion; unity of communities and social groups, etc. In spite of the rampant use of the concept, it has not been clearly defined and articulated. This article approaches the issue from the need for a critical stance and a methodology, and observes issues such as incommensurability and rationality. Closely tied issues, which I did not discuss in the essay, are concept of truth and subject-object framework, as raised by Heidegger.[25]

The task of the unity of thought remains even in specific areas of philosophy, such as ethics. UT discusses a family-based virtue ethics; however, ethical concepts of justice, moral autonomy, consequentialism and others raised in the Principle have not been consolidated into an ethical theory in UT. More broadly, there is no theoretical model that can integrate the three major modes of ethics today: utilitarianism, deontological ethics and virtue theory. The former two theories take a formal approach (they define moral duty by formal rules without discussing a moral good), the latter takes a substantive approach (define moral duty based on a specific moral good). A critical approach to the Principle can open up new questions and allow Unificationists to explore the Principle and its task of unification, as applied to the concerns and questions of philosophy generally.

The idea of “integration” of theories/positions necessarily leads Unificationists to the underlying issues that divide competing theories. As a dialog with philosophy of science showed challenges that demand responses from the Principle, similar challenge-and-response is unavoidable in each and every field of knowledge. A shift form UT to Unification Philosophy is certainly a challenge to Unificationism. It is, however, the challenge that draws the potential of the Principle. In order for Unificationism to flourish or even to keep it alive, self-overcoming is the necessary process, as an avid atheistic thinker suggests: “The snake that cannot slough its skin, perishes.” (Nietzsche, Daybreak, Aphorism 573)[26]



[1] The most complete text of Unification Thought is New Essentials of Unification Thought: Head-Wing Thought (Tokyo: UTI-Japan, 2005). For the full text, see Accessed March 23, 2015.

[2] Sun Myung Moon, Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, 1996).

[3] Glenn Strait, a key organizer of the ICUS, notes that contrary to Rev. Moon’s expectation, Unification Thought did not gain appeal and acclaim by intellectuals. See “Lessons from Reverend Moon’s New Cultural Strategy,” Applied Unificationism (Blog), October 6, 2014. Accessed March 29, 2015.

[4] I am referring to Jürgen Habermas for the contrast between “instrumental rationality” and “communicative rationality.” See Jürgen Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action (Boston: Beacon Press, 1984). For a critique of “instrumental rationality,” see Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, and Other Essays (New York: Harper & Row, 1977).

[5] Edmund Husserl, for example, distinguished philosophy from other sciences as the self-reflective discipline, in “Philosophy as Rigorous Science,” trans. in Q. Lauer (ed.), Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy (New York: Harper 1965).

[6] The paradox of inquiry is formulated by Plato and it is known as “Meno’s Paradox” (Meno 80d-e). If you know what you are looking for, the inquiry is unnecessary. If you do not know what you are looking for, the inquiry is impossible. Plato’s solution to this paradox is the theory of recollection. Another way to understand the process of knowing is to view it as turning what was implicitly understood into an explicit understanding. Thus, understanding itself has a circular process, which is a part of the “hermeneutic circle.”

[7] Heidegger elaborated the necessity of heritage for any human understanding and Gadamer further clarified how tradition and authority work in any interpretation. They both argued against the Enlightenment concept of rationality as prejudice-free or tradition-free knowledge. They argued that human understanding or interpretation is possible based upon the past. Thus, a critical analysis of its heritage is inevitable for any discourse. See Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (New York: Harper, 1962), and Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method (New York: Seabury Press, 1975).

[8] Hermeneutic circles exist at multiple levels: part and whole; pre-understanding and understanding. For example, to understand the words in a given language, one must know the relationship between the part (word) and the whole (language) on a number of levels. In this way, the hermeneutic inquiry is circular.

[9] Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 8.

[10] Ibid., p. 7.

[11] Ibid. pp. 6-7.

[12] For themes of ICUS, see Accessed March 29, 2015.

[13] UT was discussed as the central theme in the philosophy session beginning with the 13th ICUS, and Dr. Sang Hun Lee became a permanent honorable chair on the committee beginning with the 18th ICUS.

[14] Strait, “Lessons from Reverend Moon’s New Cultural Strategy.”

[15] See the Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought website for information. Accessed June 1, 2015.

[16] Exactitude is the rigor in mathematics and logic, whereas prudence is the norm in practical discipline such as politics and ethics. Aristotle is the first intellectual to classify various disciplines according to the nature of phenomena and its proper methodology.

[17] As the term “sophistry” implies, Sophists are known as morally decadent relativists or even nihilists. This image was created primarily by Plato’s negative depiction of the Sophists as opponents of Socrates. Their perspectives, however, can be comparable to those of social scientists by today’s standard. They argued not based upon moral idealism, such as Plato did, but from realistic assessment of human behaviors driven by power, incentives, and appearances.

[18] I am using “methodology” in a broad sense. Strictly speaking, some are critical of “methodologism.” Gadamer, for example, developed his philosophical hermeneutics against modern methodologism.

[19] Husserl developed phenomenology as the science of all sciences. He attempted to develop a philosophical discipline which can encompass human, social, and natural sciences. Analytic philosophy, on the other hand, took logical analysis of language as the approach to discuss all philosophical issues and problems.

[20] A classic problem of empiricism is that no matter how many experiences one may have, one can never reach universal statement, and one piece of counter-evidence can falsify a universal statement. The most one can expect from empirical knowledge is “probable” knowledge. Thus, Popper argued that no scientific experiment can “verify” a theory once for all; knowledge in science is limited to “probable” knowledge. For his “falsifiability thesis,” see Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959).

[21] The idea of interpretation-free rationality can be traced back to the Enlightenment. Richard J. Bernstein, Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983).

[22] For Kuhn’s account of the development of science, see T.S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).

[23] The thesis is known as “theory-ladenness” of observation and data. Beside Kuhn, Norwood Russell Hanson and Paul Feyerabend are known for this thesis. See Norwood Russell Hanson, Patterns of Discovery; An Inquiry into the Conceptual Foundations of Science (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University. Press, 1958); Paul Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (London: NLB, 1975).

[24] Kuhn’s essay “Natural and Human Sciences” can be found in David R. Hiley, James Bohman and Richard Shusterman, The Interpretive Turn: Philosophy, Science, Culture (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991) and in Thomas S. Kuhn, James Conant and John Haugeland, The Road Since Structure: Philosophical Essays, 1970-1993, with an Autobiographical Interview (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), pp. 216-223.

[25] If we take a hermeneutic approach, we will have to examine the concept of truth and the ontological framework of subject and object. In Being and Time, Heidegger argued that proper hermeneutics is not possible within a modern subject-object (mental-physical) ontological framework. Within this framework, “meanings” become psychological events in private mind (subject; less real) outside of physical reality (object; real). He presented the world as a teleologically organized matrix of meaning and argued that a physicalist subject-object framework is derived from our projection of the theoretical framework of the originally meaningful world. Heidegger also rejected the correspondence theory of truth (truth is defined as the correspondence between idea and reality) that is presupposed by the subject-object framework. He defined truth as “disclosure,” “unconcealment,” or “uncovering.” Unificationism views the world as teleological. In order to establish the “reality” of purposes, Unificationists will have to re-eamine the modern physicalist subject-object framework and their concept of truth.

[26] Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Maudemarie Clark and Brian Leiter, Daybreak Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 569.

The Need to Recover Gender Balance, to Understand God as both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 16, 2015 - Pages 65-128

On January 7, 2013, Hak Ja Han Moon, the wife of Sun Myung Moon and the current head of the worldwide Unification Movement, made a truly momentous and historical announcement: from that date forward we in the Unification Movement should all be addressing God not as Heavenly Father, but “Heavenly Parent.”[1] The term Heavenly Parent necessarily implies that God is equally Heavenly Mother as well as Heavenly Father, for in Korean the word “parent” means both father and mother.[2]

In the movement until now, it was customary to designate God in the masculine as Heavenly Father. This was mainly because of influences coming from the Old and New Testament Ages, when God was regularly viewed in male terms. Exposition of the Divine Principle, one of the major texts of Unification Theology, acknowledges that the book was written largely for the Christian audience.[3] Yet one of the drawbacks of viewing God from the Christian perspective, as that of Judaism and Islam, is that its image of God is limited to Heavenly Father. This is strikingly different from the way God is imagined in the world’s other religious traditions.[4] However, since the movement claims that it is the central providential, messianic movement and the “only place on earth” that provides a “religious ideal in one unified ideological system” that can lead fallen people from ignorance to the truth of God, the very first issue that needs to be elucidated is why viewing God in male terms should not continue, as God is in fact the Heavenly Parent who is both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.[5]

This paper will pursue an inquiry into why the One God is both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. It will discuss the reasons why, during the history of restoration through indemnity, Heavenly Mother’s existence had been obscured owing to Adam and Eve’s Fall and Eve’s greater sin.[6] It takes the perspective that to understand the cause, one must first commence from Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation and absolute standard of value. These are elucidated in what this writer would term the Divine Heart Principle in place of the Divine Principle.[7]

In discussing human value, we will begin by clearly defining what it means for a human being to be the sum total of the essence of all things and of the dual, spiritual and physical worlds.[8] We must elucidate why Heavenly Parent finished His/Her 95-percent portion of the creative process with not just one human being but with one man and woman, each equally the sum total value of the creation but different as to their sex.[9] Moreover, Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation is not to realize the 100-percent “ideal” reality at all times, but to co-create with human beings and honoring their 5-percent human portion of responsibility.[10] Hence, there is need to review the 5-percent human portion. As we shall see, this has to do with the fulfillment of the Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings, encompassing the dual positions, or individual and collective levels, of human responsibility.[11]

Since Heavenly Parent cannot realize the ideal of creation without the fulfillment of 5 percent human portion, we must begin from the first human ancestors Adam and Eve and the various ramifications of their Fall. In tracing the course of the Fall, it is obligatory to study not only the implication of Adam and Eve’s sin together on the collective level, but also to scrutinize their differing individual sinful choices, because Adam and Eve’s disparate individual choices affected mankind and womankind differently. In addition, one must also review the collective level implication of Adam and Eve’s Fall with a lower creation—the archangel Lucifer, as it lowered collective human value below that of other physical creations and created havoc in the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation.[12]

Another ramification of the Fall was that by Adam and Eve lowing human value below the physical creation, humanity lost internal or spiritual knowledge relating to Heavenly Parent and external knowledge relating to the physical world.[13] After the Fall, fallen humanity and fallen human culture began from the debased, ignorant, and primitive position, just like that of physical-self-only creations that lack spiritual senses to experience spiritual reality and the intelligence to comprehend the mechanics of the physical world. As such, part of the history of restoration through indemnity is Heavenly Parent’s 95-percent effort to elevate fallen humanity’s understanding of internal and external knowledge by means of religion and science, respectively.[14] However, even this point must be properly understood, in that no matter how quickly Heavenly Parent wanted human beings to recover internal and external knowledge, S/He cannot interfere with the 5-percent human portion but has to reckon with the level of humanity’s growth. Yet because the central foundations underwent repeated failures and prolongations, the recovery of external knowledge, and in particular of internal knowledge through religion, has taken a convoluted path.[15]

Humanity’s understanding of God has followed the similarly complicated path. At the outset, Adam and Eve should have been the ideal first human ancestors who would connect the Heavenly Parent to humanity as their ultimate Parent.[16] However, when they com-mitted the sexual Fall with archangel Lucifer, since sexuality unites the partners into one and implicates the lineage along with it, humanity came to have two or multiple parents—Heavenly Parent and a being of the lower creation. Both took part as parents of the human lineage.[17] This is the reason that the early expressions of religion were polytheistic, believing in multiple gods instead of revering one single God or Heavenly Parent.

Moreover, since Eve, who represented womankind to come as well as Heavenly Mother, had committed the more unpalatable double sexual sin, fallen humanity began to think of women as lowly sex objects. Not only that, their concept of female god was often narrowly imagined only in relation to “various aspects of fecundity” through sexuality, including even the perversion of sexuality in the form of grotesque “exaggeration of… [sexual] organs.”[18]

Thereafter, when restoration began in earnest with Judaism, the first monotheism, since womankind’s restoration had not been completed, and since Eve and by extension womankind were still “double sinners” in a position twice removed from the absolute standard of value as compared to Adam’s single sin, restoration could only initially begin from the male side. Consequently, God was perceived predominantly in male terms even amongst the monotheists.[19] Following Judaism, Christianity began with only the foundation of a male individual in Jesus. There was no contribution from the Bride, but it simply continued the firm grip on the masculine interpretation of reality with the Father God.

Thereafter, the Unification Movement, which inherited the providential mission from Christianity and its legacy as well, initially began centering on the male central figure with Father God.[20] Restoration on the male side, with True Father the male central figure working with Heavenly Father, occurred prior to the activity of True Mother as the female central figure along with her daughters.[21] True Mother and her daughters must open the way to womankind’s liberation, as well as to Heavenly Mother’s advent, and complete the process of restoration, which continues still.


1. A Problematic Issue in Unification Theology

Paul Tillich, one of the leading theologians of twentieth century, defines theology in the following manner. He states:

Theology moves back and forth between two poles, the eternal truth of its foundation and the temporal situation in which the eternal truth must be received. Not many theological systems have been able to balance these two demands perfectly... Some of them… identify it with some previous theological work, with traditional concepts and solutions, and try to impose these on a new, different situation. They confuse eternal truth with a temporal expression of this truth.[22]

Granted that Paul Tillich’s “two poles” strategy is a correct method to define theology, one should apply the same to the current theology of the Unification Movement, which views itself the providential movement having the mission to educate fallen humanity with the new expression of truth.[23] That is, even what is termed the “new expression of truth” of Unification Theology must necessarily be separated into two poles: Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation or absolute standard of value on one pole, and the process of restoration on the other pole. The latter is only a temporal solution for the purpose of undoing the human mistakes that began from the Fall and which, as it has nothing to do with His/Her eternal truth, should never again repeat once restoration is complete.[24] Further, from the perspective of the Divine Heart Principle, a systematic effort to separate what is God’s eternal purpose of creation from what is consequence of free willed human choice, which may not always coincide with Heavenly Parent’s absolute standard, is the proper method to examine any given reality. That is because Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation is not that S/He alone perfects the 100-percent of given reality, but co-creates it with human beings’ 5-percent free willed portion of responsibility.[25]

When we approach the current Exposition of the Divine Principle text, one of the major sources of Unification Theology, with the above awareness to separate the content into two poles, we run into a certain difficulty relating to its presentation of who Heavenly Parent is. To begin with, the text starts from the premise that one way that we human beings can comprehend the “divine nature of the invisible God” is to observe the creation that S/He created, as “everything in the universe is a substantial manifestation of some quality of the Creator’s invisible, divine nature.”[26] It argues that just as we can observe in creation that “everything is created to exist through the reciprocal relationships of dual characteristics,” we can also infer that God or Heavenly Parent is the one unified being of “dual characteristics” or that “God is the one absolute reality in whom the dual characteristics interact in harmony.”[27] It continues, “Every creation exists with correlative aspects… internal nature and external form… masculinity and femininity… inside and outside, internal and external, front and rear, right and left, up and down, high and low… rising and falling, long and short, wide and narrow, east and west, north and south,” because everything imitates the very nature of Heavenly Parent who exists possessing the same reciprocal relationships between His (and Her) dual characteristics.[28]

In a further attempt to divine Heavenly Parent’s nature, Exposition of the Divine Principle takes the concept of the dual characteristics internal nature and external form found in the creation as the starting base to probe Heavenly Parent’s “original internal nature” and “original external form,” or what in another influential Unificationist text are called Original Sungsang and Original Hyungsang, respectively.[29] Then, building on the foundational concept of original internal nature and original external form, the text moves on to discuss other dualities such as “subject partner” and “object partner,” “masculinity” and “femininity,” and the East Asian notion of “yang” and “yin,” to arrive at the surprising but confusing conclusion that God is the “internal and masculine subject partner, [and] we call Him “Our Father.” [italics added][30]

This is a very perplexing and contradictory statement, for if the assumption is that all the dualities found in creation are equivalent to the dual characteristics or dual positions within God, the one unified being or Heavenly Parent, it also follows that God the one unified being or Heavenly Parent cannot be expressed exclusively with just one side of the dual positions, e.g. as Heavenly Father.[31]  Father has the correlative aspect of mother, as is the case in human beings. In fact, in Cheon Seong Gyeong, a collection of Reverend Moon’s teachings, Moon clearly states that God is “like… person{s},” and that God is “both our Father and Mother.”[32]

This writer is in agreement with Exposition of the Divine Principle’s basic proposal that the way we human beings can best comprehend the invisible Heavenly Parent is through His/Her creation.[33] I also concur with the inference that Heavenly Parent is the one unified being of dual characteristics, or dual positions, for that is how all in creation are created possessing dual positions on various levels.[34] However, given that Heavenly Parent alone is the Origin and the Cause, and that the entire creation, including human beings, is the created or the Effect, it is evident that human beings can never fully claim to know their own cause, Heavenly Parent, in the way that S/He understands Him/Herself. The best that we can possibly surmise of Heavenly Parent is through our understanding of the most complete creations in Heavenly Parent’s image, which are human beings, man and woman.[35]

Specifically, at the end of the six symbolic stages that was Heavenly Parent’s 95-percent portion of the creative process to substantiate the creation as Heavenly Parent’s complete image, in God’s last creative act to symbolize the entire creation S/He finished with not just one human being, Adam, but with Adam and Eve, a man and a woman. This itself is a telling prompt that our most complete knowledge of God, the Creator and Ultimate Parent of human beings, is that Heavenly Parent is the original (as in, of the Origin) unified being of gender-balanced and co-equal Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, just as human beings are also destined to become fathers and mothers by fulfilling the second blessing of the Three Great Blessings.[36]

With the proposed goal to best perceive of Heavenly Parent through the creation, and especially through understanding what human beings are as the sum total of the entire creation, this study will first examine the meaning of Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation and the absolute standard of value, according to the very principle that Heavenly Parent first established when S/He chose to create which S/He applied throughout the creative process.[37] Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation is not to manipulate the 100 percent of created reality as if all the created beings in it were mere automatons, with S/He alone creating 100 percent perfect reality at all times. Instead, it is for Heavenly Parent to co-create with His/Her creations. Heavenly Parent first fulfills the 95-percent portion by bringing created beings into existence and giving them appropriate purposes. Then created beings are allowed do their 5-percent free-willed portion of responsibility to fulfill the purposes that they were created with.[38]

Out of all created beings, only human beings are the sum total of the entire creation, the spiritual world as well as the physical world. We are in Heavenly Parent’s complete image, and therefore the only created beings that are His/Her children. The 5-percent human portion is to fulfill all of the Five Roles involved in the Three Great Blessings. It equates with human beings co-creating the rest of the 5 percent of created reality—the dual spiritual and physical worlds—to yield 100 percent of His/Her ideal.[39] Then human beings are to return it back to our Heavenly Parent.


2. Why God is Heavenly Parent, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother: Examining God’s Movement before and after the Creation

In the church right now, some members are raising the issue regarding the identity of Heavenly Parent. A number of them question whether it would be better to name God the Heavenly Parent in the plural as “Heavenly Parents.” Others insist that God must be seen as inherently masculine, or that the Heavenly Mother aspect of God is derivative of His primary identity as Heavenly Father.[40]

In this discussion, this writer will propose why God, the unique Origin, the “eternal, self-existent,” “perfect” and “absolute” reality,[41] should be addressed as the Heavenly Parent, and then, once God chose to create, S/He became Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. The process of understanding this argument will involve the examination of God’s movement from before God chose to create, which is the origin or cause position, to after God chose to create and to co-exist with created beings, which is the effect position. When one differentiates God’s movement from the origin or cause position to being part of the effect position, one clearly perceives that God in the origin position prior to the Creation can only be viewed as the undivided, all-encompassing Original Oneness, as God was the only Original Being in existence at that time. This means then when God alone was in existence as Original Oneness, one should not attempt to divide God into any categories such as dual characteristics or dual positions, even if such characteristics are innate within God. Also, God in this origin position can only be numerically illustrated as one, being that God must necessarily was the only existent, singular Being that encompassed all that could possibly be, without any divisions.

Furthermore, even after God made the choice to create, one would still need to separate the point when God first established the heartistic Will, purpose, and idea—the Divine Heart Principle—delineating to how God was to bring about the entire creation.[42] Having established His/Her Will, purpose and idea, God began in earnest the substantial implementation of that purpose in God’s 95-percent portion of the creative process. In other words, at the point when God had only established the absolute and eternal purpose that God would eventually become the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother to human beings upon reaching the end of God’s portion of the creative process, when God was still the only Being in existence without any substantiated creations, God would still need to be considered in the singular. At that point God was the only Being. God was Heavenly Parent only in Will, purpose and idea—the Divine Heart Principle—but not in actual substantiation. Then, at the point when God established the Will or purpose to create prior to embarking on the creative process, God’s innate dual characteristics or dual positions began to emerge outward, ready to substantiate into the creation throughout the creative process. In this way, at the end of Heavenly Parent’s 95-percent portion of the creative process, when with the last creative act God brought into existence Adam and Eve, or human beings, God finally became the Heavenly Parent who to human beings is Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

The “Heavenly Parent” part indicates God in the origin or cause position. It indicates God’s singular status prior to embarking on the creative process in earnest, even though God in Heart already had the Will or purpose to create. The part where God is “Heavenly Father” and “Heavenly Mother” designates God’s participation in the effect position. It indicates that God has completed God’s portion of the creative process that consummated in a man and a woman, human beings in His/Her complete image, who together are the sum total of the entire creation and the culmination of all the dual positions of the four-position foundations employed throughout the creative process.

The creation of human beings, God’s last creative act representing God in the most complete way among all creations, ended with not just one human being but with two human beings of different sex. At the same time, Heavenly Parent from the origin position most thoroughly manifested His/Her dual positions in a manner similar to human personhood as fathers and mothers in the distinct person-like beings of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Also, just as the last creations, human beings, were a man and a woman of separate individual status but of equal human value, once the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother had emerged independently, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother each assumed a distinct individual status of equal value as well.

The dynamics between Heavenly Parent’s origin position and Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother’s effect position can be better understood when one considers why the numerical value of each of the three positions—Heavenly Parent, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother—is one, and the total of the three positions is numerically three. Divine Principle’s statement, “God is one absolute reality in whom the dual characteristics [positions] interact in harmony,” and therefore God is “a Being of the number three” supports this argument.[43] As for Heavenly Parent at the origin position’s numerical value, it was already discussed that it can only be one. However, once God chose to create, the eternal purpose of creation is for God to multiply individual entities or independent positions imitating God the Origin having the numerical value of one. Creation takes place through origin-division-union action or the establishment of the four-position foundation; hence, it also follows that each of the division positions as well as the union position of the four-position foundation must necessarily possess the numerical value of one.[44] Each position of the four-position foundation, which is God’s eternal purpose of creation for Heart-Principled, true love multiplication, must of necessity have the numerical value of one for God’s ideal to function well and perpetuate for eternity.[45]

In order to clearly grasp why the above must be the case, as a thought experiment let us conceive of a scenario when each position of the four-position foundation does not possess the equal numerical value of one. Suppose that at the level of the division into dual positions, one side’s numerical value is 1 while the other side is only 0.5. Normally, from the origin position with the numerical value of 1, the purpose of separation into a two-fold division is to unite the two positions’ numerical value of 1 and 1 each in order to produce the union position of an independent entity whose value must be 1 in resemblance to Heavenly Parent’s original oneness. However, if one tries to unite the values of 1 and 0.5, the combined value of the two entities of the division is only 1.5. Since 1.5 signifies the sum of the two entities of the division, then in order to arrive at the value of the union position, that sum must be divided by 2 to result in a value of merely 0.75. That union position would be less than the numerical value of 1 that would signify resemblance to the Heavenly Parent of Original Oneness. Hence, clearly, a scenario in which the positions of the four-position foundation are not equal in numerical value cannot work for God’s eternal purpose of creation.

In all, it is accurate to address God as the Heavenly Parent in the singular because this represents God alone, when God had not yet created and had not yet moved from the origin (Heavenly Parent) to the effect (Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother) position. Addressing God as Heavenly Parent according to the origin position already anticipates the manifestation of Heavenly Parent’s fatherhood and motherhood in relation to human beings at the end of the creative process, as has already occurred. In this wise, when a person invokes Heavenly Parent, he or she is wishing to relate to the harmonized Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. However, one may very well address specifically either Heavenly Father or Heavenly Mother, as that would be similar to approaching one’s human father or human mother for differing reasons.

Given the above, the suggestion to address God as “Heavenly Parents” is incomplete and incorrect, as it does not include God as the Original One who chose to become the Heavenly Father as well as Heavenly Mother with the creation of Adam and Eve. Moreover, the claim that God the Origin is exclusively Heavenly Father, and that Heavenly Mother is merely a part of the creation, is an egregious mistake on two fronts. First, it violates God’s original oneness by prematurely dividing God into the dual positions of Father and Mother, when the manifestations of such dual positions are only the consequences of God having exercised His/Her “free will” to create and bring forth human beings as His/Her children.[46] 

Second, the claim that Heavenly Father predates Heavenly Mother is to tantamount to asserting that God the Original Being of Oneness is not perfect. The dictionary defines perfection as the state “free… from fault or defect” in that nothing further “can… be improved.”[47] Accordingly, if God the Original Being of Oneness is the very definition of perfection, it follows that whatever would come forth through created reality, including God’s innate Fatherhood and Motherhood that would emerge at the end of Heavenly Parent’s portion of the creative process, should already be present within the perfect God. Because God is perfect, the potential for being both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother should already be equally included in God the Original Being of Oneness. To claim that only Heavenly Father and not Heavenly Mother was present in God’s origin position would insinuate that God the Origin is not a perfect being.

It is difficult not to question whether such unequal and prejudiced treatments of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother stem from a fallen, culturally conditioned view of the value of man and woman. Such views have nothing to do with Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation and absolute standard of value, but everything to do with the Fall. In fact, when we clearly perceive the meaning of human value and the implications of Human Fall, we can comprehend why gender inequality came into human reality as well as into our wrongful understanding of the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother sides of Heavenly Parent. As for the reasons for this, we will turn to examine human value among created beings and our portion of the responsibility to co-create with Heavenly Parent. Only then will we be able to pursue the meaning of Human Fall.


3. The Human Portion of Responsibility to Co-Create with Heavenly Parent for the Fulfillment of the Three Great Blessings

Overview of the Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings, and the Individual and Collective Levels of Responsibility

In the Exposition of the Divine Principle, the meaning of the Three Great Blessings given to the human beings is only briefly explained with reference to Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over… every living thing.”[48] The first part of the quote, “Be fruitful,” is defined as the first blessing of individual perfection, where each individual forms “a four-position foundation within… [w]hereby… mind and body become one… through give and take action with God as their center.”[49] The second blessing or “multiply” is related as creating a family or society based upon the “four-position foundation in line with God’s ideal… pattern[ing] after the image of a perfect individual.” For instance, “in order to construct the four-position foundation in their family, Adam and Eve should have joined in loving oneness as husband and wife and raised children.”[50] The third blessing or to “have dominion” is understood as “the perfection of a human being’s dominion over the natural world,” as each person contains within oneself “the sum total… essences of all things.”[51] In other notable Unificationist texts such as Cheon Seong Gyeong and the New Essentials of Unification Thought, the discussions of the Three Great Blessings are just as brief and cursory as that in Exposition of the Divine Principle.[52]

To approach the issue of the Three Great Blessings, this writer will begin with the fact that human beings are the sum total of Heavenly Parent’s entire creation and the only creation in His/Her complete image. Accordingly, the human portion of the Three Great Blessings equates to human beings completing their 5-percent of the process of creation after Heavenly Parent’s 95-percent, thereby securing 100 percent of Heavenly Parent’s ideal reality for all time with Heavenly Parent at the center.[53] Relevant to this topic is the fact that all created beings are endowed with the inseparable dual-positional individual and collective existential modes of being, or what Sang-Hun Lee calls “individual” and “connected” modes of being.[54] Hence, the meaning of the Three Great Blessings also relates to the inseparable individual and collective portions of human responsibility. In this light, the first blessing speaks to human perfection at the individual level. It denotes each human person’s—whether man or woman—vertical relationship with Heavenly Parent.[55] The second blessing denotes human perfection at the collective level within human sphere, and the third blessing relates to human perfection at the collective level relating to all other created beings in the dual positional, spiritual and physical worlds. Accordingly, the second blessing and third blessing, which together constitute the collective level of human responsibility, signify each person’s horizontal relationship to the creation.[56]

In the fulfillment of the Three Great Blessings they are inseparable from one another. Together they constitute the individual and collective portions of the human responsibility, which bring about human perfection on the vertical and horizontal levels. This means that although human perfection necessarily has to begin from the individual position, in that its starting point is each person’s vertical relationship with Heavenly Parent, perfection also requires completing various levels of the collective, or horizontal, portions of human responsibility.

To fulfill the Three Great Blessings, human beings are required to take on what this writer would term the Five Roles. The first role pertains to the first blessing; it speaks to becoming a true child of Heavenly Parent by attaining individual perfection through Heart-Principled unity of the spirit self (spiritual mind and spiritual body) and the physical self (physical mind and physical body).[57] This applies to both man and woman, since each is a human being. Every human being is the sum total of the entire, spiritual and physical, creation and thus eligible to be a true child of Heavenly Parent.

Moreover, since individual perfection can only begin with recognizing one’s human value from the perspective of the absolute standard of value, fulfilling the first role means that one needs to be the absolute owner of the absolute standard. This is none other than the Divine Heart Principle, whose center is the 5-percent human portion of the responsibility to co-create with Heavenly Parent. This point is all the more critical, because once Heavenly Parent had taught Adam and Eve the absolute standard of value regarding the human portion of the responsibility, it became Adam and Eve’s responsibility as parents to teach it to their children or humanity thereafter. Heavenly Parent does not remind each human person what is right and wrong in terms of absolute standard regarding human portion of the responsibility; that is the role of human parents. In the ideal, every human person would learn the absolute standard from their parents and be able to make the most Heart-Principled choices by the time they reach twenty-one years of age, the age for attaining individual perfection.[58]

The next three roles pertain to the second blessing. The first is how to be true brothers and sisters, both to one’s own siblings and to entire humanity who share the same original parents, Adam and Eve.[59] It is not enough to make efforts to perfect oneself, if one neglects to aid other people to reach the same ideal. It also means then just as one supports oneself and one’s children’s growth towards individual perfection, one must also make collective endeavors to create the ideal social environment to realize the same for the entire human family, both in the physical world and in the spiritual world.

To be a true brother or sister also includes respecting other human beings, not violating them by engaging in random sexual intercourse, which is the instinctive sexual behavior of physical-self-only creations whose purpose of creation is necessarily different from that of human beings. Clearly understanding that there should be only one eternal spouse of the opposite sex, one should not covet other people for sexual intercourse, but treat them as a true brother or sister.

The second role for the fulfillment of the second blessing is to be true husband or wife.[60] Ideally, people should have only one spouse of the opposite sex. This arises from the fact that every man or woman is the sum total of the entire creation, which Heavenly Parent created only once, finishing His/Her creative portion with the first human beings. They were one man and one woman, Adam and Eve, who were of equal human value but of different sexes. This is all the more so because Heavenly Parent is one unified Being, being the one Heavenly Father and the one Heavenly Mother. Heavenly Father has one spouse in Heavenly Mother, and Heavenly Mother the same in Heavenly Father. Heavenly Parent would surely want the same for man and woman, who are to resemble Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother’s complete image by loving and cherishing only one eternal spouse of other sex.

Another point about how to be true spouse is this: once blessed in marriage to a spouse, it is not enough to make endeavors to maintain one’s individual perfection; one need also to be diligent on the collective level to help one’s spouse maintain his or her individual and collective level Heart-Principled true love choices, including marital commitment. Since each always has his or her individual portion of the responsibility, the spouses are always making independent individual choices even as they engage in collective family decisions. This means that whatever one’s spouse chooses on the individual level has repercussions not only for the spouse but also for oneself, as well as for the other family members, notably the children. Given so, if one’s spouse happens to be negligent in keeping the absolute standard relating to human portion, even though one cannot fulfill the spouse’s individual portion of responsibility on spouse’s behalf, one would still have to make persistent endeavors to help the spouse recognize any mistakes and lead him or her back to the absolute standard. In the long run, alert action to help one’s spouse benefits not only the spouse but also oneself and the other family members, since everyone in the collective family unit has to bear the same collective fate in one form or another.

The third role pertaining to the second blessing is to be a true parent to one’s children and to be a true child to one’s parents. These are interconnected relationships.[61] First, before one can be true parent to one’s own children, one should already have attained individual perfection and become a true spouse to one’s husband or wife. The purpose of human multiplication is not just multiplication of the species, as it is the case with the physical-self-only creations, but to raise Heavenly Parent’s true children who can co-create with Heavenly Parent. Therefore after having children, ideally parents should be thoroughly involved in each step of their children’s development during the twenty-one years of their growing period to reach individual perfection.[62] They should provide them with Heart-Principled education and nurturing with true love, all the while seeing to it that the children respond to parents’ efforts properly and adequately.

In raising children, parents take after Heavenly Parent. Specifically, during a child’s growing period, the parents have the 95-percent portion of responsibility to raise that child to the ideal of human maturity, just as the Heavenly Parent has the 95-percent portion to create the entire creation and the first human beings. Of course, a human child is born with the innate human potential given by Heavenly Parent. However, during the child’s growing period of progressive and incremental movement towards human perfection, the parents must assume the Heavenly Parent’s parental and creative portion to mold the child into an ideal human being. This is done by the parents providing exemplary Heart-Principled true love education, loving support, and an ideal social environment whereby the child can learn to thrive. They should foster the child’s ability for self-control as well as mastering greater expression in sharing true love with others. When all the above elements are sufficiently afforded by the parents and the social environment, it is more likely that the child will respond positively to all that s/he has learned and fulfill his/her 5-percent portion of responsibility.

Connected with the role of how to be true parents to one’s children, there is also the reverse role of how to be a true child to one’s parents, especially once the child has matured into a Heart-Principled adult. Ideally, before parents come together to create a child they have attained individual perfection, and afterwards they are presumed to continue to maintain their individual and collective levels of perfected status at all times. Nonetheless, there is ever the possibility that parents may unwittingly make unprincipled choices. In such event, once the child has become a Heart-Principled adult, s/he can intervene on behalf of his/her parents by helping his/her parents choose to practice Heart-Principled true love according to the absolute standard. The child’s intervention on behalf of the parents’ choice is always possible, because the absolute standard already exists eternally; it is the fundamental ideological base upon which Heavenly Parent’s entire creation is based.

Indeed, in the long run, the Heart-Principled adult child’s choice to intervene with the parents’ choice would benefit the child him/herself and their lineage on the collective level as well. Suppose the parents’ unprincipled choice were left unrestored. Then, when the parents ascend to the spiritual world, since it is in the physical world where human perfection has to be completed, they would leave a burden of indemnity for their lineage, including the child, to suffer through and make effort to restore that issue on the collective level.[63] Heavenly Parent’s absolute standard of value regarding the purpose of creation, including the human portion of the responsibility, is absolute and eternal. Therefore, once a person has learned of it, he or she must vigilantly maintain the standard by not only checking him/herself but by also helping others, including his/her parents, make the Heart-Principled true love choices. By so doing, the child affirms that he or she is a true child of Heavenly Parent as well as of his/her human parents.

The fifth role pertains to the third blessing of the Three Great Blessings. It concerns how to be a true owner who has true stewardship over the entire creation or the dual, spiritual and physical worlds.[64] First, unlike the physical world, the spiritual world is the eternal world transcendent of time and space where Heavenly Parent’s law and order based upon Heart-Principled true love reign supreme.[65] Moreover, the spiritual world has the angels, who are the highest of the spiritual-self (spiritual mind and spiritual body)-only creations. Angels have the supreme intelligence to understand the Heart-Principle and the will of God; and as we know, they can even sexually tempt human beings as happened to Adam and Eve.[66] As the highest of the spiritual self-only creations, we can infer that an angel is the sum total of the spiritual world, given that the movement of Heavenly Parent’s creative process is from the simple to the complex in a progressive and incremental way; just as human beings, representing both the spiritual and physical worlds, can be described as the sum total of all the elements in the cosmos.[67] Further, it would follow that to have dominion over the spirit world is equivalent to having dominion over the angels.

Unlike the spirit world, the physical world is bound by time and space and operates under the natural law Heavenly Parent established as part of His/Her 95-percent creative portion. It was created to maintain a natural equilibrium, so that the diverse types of physical creations in the physical world all exist under all-encompassing, natural, collective system that impacts their living conditions in the most balanced and harmonious way.[68] However, unlike the angels, the highest of the spiritual self-only creations, physical self-only creations such as animals do not have the highest intelligence to understand Heavenly Parent’s purpose of creation, nor are they able to manage the physical world and understand how its natural system operates. Therefore, we human beings, who are originally endowed with both Heavenly Parent’s internal intelligence relating to spiritual reality and external intelligence pertaining to science and the workings of the physical world, must be the true masters or true stewards overseeing the physical world. Human beings are to maintain Heavenly Parent-initiated natural equilibrium, in order that all beings living in it may continue their existence to fulfill their purpose of creation without any harm being done to them.

Why Heavenly Parent Finished His/Her Creative Portion with Not Just One Person, but with One Man and One Woman

At this point, it is pertinent to discuss why Heavenly Parent finished His/Her creative portion with not just a single human being but with one man and one woman, or Adam and Eve. The clue to understand why Heavenly Parent did so once again refers back to the meaning of human value and what it means for human beings to co-create with Heavenly Parent. First, as stated earlier, each person’s created value is equivalent to Heavenly Parent’s entire creative effort, or the sum total of the spiritual and physical worlds. Further, for human beings to co-create with Heavenly Parent means to imitate Heavenly Parent’s work by multiplying the sum total value of the entire spiritual and physical creation. This is the effect, the multiplication of other human beings in Heavenly Parent’s Ideal.

According to Exposition of the Divine Principle, in order to multiply and manifest the original value, original beauty, original truth, and original goodness of Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation, the creative process must follow the multiplicative formula.[69] This is the origin-division-union action that forms the four-position foundation, where with the Heavenly Parent as the center or origin position, the give-and-receive action would freely flow among the four positions in all directions, establishing the dynamic circular (elliptical) or spherical mode of existence, ready yet again for further multiplication.[70] One such example of four-position foundation that the Divine Principle talks about is the God as the origin, a husband and a wife creating the division, and the child as the union. They engage in the dynamics of give and receive action in all directions, based upon the Heavenly Parent’s absolute standard of original value—original beauty, truth and goodness. Once such a Heavenly Parent-centered four-position foundation is established and all relationships are freely flowing, it would also engender further multiplication onto the rest of the creation, inclusive of other human beings.

Additionally, in assessing the four-position foundation, one needs to consider the numerical value of each position in relation to Heavenly Parent’s own origin position in numerical terms. As stated earlier, as Heavenly Parent in origin position before any creation was the only Being in existence, the numerical value to describe that position can only be one. As for the other three positions of the four-position foundation, since the eternal purpose of creation is to imitate the one and only Heavenly Parent whose numerical value is one, it follows that every creation, and thus each of the other three positions, would also have to have the numerical value of one on the individual level. Thus, it is without question that in the case of the four-position foundation with Heavenly Parent as the origin, a husband (a man) and a wife (a woman) as the divisions, and a child as the union, the creational value of both the man and the woman is one and the same.

One important remark has to be made at the division level of the four-position foundation. It should be clear that the eternal purpose of creation is not the cloning of identical entities, but to create individually independent entities or individual beings of truth that are at the same time all parts of the collective whole that is one creation under Heavenly Parent.[71] This means that at the dual, division level, there must be commonality but also difference between the two sides. Since both originate from the one and the only Heavenly Parent, there has to be commonality between them. At the same time there must be difference as well, being that the eternal purpose of creation is not to clone identical creations.

On the other hand, being that there are three dissimilar types of the created beings: ones with only a spiritual self, ones with only a physical self, and human beings with both a spiritual self and physical self, the dual division cannot occur with dissimilar creations. For example, in establishing the dual division, one cannot pair a human man with a female animal or a human woman with a male animal.

These were the reasons that Heavenly Parent ended His/Her 95 percent creative portion of the sixth stage of creative process with not just one human person but with a man and a woman, each having in common their human value as the sum total of the entire creation, and each different in being of the opposite sex. In this they took after Heavenly Parent, who is the dual gendered but co-equal Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Further, since the eternal purpose of creation is to co-create with human beings, Heavenly Parent ended His/Her portion with not just one person, but with a man and a woman, so that they can engage in the four-position foundation’s multiplicative movement to start creating human children. Each of their children, in turn, would continue the same process of the multiplication of ideal human beings through lineage for perpetuity. In other words, if there were only one person, the eternal process to multiply beings of the sum total value of the entire creation through the movement of the four-position foundation that resulted in humanity would not have been possible.


4. The Human Fall and the Original Sin

Although Exposition of the Divine Principle and Unification thought in general mainly focus on the sexual implication of the Fall and the need for a messianic couple representing the Adam and Eve positions, or True Parents, to “convert… the [fallen] lineage” into ideal one, this writer would pursue the concept of original sin from the perspective of the 5-percent human portion to co-create with Heavenly Parent by means of fulfillment of the Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings.[72] This work of co-creating necessarily includes the Heart-Principled human sexuality. Moreover, since human responsibility is dual position, on the individual and collective levels, I will pursue the implication of the Human Fall from the vantage point of distinguishing Adam and Eve’s sin that they committed together on the collective level from their differing individual sins that affected mankind and womankind differently. Only when we have divided Adam and Eve’s sins into individual and collective levels can we clearly see why Eve’s individual-level “double sins” did not affect mankind (as in men), but horribly impacted her daughters or womankind, further lowering their position to below that of mankind and through that inequality and even obstructing Heavenly Mother’s equal representation with Heavenly Father.

The Sexual Fall of Adam, Eve and Lucifer        

Exposition of the Divine Principle delineates the course of the Fall as Eve’s spiritual sexual intercourse with the spiritual being Lucifer followed by Eve’s spiritual and physical sexual intercourse with another human being, Adam, is symbolically illustrated in the Bible.[73] The biblical serpent, identified as the archangel Lucifer, tempted Eve: “when you eat of [the forbidden fruit] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:3, 5).[74] Then, once Eve had eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or committed the spiritual sexual fall with Lucifer, she then ‘gave’ it to Adam, and together they ‘ate,’ or committed the spiritual and physical sexual Fall together.[75]

From the viewpoint of Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation, since various creations are created for disparate purposes, including sexuality, there should not have been a crossing of sexuality between dissimilar creations such as human beings and angels. However, what transpired with the Fall of Lucifer, Eve and Adam was exactly that: the crossing of sexuality between differing types of creations, and this would have devastating consequence for the Heart-Principled order of the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation thereafter.

When the archangel tempted Eve to have sex with him, immature though she was as a teenager, she already knew that she should not have sex with a lower creation, for that much had been already taught her by Heavenly Parent. Heavenly Parent would have been thoroughly involved with her, as was His/Her 95-percent parental portion, to educate her appropriately for each stage of development during her growing period. However, although teaching Eve not to have sex with a lower creation was Heavenly Parent’s 95-percent portion of parental responsibility, S/He could never forewarn Eve as to when, where, and how Lucifer was planning to seduce her, as that would have been interfering with Eve’s 5-percent portion of the responsibility. It was for Eve to practice the absolute standard of value she learned from Heavenly Parent and resist lower creation Lucifer’s unprincipled advances. Instead of yielding to Lucifer, Eve should have gone straight to her Heavenly Parent in order to gain Heart-Principled wisdom as to how to deal with the situation, and let Heavenly Parent deal with Lucifer. Eve should have made the most Heart-Principled choice, which would have been to be a true child to Heavenly Parent and turn to Him/Her, who would surely have guided her to keep her human dignity and value appropriate for the eternal purpose of creation.

After Eve fell sexually with Lucifer, without paying indemnity for her sexual sin with a lower creation she went to Adam and seduced him. Adam went along with her, completing the Human Fall both on the man and woman’s sides. At this point Adam also made a grave mistake. When fallen Eve approached Adam, instead of going along with her, Adam should have been a true brother and true future spouse by reminding her that she should go to Heavenly Parent and seek out Heart-Principled wisdom to resolve the situation. However, Adam also failed to act according to that standard and committed the sexual sin with Eve, further complicating fallen reality.

The end result of this string of sexual liaisons involving a lower creation and human beings of both sexes was that the unprincipled elements Eve received from the archangel Lucifer through their intercourse were transmitted to Adam as well. Thus, both the spiritual self and physical self of the human persons of Adam/Eve, who represented all humanity that would come through them, were contaminated with unprincipled elements. Sexuality unites not only the individual partners into one, but the consequences of sexual intercourse implicate lineage on the collective level. With no indemnity paid to restore the situation, humankind to come through Adam and Eve was already implicated in Adam and Eve’s unprin-cipled sexual sin with the lower creation, Lucifer, on the collective level.

The unprincipled sexual liaisons between Lucifer, Eve, and Adam had further complicated consequences. Since sexuality unites the partners and their lineages as one on the collective level, even though Adam did not have direct sex with Lucifer, through Eve who had sex with Lucifer and Adam, two males, Adam came to stand in the position to have had indirect sexual union with another male, Lucifer. It follows, then, that through the unprincipled sexual unions involving two males and one female, not only did the unprincipled sexual possibility between differing creations of dissimilar purposes come into reality, but also homosexuality or unprincipled sexual possibility even between the same sex came into both the angelic world and human reality.

The Original Sin was Adam and Eve’s Failure to Fulfill All Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings

Indeed, the original sin of Adam and Eve was their failure to realize all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings:

First and foremost: They each defaulted in becoming a true child to Heavenly Parent. That is, they failed to gain individual perfection to fulfill the first blessing and thus become perfect, ideal human beings able to unite in Heart-Principled true love unity with Heavenly Parent at all times.

Second: Adam and Eve both failed to be true brother and true sister to each other. During their growing period before the age of 21 that marks individual perfection, Adam and Eve as brother and sister were not permitted to engage in sexual intercourse. Human sexuality is not just for instinctive pleasure, but for the ultimate purpose of creating the highest of the creation—human beings—in Heavenly Parent’s complete image. Adam and Eve’s sexual union should have occurred after they had reached individual perfection by the age of 21 and received the marriage Blessing from Heavenly Parent. In the meantime, they should have been a true brother and true sister to each other by always being vigilant to aid the other to turn to Heavenly Parent for Heart-Principled true love wisdom, in the event the other was tempted to make an unprincipled choice.

Third: Adam and Eve forfeited being true spouses to each other. First, because they fell before they matured as individual adults eligible to receive the marriage Blessing and welcome the spouse given from Heavenly Parent, they did not even have a chance to stand equally to qualify as a true spouse to each other. Even after they fell and started to create their fallen lineage, they should still have endeavored to regain that Heart-Principled wisdom from Heavenly Parent to first become individually perfect in order to become true spouses to each other and to collectively become true parents to their children. Nevertheless, when they failed to perfect themselves and assume the true spouse position, they also failed to become the true parents to their children, including Cain and Abel.

Fourth: As just stated, Adam and Eve neglected to become the true parents to their children. Of course, in order for Adam and Eve as parents to create the individually perfect children capable of multiplying other perfect human beings, they had to first become individually perfect adults themselves. However, when they did not mature into individually perfect, ideal adults with the Heart-Principled true love standard and instead fell with a lower creation, Lucifer, they came to lower human value below the physical-self-only creations. This resulted in the unthinkable sin of connecting their children and humankind to come through them not to Heavenly Parent but to the lineage of fallen angel, a creature originally whose value is lower than human value. In addition, because of Adam and Eve’s dissimilar individual sins, they caused mankind and womankind’s unequal positions on the collective level and Cain and Abel unequal positions as well, which became the modus operandi in the collective human sphere.[76]

Fifth: Instead of claiming their God-given human value by fulfilling the third blessing and becoming true stewards over other creations, by the acts of the Fall Adam and Eve debased human value below that of spiritual self-only creations as well as physical self-only creations. When Adam and Eve ignored Heavenly Parent’s absolute standard regarding human sexuality and fornicated with an angel, a spiritual self-only creation, they thereby imitated the instinctive sexuality of the physical self-only creations incapable of comprehending the Divine Heart Principle. This conditionally lowered human value below that of other creations, whether spiritual self-only or physical self-only.

Further, having fallen below physical self-only creations through instinctive sexuality, Adam and Eve caused the humanity to lose Heavenly Parent’s internal and external knowledge. With no knowledge of the spiritual world and spiritual senses, fallen humanity came to envy the angels; and with no clear understanding of how the physical world operates, fallen humanity failed to be true stewards capable of caring and maintaining the natural equilibrium Heavenly Parent initiated for the physical world.

5. Various Ramifications of the Fall and the Original Sin

Subversion of the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation, as Lucifer Claimed Heavenly Parent’s Parental Position

Adam, Eve and Lucifer’s unprincipled sexual acts caused the greatest havoc on the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation, which represents the entire creation or the dual, spiritual and physical worlds. In the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation, Heavenly Parent is the origin; the dual division is the spiritual world with its spiritual self-only creations, the highest of which are the angels, and the physical world with its physical self-only creations, the highest of which are the animals; and each human person, being the sum total of the entire creation or the dual worlds, is the union.

First, sexual activity is what both the human beings and the physical self-only creations engage in the physical world not only for pleasure’s sake but for the purpose of reproduction. However, unlike the instinct-driven physical self-only creations that cannot perceive of the standard for sexual morality, for they exist mainly with “physico-biogenetic programming that requires less self-awareness and decision,” human beings can and must make Heart-Principled judgments regarding the significance and consequence of our sexual acts.[77] Hence, by abandoning the Heart-Principled standard for human sexuality, which clearly defines that human beings should not engage in unprincipled sex with lower creations, they lowered their created value to a level below that of physical self-only creations. It is lower than that of physical self-only creations, because physical self-only creations do not lower their created value when they instinctively propagate their physical kind by sexual acts, which from human standard could be viewed as random and promiscuous. They are simply following their created purpose for the propagation of their kind, which is different from human beings’ created purpose.

Adam and Eve should have been true masters or true stewards to the rest of the creation, and that would begin by being true masters over their instinctive and passion-driven physical self that had evolved from physical self-only creations.[78] However, despite having received from Heavenly Parent Heart-Principled education regarding human sexuality that they should be masters of their physical selves, Adam and Eve knowingly disobeyed the Divine Heart Principle and imitated the physical-self-only creations by engaging in sexual acts that do not belong in Heavenly Parent’s absolute standard of human sexuality.

Also, through their unprincipled sexual union with the archangel, a lower creation, instead of elevating Heavenly Parent as the Ultimate Parent to humankind, they had linked the human lineage to come to Lucifer. This effectively placed Lucifer in Heavenly Parent’s place as the parent of the humankind to come, as Jesus stated, “You are from your father the devil” (John 8:44) Thus, Adam and Eve implicated humanity to come through them to stand not only lower than the physical self-only creations by their instinctive behaviors, but also lower than the spiritual self-only creations whose representatives are angels. This wreaked havoc and chaos on the order and balance of the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation and deprived Heavenly Parent of hope for the ideal fulfillment of the eternal purpose of creation through human perfection.

Eve’s Greater Sin Lowered the Position of Womankind

Another truly regrettable ramification of Adam and Eve’s Fall upon humankind is the issue of man and woman’s inequality. As illustrated earlier, originally, the created value of man and woman in numerical terms must each be one, in order to form the four-position foundation on the family level to create another perfect human being with numerical value of one. Commencing from Heavenly Parent as the original oneness with the numerical value of one, each position of the dual division—a husband and a wife of equal sum total value of the entire creation—must possess the numerical value of one, so by their union they can create the fruit of a child with the same numerical value of one.

Adam and Eve, as the first man and woman, were to connect the respective mankind and womankind to come through them to Heavenly Parent.[79] However, when Adam and Eve each committed dissimilar individual sins, the respective fate of the mankind and womankind to come through them on the collective level necessarily became disproportionate as well.

Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation calls for all created beings to have dual individual and collective position portions of the responsibility. Hence, S/He necessarily had to separate Adam and Eve’s sins on the individual level from their collective level of responsibility. On the collective level, since sexual union unites the partners into one, Adam, Eve and the archangel all came to share the sins of the Fall that disrupted the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation in the dual, spiritual and physical worlds. On the individual level, however, Eve was more at fault than Adam, because she was the person who committed double sins by engaging in unprincipled sexual relations with two sexual partners—the archangel Lucifer and her future spouse Adam, albeit without Heavenly Parent’s Blessing of marriage. Adam, on the other hand, though he heedlessly followed fallen Eve, only committed the unprincipled sex with fallen Eve. Thus, his sin was a single sin, not a double sin.

When it comes to human value, man’s and woman’s inequality was never Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation. Hence, if Adam and Eve’s unprincipled choices on the individual level that affected mankind and womankind differently are not restored, no human being is restored. That is because unless both sides of the man and woman positions each regain the numerical value of one, as required by the Divine Heart Principle, no human being will recover the original whole human value of one. This is to underscore that when Heavenly Parent finished His/Her 95-percent portion to create the first human beings, S/He bestowed equal human value on Adam and Eve, the first man and woman human representatives, hoping that they would each perfect themselves on the individual level and work together to perfect the collective level, in order to open the way of human perfection for their lineage to follow.

However, no matter what Heavenly Parent may have desired, it is up to the 5 percent human portion to realize His/Her ideal of creation 100 percent. When Adam and Eve created an entirely unprincipled reality by choosing dissimilar individual sins, they in fact chose the dissimilar fates that the respective mankind and womankind would assume, and Heavenly Parent could not interfere with their choice. When Eve committed the greater sexual sins, she degraded womankind to come to assume a lower position than that of mankind to come. This situation of unequal value will continue until complete restoration through indemnity can take place to recover Heavenly Parent’s original purpose of creation, which requires man and woman to have equal value.

Given the fallen and dissimilar reality that Adam and Eve separately created for themselves and for their respective male and female descendants, until the providential time when Adam and Eve’s differing individual sins that affected respective mankind and womankind can be restored, not to mention their collective sin that contaminated humanity on the collective level, Heavenly Parent could not relate to male and female central figures of the providence as equals, let alone the entirety of mankind and womankind. This unnatural relationship between Heavenly Parent and womankind is owing to the fact that Eve’s double sin put Eve’s daughters or womankind in the doubly removed position from Heavenly Parent’s absolute standard, while due to Adam’s single sin mankind ended up in only a singly removed position.

Heavenly Parent had no choice but to abide by the reality created by the first human beings. No matter how much Heavenly Parent longed for recovery of His/Her children and man and woman’s equality in imitation of His/Her complete image, the providence of restoration was continually prolonged owing to repeated failures of the central human foundations. This included lack of central women’s contributions to elevate woman’s status, because even when it came to selecting the central figures for the human portion, Heavenly Parent could not engage with the female central figures directly, but only after having first connected to the male central figures.[80] Given so, often times male central figures not only represented mankind, but both mankind and womankind collectively.

Heavenly Mother’s Advent onto Humanity Was Blocked

One truly lamentable consequence of Eve’s greater sin and womankind’s lowered position was that the humanity to come through Adam and Eve had lost the chance to learn and experience the Heavenly Parent who is not just Heavenly Father, but Heavenly Mother as well. According to the Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation, Adam and Eve were supposed to start creating and raising the highest of creations—human children—through fulfillment of all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings. Among these roles was that Adam and Eve would become true parents to their children and to humanity to come through them by becoming perfect human examples. By example they were to educate their children about who our Heavenly Parent is and what is His/Her eternal purpose of creation for human beings. Adam, the first man, was in the position to represent the image of Heavenly Father. Eve, the first woman, was in the position to represent the image of Heavenly Mother. The only way Adam and Eve’s children, or humanity, could have learned that the Heavenly Parent is the gender-balanced Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother was by way of both Adam and Eve completely and perfectly representing Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother respectively. They were to do this by fulfilling their individual and collective human portions of responsibility and thus secure equal human value.

However, when the Human Fall occurred, and as a consequence Eve and her daughters or womankind were degraded to the lowered position than Adam and his sons or mankind, the Heavenly Mother side of Heavenly Parent lost the very people (womankind) whom Unification Thought would regard in the object partner position to Herself (Heavenly Mother) in the subject partner position.[81] As a result, Heavenly Mother’s existence could not be revealed to humanity.

During fallen history, when fallen Adam and Eve’s dissimilar choices affecting mankind and womankind differently were not restored, humanity could not learn of Heavenly Mother side of Heavenly Parent. Half of Heavenly Parent’s identity was obscured, and S/He was inadequately represented mainly as Heavenly Father to humanity. This lamentable situation placed Heavenly Mother in a position where She lost any connection to Her children; moreover, Her children did not even acknowledge Her existence. The situation was surely heart-wrenching and traumatic for Heavenly Mother. At least through mankind’s lesser sinful position, Heavenly Father had initial basis to relate to humanity, and humanity responded to Heavenly Father in return. Thus, Heavenly Father suffered much less trauma in comparison to Heavenly Mother. However, with no object partner in Eve and womankind, Heavenly Mother must have been left to suffer in “historical bitterness, grief, and pain,” shedding deluge after deluge of heart-wrenching tears, that none of Her children knew that She exists and wants to be connected to Her children.[82]


6. The Slow Progress toward Gender Equality in the History of Restoration

Central Figures Repeatedly Failed to Restore Gender Equality

Even through Adam and Eve’s Fall thwarted Heavenly Parent’s ideal of creation and prevented the revelation of Heavenly Parent’s full identity as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, His/Her eternal purpose of creation to co-create with human beings does not change. Therefore, S/He had no choice but to wait in sorrow for the succeeding central human foundations to complete the restoration.[83] Nonetheless, what one learns from the restoration history is repeated failures of the central human portion and subsequent prolongations.[84]

Also, looking at the 5-percent human portion to co-create with Heavenly Parent, which is the fulfillment of human responsibility on both individual and collective levels, one finds that each central family failed to realize its collective foundation, or even complete its individual foundation. Even if the male central figure completed his individual foundation, the individual foundation remained incomplete without the female central figure establishing her own individual foundation alongside that of the male central figure.

We understand that, due to Adam’s single sin as opposed to Eve’s double sins, when Heavenly Parent commenced with each subsequent central human foundation at a specific providential timing, S/He had no choice but to initially engage with the male central figure first. This was a consequence of the indemnity route of reversing the course.[85] Yet once the male central figure had been called and made covenant with Heavenly Parent, it then became his responsibility to be true spouse to his wife by alerting his wife to fulfill her individual portion to reach Heavenly Parent. He should have utilized his Heart-Principled wisdom to encourage her to make providential efforts, which would have benefited Heavenly Mother’s side to promote gender equality in humanity and our understanding of Heavenly Parent as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

For instance, Noah and his wife’s family is described in Divine Principle as the “second ancestor [family] of humanity,” meaning that it was once again the providential moment when Heavenly Parent could have begun working with a central family to connected to the worldwide and cosmic level foundation.[86] However, as was the case with Adam and Eve’s family, that family did not fulfill the dual position, individual and collective-level perfection of all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings. Thus, complete restoration of the original sin did not occur. True, on the individual level Noah is described as a “righteous man.”[87] Yet, there is no trace of Noah being a true spouse and helping his wife to attain her individual-level foundation benefiting woman’s side.[88] In fact, his wife’s name is not even mentioned in the Bible, which suggests some clues to the level of her faith. Moreover, on the collective, family level, there is no indication of Noah and his wife working together as true parents to help their Cain and Abel position children Shem and Ham to fulfill their providential roles for the purpose of restoration.[89] 

In all, in Noah and his wife’s family did not realize the restoration of man and woman’s equal value. They did not fulfill all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings. They did not substantiate the restoration of the original sin. Hence they were not able to represent humanity realizing Heart-Principled true love unity.

The failure of Noah and his wife’s family was at the world and cosmic levels. Hence, before Heavenly Parent could hope to make another attempt to restore the world and cosmic-level foundations, His/Her providence to recover fallen humanity had to take a prolonged route. Now clan and national divisions arose in fallen humanity, and these called for new indemnity conditions. Something called clan and national divisions in humanity was never the eternal purpose of creation. Originally, worldwide humanity would have expanded from Adam and Eve’s family, or Noah and his wife’s family, to become one family with God.[90] Adam and Eve as the first human parents would have been the parents of entire humanity. Instead, after Adam and Eve’s family and Noah and his wife’s family failed to achieve Heart-Principled true love unity at the family level, divisions arose in humanity, their collective extension. Hence, before Heavenly Parent could hope for the providential moment to resume worldwide and cosmic-level restoration, which came at the time of Jesus and his Bride, S/He had to first work at the clan and national levels. Heavenly Parent had no choice but to accept this 5-percent human offering of fallen reality, even though those levels could not yet completely restore the failures of Adam and Eve’s family and Noah and his wife’s family, which affected the worldwide and cosmic levels of humanity and the entire creation.

The Abel position clan-level foundation at the time was Abraham and Sarah’s three generations (Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah as the first generation; Isaac and Rebecca as the second generation; and Jacob, Leah, and Rachel as the third generation). However, while the Bible and Exposition of the Divine Principle recognize the individual efforts of the male central figures—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, there is very little mention of central women—Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel—making individual endeavors to support the providence and benefiting the woman’s side.[91] On the other hand, when it came to collective responsibility, both the first generation Abraham and Sarah and the third generation Jacob and Rachel were responsible for creating the divisions between Cain and Abel-position wives by allowing the Cain-position wives Hagar and Leah to their respective family foundations.

The divisions between Cain and Abel position wives were an entirely new unprincipled condition that did not exist in Adam and Eve’s family or in Noah and his wife’s family. As discussed previously, being that the numerical value of each position of the four-position foundation must necessarily be 1, man and woman’s value must each be 1. However, when one places two women (Hagar and Sarah in the case of Abraham) or even four women (Leah, Rachel and their servants Zilpah and Bilhah in the case of Jacob) into the wife’s position with numerical value of 1 to bear children, not only would it diminish each woman to a state of lowered numerical value (0.5 for each of the two women and 0.25 for each of the four women), but it would also impose unnecessary indemnity burdens to children coming from various mothers to suffer through in order to recover original human value.[92] Indeed, when Cain and Abel had so much strain between them even with the same parents Adam and Eve, how much more difficulties would multiple wives inflict upon the divided Cain and Abel-position children.

In sum, during the three generations of the clan-level foundation that began with Abraham and Sarah, there was not much of central women’s individual foundation to benefit woman’s side. On the collective level, instead of greater Heart-Principled true love unity to unite the family and clan-level foundations, greater rifts had been created with the new indemnity condition of Cain and Abel-position wives and Cain and Abel-position children coming from different mothers. Given so, during the three generations of the clan-level foundation, not only did the woman’s position not advance much, but none of the Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings were realized, and Heart-Principled true love unity between the Cain and Abel positions did not come to pass either.

Heavenly Parent still had to continue the providence with the Israelites of the lineage of Abraham and Sarah, even though Abraham’s failure of the symbolic offering caused their descendants to suffer 430 years of slavery in Egypt.[93] After the indemnity period, Heavenly Parent raised Moses as the male central figure to bring back the Israelites to the land of Canaan for the national-level foundation.[94] However, what should have been a 21-day journey was prolonged to 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.[95] The first generation along with Moses, who as their central leader had to bear the collective-level responsibility, could not enter the land of Canaan.[96] Only the younger generation entered under Caleb and Joshua’s direction.[97]

In addition, being the central figure for the national-level foundation, Moses and his family had to establish certain foundations. However, Moses could not even marry a woman of the Israelite, Abel-position lineage, and instead married a Midianite woman of the worldwide Cain lineage.[98] On the other hand, his wife Zipporah did make a significant gesture to make a separation from her former faith and attach herself to the Israelite’s Abel position lineage by the act of circumcision, which was a necessary indemnity condition for the Israelites to suffer at the time.[99] In the end, however, regardless of Zipporah’s offering of that conditional gesture and Moses’ individual-level endeavors, their combined efforts on the individual and collective levels were not enough to improve the woman’s position, nor to fulfill all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings, nor to create Heart-Principled true love unity between the Cain and Abel positions up to the national level.[100]

Following that, it was the Jesus and his would-be Bride’s course that was once again at the providential time to lay the worldwide and cosmic-level foundation. Theirs was the next “human ancestors course,” which had the chance to restore all the failures that occurred at the time of Adam and Eve’s family, Noah and his wife’s family, and all the central foundations thereafter.[101] However, from the standpoint of the absolute standard, Jesus and his would-be Bride’s course was neither a complete success nor a complete failure.

As their initial worldwide and cosmic-level course, Jesus and the Bride were supposed to wed together to fulfill all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings on the individual and various collective levels and to restore the original sin. This would necessarily have brought the recovery of man and woman’s equal value and elimination of Cain and Abel unequal positions that had been plaguing humanity at all levels. However, when Jesus was killed prematurely before he could unite with his Bride, it became inevitable that he could not complete the original mission. That would have required his physical person to remain alive in the physical world where human perfection has to occur.

By the time Jesus was faced with the possibility of his own death, all the collective-level foundations had failed: those centering on Jesus’ own family, namely Zachariah with Elizabeth and Mary, his Cain and Abel position ‘wives,’ as well as John the Baptist and Jesus, their Cain and Abel position children; and the same for the foundation with his own disciples.[102] At that point, being that one can exercise free will at all times, if Jesus too had lost faith on the individual level regarding the providential significance of his course, although he may have evaded immediate death, he would have completely failed the human foundation. If that had occurred, it would have been equivalent to the complete and thorough failure at the worldwide and cosmic level on both the individual and collective levels. In that case, providence would have taken a different route, where all of humanity would have had to pay indemnity, just as it was the case after the time of Adam, Eve and their family’s failure.

At least Jesus kept his faith on the individual level, even when all the collective-level foundations had failed and his physical body was sacrificed. This last act of Jesus made it possible for the human portion to make a minimum offering, though only on the male side of the individual level and only on the spiritual level without Jesus’ physical body. In this way, even though Jesus did not take his Bride and with her deliver the complete victory up to the worldwide and cosmic levels, Jesus the male central figure had established a certain foundation on the individual male side and on the spiritual level. This last choice made possible the extension of his and his Bride’s course to that of the Second Coming and Bride, after paying two thousand years of indemnity.[103]

As such, the end result of Jesus and his Bride’s course was the non-deliverance in these critical issues: restoration of man and woman’s equal value; fulfillment of all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings and the restoration of the original sin; elimination of Cain and Abel inequality that has plagued human reality ever since the failure of Adam and Eve’s family; and restoration of subverted Cosmic Four-Position Foundation to return the creation back to Heavenly Parent through perfected human beings becoming the true stewards overseeing both the spiritual and physical worlds.

In sum, from the time of Adam and Eve’s Fall, when man and woman’s unequal positions were created owing to Eve’s double sins, until the time of Second Coming and his course with his Bride, virtually no foundations had been made on the woman’s side to recover original gender equality. During the history of indemnity, when Heavenly Parent had no choice but to begin any providential foundation by initially contacting the male central figure, it was much easier for the male central figure to maintain his individual foundation with ongoing contact with the Heavenly Parent. Women central figures, on the other hand, were disadvantaged and doubly burdened with Eve’s ‘double sins’ on the collective level. Further, since they could not even begin their course by direct contact with Heavenly Parent but only through their spouses, it was extremely difficult for them to live up to the providential expectation that their positions called for. Given this unbalanced reality between man and woman, since they had to be representatives of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother respectively, the Heavenly Mother side of Heavenly Parent was also left in utterly dire straits, suffering through heart-wrenching torment for being left out and ignored by Her own children, humanity.

From Animism to the Fertility Goddess to Male Monotheism

Fallen humanity’s understanding of Divinity has reflected the development of the human portion in providential history. After the Fall, the parentage of fallen Adam and Eve came to be multiple—not only Heavenly Parent but also a lower creation. Polytheistic worship of the Divine reflected the same multiplicity. Since the Fall subverted the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation and placed human beings below creatures with only physical selves, human beings were left with a lowered perception of their value. Hence, people of the primeval world did not differentiate between humans and animals; not only that, their imagination of the Divine was limited to the variety of things in nature, which they set up as objects of reverence and worship.[104] Hence, for primal peoples it was difficult even to envision the Divine in anthropomorphic terms as Father God or Mother God. In addition, there was little understanding regarding the need for human salvation from sin and/or suffering, in contrast to the later historical religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity that are preoccupied with this issue.[105]

Later, when the providence progressed to the point where fallen humanity could begin to envisage the Divine in anthropomorphic terms, veneration of the Goddess became the prevalent form of worship of the divine in ancient civilizations even amidst the various nature gods.[106] This is attested by the wealth of archeological and documentary evidence, especially coming from the Ancient Near East, touted as the “birth of civilization.”[107] The main reason for this shift is that a transition had occurred from hunting and gathering societies to agricultural and herding societies.[108] As these rely more heavily on nature for existence, naturally people connected the metaphor of female fertility that creates and sustains life to female deities or Mother Earth that does the same.[109] Plenty of recovered artifacts and materials used in rituals and their symbolism from the Ancient Near East exhibit various aspects relating to “a single Goddess, the Great Mother,” as an epitome of female “fecundity,” “particularly… connected with birth and the food supply.”[110] On the other hand, often the Goddess was portrayed in an exaggerated and even grotesque manner, overtly focusing on the sexual organs, “breasts… and the vulva region” in distorted and disproportionate forms of display.[111] Certainly, the portrayal of Goddess in such base and vulgar fashion is in striking contrast to the later monotheistic religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, where the male God is revered as Gracious and holy.[112]

From the providential perspective, Heavenly Mother could only have been properly represented if woman’s disproportionately lowered value due to Eve’s double sins had been completely restored. However, with continual human failures—especially the failure of Noah and his wife’s family in their worldwide and cosmic-level course at the providential moment when Adam and Eve’s Fall could have been restored—the providence took a prolonged route until the next attempt at making a worldwide and cosmic-level foundation at the time of Jesus and his Bride. In the meantime, since there was at least Heavenly Parent’s 95-percent effort to elevate fallen humanity’s internal and external knowledge, as well as fallen humanity paying indemnity in the form of an indemnity period of suffering, fallen humanity’s thinking about the Divine advanced through religion to at least conceiving of Divinity in anthropomorphic, human terms.[113] Nonetheless, since Eve’s double sin was not completely restored, and womankind and thereby Heavenly Mother could not regain the rightful respect that is Her due, fallen humanity’s imagination of Goddess was at a low level, even to the point of vulgarity. Given that Heavenly Parent must work at the level of whatever the human offering of 5 percent could achieve, S/He had little choice but to suffer through humiliating distortion.

In nomadic herding societies, where through animal husbandry the procreative function of the role of male was better understood, the worship of the Great Mother as the single source of fertility began to wane.[114] In place of the Goddess’ diminished status as a symbol of fertility, a male God as her consort, be it a “son and lover, or of brother and husband,” began to assume an ever larger role, sharing the procreative and creative power with her.[115] However, this development of a somewhat equal and comparable Goddess and male God sharing divine sovereignty over creation did not last for long. Once the introduction of male God came on the scene, soon, “male monotheism” emerged centering around the “sky-Father,” the “all-powerful Storm God,” or a “male Creator God, who presides over the pantheon of gods and goddesses.”[116] Furthermore, once the focus had shifted from a central fertility Goddess to male and female gods engaged in sexual relationships, it was only a matter of time before various gods were imagined partaking in complicated sexual liaisons amongst themselves and with humans and even with animals.[117]

The emergence of male monotheism, however, brought along an unbalanced, dualistic reality of “transcendent Spirit (mind, ego) and inferior and dependent physical nature,” relegating the transcendent former to the male God and to men by extension, and the inferior latter to the female gods as well as to women.[118] Because men were identified with the supreme, male God, men naturally assumed the superior position over women. As male monotheism developed, women were left with no representation in God. Hence in male monotheism, gender became the means to demote the power and authority of female side of God. It also created what Mary Daly calls a “sexual caste system” that denigrated women to a lowly status.[119]

The phenomenon of male monotheism was inextricably entwined with the rise of patriarchal culture, as it “reinforces the social hierarchy of patriarchal rule through its religious system.”[120] According to Clifford Geertz, religion is simply a part of cultural system, as he defines culture as “historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols… by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life.”[121] In this reading, by manipulating various symbols relating to male monotheism as cultural conduits, fallen men promoted and propagated patriarchy, male hegemony, and “sexist social structures” by means of language, the educational system, and the “male monopoly on definition” or meaning of existence.[122] Geertz’s definition of culture or religion as a cultural system is a useful reference point to reflect upon in relation to the Divine Heart Principle. That is, given that such things as culture and religion are often the five-percent free-willed human constructs, one should not mindlessly accept them as 100-percent God-given reality, but must scrutinize them with the absolute standard as to whether they have eternal value or should be discarded along with the fallen history.

Thus from the vantage point of the restoration history, the progress of religion as humanity’s endeavor to try to recover Heavenly Parent’s internal knowledge advanced from the worship of animals to a central fertility Goddess to the male God of monotheism. In effect, this progressive movement broadly followed the route of restoration, which is “reversing the course of… [the] mistake” of the Fall.[123]

Right after the Fall, since on the collective level humanity had fallen below the things of creation, and since the process of the Fall implicated humanity to have multiple parentage, humanity’s earliest attempts at elevating themselves through religion were at best polytheism and at a very base level worshiping nature or creatures with only physical selves. Then, amid the world of polytheistic nature-gods, once human beings began to envision the Divine in anthropomorphic terms, the female fertility Goddess came to be revered first. A providential reason for this development would be that given that Adam and Eve’s 5-percent free-willed choices would determine the outcome, and since Eve had made the first choice, albeit an unprincipled one, the Goddess came into focus first, though at an unprincipled level that was in reflection of woman’s lowered status.

Then, when it became the providential time for the introduction of monotheism, which is more Principled, over polytheism, which is unprincipled, since women’s further removed position than man’s had not been restored as of yet, between man and woman, man and male God came to represent monotheism. Most certainly this is not the completely restored version of monotheism of one God, for that would be Heavenly Parent who is gender balanced and equally empowered as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Regardless, since male monotheism was the result of the 5-percent human offering to date, Heavenly Parent has had no choice but to continue with it.

Hebrew Male Monotheism

After the failure of Noah and wife’s family’s worldwide and their cosmic-level foundational course, Heavenly Parent, in preparation for the next try at the worldwide and cosmic-level course, had to initiate the male monotheism with Abraham and Sarah. They were the beginning point of the Abel position clan-level lineage what would eventually beget Jesus and the woman who was meant to be his Bride, the central figures for the next worldwide and cosmic-level foundational course. However, since it was not the providential timing when complete, gender balanced monotheism could be available, Judaism, the male monotheism that developed out of Abraham and Sarah’s lineage, was necessarily limited in its perception of the female side of God—and by extension, its understanding of woman as having equal value to man.

From Heavenly Parent’s perspective as well, being that it was not the providential timing when S/He could expect complete restoration that included gender equality, the best that S/He could hope for at the time was for the Israelites, the children of Abraham and Sarah, to recognize that there is only “One True God,” Yahweh, although understood mainly as male.[124] At the same time, the Israelites should preserve the purity of their lineage until the coming of the worldwide and cosmic-level central figures. However, Yahweh’s hope for the Israelites to revere only Yahweh and also to keep sexual purity was constantly threatened by neighboring nations, whose polytheistic cultures featured sexual promiscuity. This was notably present in the Canaanite fertility cult of Baalism, which practiced ritual prostitution as a part of divine worship.[125]

The Hebrew Bible is full of passages in which Yahweh inveighs against Israelites who worship foreign gods such as the Canaanite male god Baal and its female god Asherah. One notorious example was against the Israel’s king Ahab, who built a temple for Baal and allowed his queen Jezebel to dine with “four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah,” even as he “kill[ed] the prophets” of Yahweh.[126] So established and culturally imbedded was the cult of Baalism that the Yahweh, the God of Israel, had to constantly struggle to demand that the Israelites do not for a moment lose faith in Him as the one true God.

Another point of Yahweh’s fulmination against the Canaanite fertility cult was on the issue of ritual prostitution.[127] In the fertility cult sex was considered a sacred act, in that the “mystery of fertility,” so critical to the agricultural region of Fertile Crescent, was believed to be the result of sexual intercourse between god and goddess.[128] Ritual sexual intercourse with the temple prostitute or zonah symbolized that the devotees were not only participating in the sexual union of the gods, but they were also partaking in propagation of fertility, which is essential to survival and existence.[129] Regardless, for Yahweh of the Israelites, who gave a strict sexual code “not [to] commit adultery” and “not [to] covet” any sexual partner other than one’s spouse, Canaanite ritual prostitution was nothing less than an “abomination.”[130]

Being that the Canaanite cultic practice of ritual prostitution was more often linked to the goddess Asherah than to the male god, Israelite Yahwism’s objection to it did not simply end with what it considered to be the abominable practice per se by the goddess in question, but extended to the low opinion of the female in general.[131]

Canaanite temples were often marked by the tree symbols representing goddess Asherah. She was also illustrated with serpent symbols and was known by such epithets as “Lady of the Serpent” and “holding one or more serpents.”[132] Peggy Reeves Sanday connects the tree and serpent symbols of Asherah to that of the Hebrew creation story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, which also features the serpent and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (emphasis added).[133]  In the story, since Eve or woman was the one first succumbed to the serpent who enticed her with the saying, “when you eat of it [the forbidden fruit of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” by extension woman or female is implied to be the weaker.[134] Not only that, she is the more unethical one because she shares the connection to the immoral goddess Asherah of ritual prostitution.

Judith Ochshorn points out that even the way that Adam and Eve are punished by Yahweh in the Hebrew creation story is unequal, for the patriarchal cultural assumption of the Israelites at the time of the story is that Eve or woman lacks the “developed enough sense of right and wrong” in comparison to man.[135] Referring to Genesis 3:16, she writes that because the “only roles possible for the woman are those of mother and wife… [Eve and by extension women] are cursed in those roles.”[136] In contrast, she continues, Yahweh’s punishment of Adam is “not restricted to his roles as husband and father,” but it includes much more complex responsibilities relating to his “work, the land, and his death (Gen. 3:17-19).”[137] Other than the domestic sphere of nurturing and supporting the family, women are to have no claim in the greater human social sphere or in relation to the rest of creation. Such Hebrew (mis-)reading of Adam and Eve’s differing punishments as consequences of their culturally assumed dissimilar roles is yet another example of patriarchal culture’s misappropriation of woman as marginal, insignificant, and inferior.

Concerning the Hebrew reading of Adam and Eve story, most biblical scholars today are in agreement that the two conflicting Hebrew creation accounts of Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:21-22 were once separate stories that were later joined to make up the Genesis narrative.[138] The latter Genesis 2:21-22 story of God taking man’s rib to make a woman out of it is written in the “language of folklore” and is dated around 1,000-900 B.C.E.[139] The Genesis 1:27 story of God making both man and woman in God’s own image dates around 400 B.C.E. and is attributed to a group of “postexilic theologians” or “priestly redactors.”[140] Even though these two conflicting stories of Adam and Eve’s creation in Genesis were later joined as if they were one, they become useful tools for those who want to find man and woman’s equal value to opt for the Genesis 1:27 account, whereas those who want to argue woman’s inferiority quickly gravitate towards the Genesis 2:21-22 account. The latter point out what they consider to be the Biblical affirmation of woman’s inherently lowly status in creational order.[141] These conflicting viewpoints on human creation and man and woman’s value is another example of ideological confusion, being that humanity did not yet have the providential “merit of the age” to recover the absolute standard regarding man and woman’s equal value.[142]

Indeed, there was very little merit of the age to recover man and woman’s equal value, and by extension Heavenly Mother’s equal value to that of Heavenly Father. The cultural reality that Israelites lived under at the time was patriarchy all around. The low opinion of woman in general did not help Israelites to imagine that Yahweh could possibly have female side and that She could be just as powerful and capable as Her male counterpart. All the more, because the female deities of adjoining Canaanite cultures such as Asherah, Inanna/Ishtar and Anat were often linked to ritual prostitution and portrayed as licentious and sexually aggressive to the point that they were not even viewed in a divine light but as versions of lowly misbehaving women. Hence, there were few opportunities for the Israelites to appreciate the female side of Yahweh in any positive light.[143]

To separate completely the Israel’s Yahweh from the wanton and promiscuous behaviors common among Canaanite gods and goddesses, Hebrew prophets and writers opted for the other extreme and detached Yahweh from sexuality altogether. They relegated sex to the “realm… of unholy,” from which people need to separate in order to approach Yahweh, “the Holy One,” described in asexual terms.[144] As such, even though Yahweh is known to be male, He was in no way described as having a penis or engaging in sexual intercourse as the lusty Canaanite male gods Enki and Baal were.[145]

Eventually, however, such an asexual representation of Yahweh, who was otherwise known to be a male God, posed a problem for Yahwism when it came to establishing “sacred marriage symbolism.”[146] In other cultic religions, a marriage bond is formed between a god/goddess and his or her people with a king as people’s representative.[147] But in Yahwism, the marriage of its male god and a male king would symbolize a homosexual union.[148] Hence the Hebrew prophets had no option but to settle on language to feminize Israel instead. Israel becomes the bride to the male God Yahweh in order to symbolize at least a heterosexual union.[149]

Nevertheless, the Hebrew prophets’ feminization of Israel as the bride to the male God Yahweh did nothing to alleviate the lowly opinion of the female sex. Instead, it only amplified it. Hebrew Bible is full of the “holy husband” Yahweh’s lamentation against the Israel the bride who is accused of going around “offering herself to every passer-by” and “whoring” with other gods and nations.[150] Yahweh continues his rage against the Israel, linking it to other “wicked” nations represented in feminine imagery: “Have you not committed lewdness beyond all your abominations? ...Like mother, like daughter.” You are the daughter of your mother… Your elder sister is Samaria… your younger sister… is Sodom with her daughters.”[151] It is repeated over and over with exacerbating frequency that the female, not the male, is the “evil” and “wicked” one in Yahwism.

In all, the male monotheistic Yahwism or Judaism was a culmination of human portion of the responsibility. It was the base upon which Heavenly Parent had to work to continue the providence. After the Fall and the female side’s lowered position with respect to both Heavenly Mother and womankind, and after the inability of central women figures thereafter to improve the female side’s lowered position during the period of Israel’s history before the coming of the providential time for the next worldwide and cosmic-level foundational figures, Jesus and his would-be Bride, Heavenly Parent had no choice but to continue the providence with the Israel’s patriarchal culture. It was the result of their 5-percent human portion that they interpreted reality based upon patriarchal culture and its lowly opinion of the female in both humanity and divinity.

Later Heavenly Parent offered His/Her 95-percent effort to Judaism in order to introduce the feminine side of God in the form of the Shekinah, “the feminine element in God” in Jewish Kabbalism.[152] Yet with little foundation on the woman’s side, S/He was not able to work with the human portion to elevate it to be a concrete concept explicating the dual genders of Heavenly Parent.

Christianity as Continuation of Male Monotheism

When Jesus was not able to take his Bride, and with her to complete the restoration and establish the worldwide and cosmic-level foundation, neither were they able to win the worldwide and cosmic-level ideological victory to establish the Gender and Dual Position Balanced Divine Heart Principle as gender-balanced monotheism.[153] Moreover, as they were unable to restore the unequal positions of Cain and Abel which affected all humanity, the male monotheism that began with Abraham and Sarah, the ancestors of the Israelites whose lineage culminated in the persons of Jesus and his intended Bride, also began to divide.

First of all, although male monotheism is a little closer to the Divine Heart Principle than polytheism, and hence assumed the Abel position, since it is not the absolute standard of the Gender and Dual Position Balanced Divine Heart Principle, it also has to be restored to a complete understanding of the absolute standard. This should take place at the time of the course to fulfill the worldwide and cosmic-level foundation. However, when the worldwide and cosmic-level providential timing was missed again owing to Israelites’ disbelief in Jesus, and Jesus could not live physically to complete the mission with his Bride, then following the unequal positions of Cain and Abel, which is still the operating formula of human division after the Fall, Israel, the former Abel position lineage that culminated in Jesus and was also supposed to culminate in his Bride, assumed the Cain position, while Christians, raised as the spiritual lineage of Jesus, took the Abel position.[154] This situation also meant then the monotheism that began with the Israelites would also be divided into Cain and Abel positions—Judaism and Christianity respectively—during the two thousand years of indemnity before the time of the Second Coming. Then, with the Second Coming and his Bride’s worldwide and cosmic-level course, Heavenly Parent could once again hope for complete restoration.

Moreover, in addition to the initial male monotheism that began with Abraham and Sarah being divided into Cain and Abel positions of Judaism and Christianity respectively, since the still prevailing operating formula of Cain and Abel unequal positions affected every level of human division, later on the lineage of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar would also be divided into yet another set of Cain and Abel positions, both upholding male monotheism, in the form of Islam and Judaism.

Heavenly Parent must begin the providential work at the level of human offering. The above providential background was the basis during the two thousand years of indemnity before the Second Coming and Bride’s course in twentieth century for Heavenly Parent to continue the providence centering on Christianity.[155] Christianity developed because of Jesus’ last choice, which only benefited the male side without his Bride’s contribution to the woman’s side. Nevertheless, in preparation for the course of the Second Coming and his Bride, there was still Heavenly Parent’s 95-percent effort, especially during the early formative stage of Christianity, to encour-age people to recognize the femininity of God. This endeavor too is apparent in the works of Gnostic texts and Apocryphal gospels.[156] Yet it was still up to the Christians’ 5-percent human portion at the time whether to pursue it further.

Certain Gnostic Christians were already claiming that God is not just the masculine God, but a “dyadic being who consists of both masculine and feminine elements.”[157] They were also praying to both Father and Mother God: “From Thee, Father, and through Thee, Mother, the two immortal names, Parents of the divine being…”[158]Gospel of Philip claims that when “we were Hebrews we were orphans, with only a mother, but when we became Christians we had a father and a mother,” recognizing the gender-balanced Being who is Heavenly Parent.[159] In the Gospel of Thomas, comparing his own mother and Heavenly Mother, Jesus is reported to be saying: “For my mother [gave me…falsehood], but my true [mother] gave me life.”[160] In The Secret Book of John, John has a mystical vision of a “figure… [with] three forms” embraced in light, who pronounces: “I am [the Father], I am the Mother, I am the Child.”[161] The mysterious figure is understood to symbolize the central Christian symbol of Trinity or three “divine persons,” and the Holy Spirit would be equivalent to “the Mother.”[162] This is in contrast to the Greek reading of the Trinity where, given that the word for the spirit (pneuma) is neuter and the other two “persons” are the Father and the Son, the Trinity becomes predominantly masculine without the female representation.[163] Regardless, those early Christians who recognized God as both Father and Mother were soon silenced by “those who called themselves the “orthodox” (literally, straight-thinking) Christians.”[164] Among them were the so-called Church Fathers, who vigorously worked to reject such heterodox teachings and keep them out of the Christian canon.[165]

Recent Christian feminist scholarship has done much to raise awareness that what all Christians accept today as the Holy Scripture, the Christian canon of writings in the twenty-seven books of New Testament, is not something that simply existed from the very beginning of Christianity.[166] Instead, it is the product of first few centuries of Christian history, when divergent voices engaged in bitter polemics claiming what should be the orthodox creed as opposed to what should be heretical.[167] Yet where to draw the line between these positions was never clear. Among the major topics of contentious debates were the issues of the femaleness of God and women’s leadership in the churches.[168] However, with gradual but steady “patriarchalization of early churches,” involving an “androcentric selection” and “redaction process,” the Church Fathers systematically eliminated materials about Mother God and woman’s contribution in the churches.[169]

Church theologians objected to the Mother God idea for fear that it would invite polytheistic interpretation of God, whom they insisted was singularly male and the Father.[170] Yet as the Christian Church grew from a small Jewish sect to encompass gentile converts around the Greco-Roman world, well ensconced with many gods of both sexes, they needed to introduce certain feminine elements into church doctrine.[171] First, in keeping with the Hebrew idea of God as the Bridegroom and Israel as the bride, the Christians adopted the same idea of male God with His people or the Church as the female bride. In the Christian version, there is an added dimension to the male Divinity, as He begins with God the Father but ends with Christ, the Son of God and Risen Lord of the resurrection.[172]

The ensuing problem for Christianity is that since the Divine hierarchy begins and ends with the gender specific male “Father” God and male “Son of God,” all that do not belong in that category, including female side of God and woman, are assumed to be lower in the hierarchy. Specifically, even though it is assumed that all human beings would be lower than the Father and the Son, by virtue of the fact that Divinity—Father and Son—are both male, men presume the superior position over women, as Ephesians 5:20-27 lucidly demonstrates.[173]

Another element of femininity that the patriarchal Church theologians incorporated into Christian doctrine is Mariology. It is based on Mary the mother of Jesus, which developed mainly as a means to support the view that the “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” is an extraordinary figure.[174] The underlying logic of Mariology is that if Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and was “born” through Mary, then although Mary may not be compatible to Jesus, she would still possess exceptional qualities the set her apart from ordinary people, which would in turn support Jesus as a special figure.[175] Thus, alongside the Christ’s role as the new Adam, she was named the “new Eve,” which is the moniker that she also shares with the Church.[176] Unlike the fallen Eve who brought sin and suffering to humanity, Mary, the new Eve, along with the Church, were to be the obedient “daughters” of God’s Will and symbolic “brides” of Christ who multiply Christians who would be reborn through them.[177]

Additional concepts that grew around Mary were the idea of her perpetual virginity and the later notion of the Immaculate Conception. These are inseparably connected to ascetic impulse of the Church, which wanted to separate Jesus’ miraculous birth from any association with sexual intercourse.[178] Greek and Latin Christianity in particular had strong desire to pursue such idealized vision of Mary, as they had been heavily influenced by Platonic spirituality which devalues physical bodily love as a lower form compared to spiritual love, which they believed could reach a higher ideal.[179] The logic of the argument was that if Jesus is divine, his mother could not have been flawed by the low love of human sexuality, which is, according to St. Augustine, mainly necessary for the “procreation of children.”[180] In the end, however Christianity may have elevated Mary, her fundamental purpose was to serve Jesus. She was in no way understood in equal terms as the daughter of God, as Jesus was the Son.[181] 

From the providential perspective, Christian leanings towards asceticism were inevitable. Since Jesus could not unite with his Bride with both his physical self and spiritual self to create an ideal marital union, but could lay only a spiritual foundation without his physical self, there was very little foundation in Christianity to comprehend Heavenly Parent’s purpose of creation regarding a husband and wife’s “absolute sex[ual union]” of physical self and spiritual self.[182] 

Furthermore, since even on the spiritual level Jesus was only able to establish the human portion of the foundation on the individual male side, without having a Bride who could contribute anything to elevate the female position affecting Heavenly Mother and woman-kind, Christianity simply continued the male monotheism that had begun with the Israelites of the lineage of Abraham and Sarah. During the subsequent two thousand years of Christian history, Christian theologians continually elevated Jesus’ individual, male, and spiritual side offering to extraordinary levels without thought to stabilizing it with a gender-balanced teaching. Heavenly Parent could not stop this, as it was the human 5-percent free-willed portion. These interpretations of Christianity did not progress any closer to Heavenly Parent’s ideal of the Gender and Dual Position Balanced Divine Heart Principle. This would have to wait until the twentieth century, when the True Parents or the male and female central figures for the worldwide and cosmic level foundational course had to reveal the absolute standard and win the worldwide and cosmic-level victory.

The Unification Movement Must Go beyond Male Monotheism to the Gender and Dual Positional Balanced Divine Heart Principle

After two thousand years of paying indemnity by working with Christians, the spiritual heirs of Jesus, the providential time when the worldwide and cosmic-level foundations could be established has arrived. Heavenly Parent raised the Unification Movement in twentieth century in the hope of completing this worldwide and cosmic-level restoration. The people who were called to join the movement came from all over the world. They came not only on their own accord as individuals, but also because they stood upon the collective level of their ancestors, whose merit came from their efforts to live closer to a Principled life. In this they were in the Abel position compared to those who did not believe in Heavenly Parent and spiritual reality and were thus in the worldwide Cain position. This meant then it was not just the male and female central figures that were called to accomplish up to the worldwide and cosmic-level foundational course, but also all the people worldwide who have been led to the Unification Movement. They have the collective-level responsibility of the Abel position to reach out to the rest of humanity in the Cain position and testify to them of Heavenly Parent’s absolute standard and open the way of humanity’s complete restoration.

It was never Heavenly Parent’s original desire that Jesus and his Bride’s course be incomplete, or that there would be need for an extension course later on. This necessity only came about as the consequence of what happened with the human portion at the time of Jesus and his Bride’s course. Hence, the Unification Movement was required to initially commence from the point where Jesus’ physical life ended, having only established a human foundation on the indivi-dual, male, and spiritual side. Since Jesus’ Bride was not established, who could have laid the foundation on behalf of Heavenly Mother and womankind, the patriarchal culture that prevailed ever since the Fall and Eve’s double sins simply continued on, all over the human world. Christian culture was male centered, as was Confucian culture that had strong sway in Korea where the Second Coming and his Bride were raised.[183]

Hence, when Heavenly Parent and Jesus handed the baton to the Second Coming and his Bride, the central figures who would begin the extension course in twentieth century, they had no choice but to initially begin by contacting the male central figure. Then, once the male central figure consented to fulfill the Second Coming and the Bride’s course, it then became his first responsibility to figure out what is involved for the complete restoration of the worldwide and cosmic-level course. Then he had to establish his Bride and, as a True Spouse, aid her so that she too might fulfill her individual portion of the responsibility—to restore Eve’s double sins on behalf of womankind and for Heavenly Mother’s advent.

The male and female central figures of the Second Coming and Bride’s worldwide and cosmic-level course have been responsible to restore all humankind’s unprincipled choices dating back to Adam and Eve. They not only had to fulfill the various collective levels of responsibilities, but they also had to properly restore their distinct individual portions of responsibility, representing Adam and Eve’s dissimilar individual sins. They had to achieve, and at the proper time, the First Blessing on both the male and female sides. After all, without the fulfillment of the First Blessing, the remaining Second Blessing and Third Blessing cannot succeed. Nor can Adam and Eve’s failures to fulfill all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings—which was in fact the original sin—be restored completely. Further, because Eve committed the double sins and implicated womankind, not mankind, to suffer inordinate torment and degradation throughout fallen history and assume the Cain position to that of men, the female central figure in the position of restored Eve has been investing in women and in her daughters and fighting to reclaim woman’s equal value to that of man and open the way of Heavenly Mother’s equal representation to that of Heavenly Father.

Specifically, when Eve fell on the individual level and was swept into the archangel Lucifer’s unprincipled ideology before she fell with Adam on the collective level, it engendered a domino effect causing the loss of womankind’s and Heavenly Mother’s original positions. This subverted the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation. Hence, to completely restore the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation, the central person in the position of restored Eve needs to recover womankind and Heavenly Mother’s original positions, and for this she needs to champion the absolute Gender and Dual Position Balanced Divine Heart Principle. She must do this on top of what the man in the restored Adam position has to fulfill. Only in this way can lasting balance and harmony be restored to the entire creation. In a word, because Eve was the first to commence with an unprincipled ideology, which led to her double sins that precipitated all the consequences of the Fall, wreaking havoc and causing imbalance in Heavenly Parent’s gender-balanced dual positional Cosmic Four Position Foundation, it will be necessary for the woman in the restored Eve position and her daughters—her collective extension on the woman side—to champion, complete, and conclude the restoration.

Being that the Unification Movement inherited from Christianity a male-centered patriarchal culture and an Eve position that was unrestored and doubly removed, it was inevitable that the movement initially began centering on a male central figure. It was also unavoidable that it initially had a one-sided understanding of God as Heavenly Father. This temporary structure carried on for decades in male centered patriarchal culture. Moreover, from the standpoint of restoration through indemnity, since Adam’s sinful position on the male side was slightly closer to the Principle than Eve’s doubly removed position, Heavenly Parent had to allow the providence to commence and build toward the worldwide foundation of restoration initially with the male side.

Now male central figure, True Father, has ascended to the spirit world with his last words that he “accomplished everything.”[184] They should be understood to mean that he accomplished what the male central figure could fulfill on the individual level representing man’s side, along with a part of the collective level portion benefiting the entire humanity. However, the woman’s portion on the individual level affecting womankind and Heavenly Mother, as well as the rest of the collective portion contributing towards humanity, still remains with the female central figure and her daughters.

Since the male central figure’s ascension in 2012, the female central figure, True Mother, has been in charge of the Unification Movement. However, because the culture that came before her was predominantly patriarchal, its praxis for implementing man and woman’s equality as required by the Divine Heart Principle is limited. As a result, she is faced with a lot of resistance, coming from both her Cain and Abel-position sons and even from some of her daughters.[185] They are unwilling to accept that the time has come for the providence to move beyond the culturally constructed male hegemony and one-sided male monotheism of the past. Their confused ideologies do not clarify why God is not just Father God, and why womankind, including True Mother, and Mother God should not be subservient to their male counterparts. They neglect to acknowledge that the Unification Movement’s culture had been largely shaped by people of Christian and Korean Confucian backgrounds, which in turn are products of various cultural influences from the fallen past.

Yet these influences are rampant. For instance, St. Augustine, one of the Church Fathers, argued that Adam or man was the “unitary” human ancestor in the image of spiritual and incorporeal male God, while Eve was taken from Adam’s side to be his helper in the “carnal, corporeal task of procreation.”[186] Hence woman is a subordinate being who must be subjugated by man as “flesh must be subject to spirit” for the proper order of nature.[187] Later, Thomas Aquinas, another noteworthy Christian theologian, adopted the Aristotelian biology of ancient Greece, which held that the “male seed carried all the potency for new life,” including the spiritual side, making men and their sons the “pinnacle of creation,” whereas women and her daughters, being devoid of more divine seed, are “defective,” “mutilated,” “inferior” creatures.[188] Aquinas parroted Aristotelian biology, holding a female is a “misbegotten” or “defective” human being, the result of an accident that occurred to the male sperm, which otherwise is perfect by nature to reproduce another perfect male.[189] No doubt this sort of distorted reading of biology was one of the fundamental premises for insisting upon patrilineal succession, since only sons, being little men, would be “effective and active” carriers of the precious “semen” or “seed” that would “contribute to[wards] generation” and continue the superior form of human specimen—men.[190]

As for Korean Confucianism, with its stratified and hierarchical view of human reality and rigid fixation on rituals and proper behavior, it severely restricted woman’s place to “domestic confines,” while granting men full access to the rest of social realm, including all that relates to “political and economic prestige.”[191] Further, as a way to insure that this social structure would continue through the generations, Korean Confucianism developed the “patrilineal lineage system” along with “agnation” practices to ensure that only men would carry on the descent of the genealogical line.[192] In such social web of tightly interwoven male relations, women were nothing but “mere links” servicing the mechanics of connecting the generations.[193] Women had no autonomous, individual identity and rights, and they were socially recognized only in connection with the males in their lives as “someone’s daughter,” “someone’s wife,” and/or someone’s mother.[194] The only possible exception within the limited domestic sphere for a woman to have any power and authority would be if she were to produce a male heir that would continue the line of descent.[195] This meant then the woman or daughter-in-law that married into a particular family could come into a position of significance in the domestic sphere of that family by producing a son, whereas the direct daughter who married into some other family would have no power in her natal family.

Those who oppose the female central figure as being unsuitable to hold the same status as the male central figure oppose by extension Heavenly Mother and womankind’s equal value to their respective counterparts. They fail to see the cosmic ramifications of their refusal: Since each human person is the sum total of all the dual positions, including the dual spiritual and physical worlds, unless the man and woman’s equal sum total value is established taking after Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation for balance, harmony, peace, and prosperity between the dual spiritual and physical worlds cannot be reinstated. Those who oppose the position of True Mother do not understand that since Eve was the one who first lost the absolute Divine Heart Principle by siding with the archangel’s unprincipled ideology and dragged the womankind to come through her to a lowered position of degradation and wretchedness, it is True Mother, the female central figure in the restored Eve position, who must work with her daughters to reclaim the Gender and Dual Position Balanced Divine Heart Principle, and with it educate the rest of humanity, including her sons. They need to realize that it was never the male central figure’s responsibility to reveal how the female side of the restoration would have to proceed, as that could only be revealed by the female central figure and her daughters who have suffered through the historical indemnity of Eve’s double sins. After all, to insist that the male central figure must reveal and realize the woman side’s restoration would be equivalent to affirming that the male central figure is a woman, which obviously is unacceptable as well as untenable.

The female central figure has been making concerted effort to emphasize her equal value to the male central figure in familiar Christian idiom by addressing herself as “God’s only begotten daughter” to the male central figure’s “God’s only begotten son.”[196] Likely she is doing so because since the Unification Movement culture has been heavily Christian in its understanding of the messianic position, she feels the need to emphasize her equal value to the male central figure. However, it is to be expected that once there has been sufficient education for people to clearly perceive of the male and female central figures’ equal value, she will surely invest her efforts to reclaim her daughters’ equal value to that of her sons, and every woman’s equal value to every man. Only in this way can the four-position foundation of equal human value be established, taking after Heavenly Parent’s original numerical value of one.

Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation is not about creating the Triune positions of God, man, and woman or God, restored Adam, and restored Eve, but to establish the four-position foundation of perfected man and woman fulfilling all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings.[197] One of those roles is creating a human child, be it a girl or boy, and raising that child to maturity as the highest creation. Hence, True Parents’ responsibility includes not just reclaiming their own equal human value, but recovering the equal human value of every human being as their children, starting with the very first child. Only when the proper four-position foundation of equal human value is restored centering on Heavenly Parent the Origin, will gender imbalance and the unequal positions of Cain and Abel that have been plaguing fallen humanity begin to be restored as well. Only then will Heavenly Parent’s ideal of the eternal purpose of creation begin to take shape, with human beings rightfully at the center.[198] 



How can we know who Heavenly Parent is? We can only come to know Heavenly Parent, who is Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, when we know who we are as human beings. We are in Heavenly Parent’s complete image—men and women of equal human value but different in gender.[199] The Fall, or the original sin committed by Adam and Eve, deprived us of this knowledge of who we are, as well as what it means for us to be the sum total and the center of creation. Because the course of the Fall began with an unprincipled ideology, the process of restoration must necessarily commence with Heavenly Parent’s original ideology. This is nothing else but the absolute Gender and Dual Position Balanced Divine Heart Principle, which clearly delineates man and woman’s equal value but of different genders for the purpose of multiplication by forming the four-position foundation.

That human beings are man and woman should have been enough of a clue to perceive that Heavenly Parent is Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. But after the Fall and Eve’s double sins, with fallen humanity under the prevalent and persuasive influences of fallen cultures that most always had low opinion of women, no one could imagine that Heavenly Mother is just as capable, equal, and vibrant a partner to Heavenly Father as woman is originally created to be to man. Therefore, the Unification Movement, raised as a providential central foundation for the twentieth century and onward, has a critical responsibility to champion Heavenly Parent’s absolute Gender and Dual Position Balanced Divine Heart Principle. Without it, we cannot complete our providential restoration and witness to the rest of humanity regarding our Heavenly Parent, who is Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. We must have a clear understanding of Heavenly Parent’s absolute ideology, erect it as the absolute, eternal center, and separate it from all the unprincipled and one-sided ideologies that have proliferated during the course of fallen history. Only then can we educate the rest of humanity properly.

As the first child of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han, the issues of Heavenly Mother and woman’s equality are truly critical and personal to me. Throughout my life in the movement I was often discouraged and dissatisfied because God was taught only in the limited way as a male God, and as a woman it was difficult for me to identify with such a God. It was in a sense understandable since the culture in the early days of the Unification movement in Korea was heavily influenced by not only a male-centered Christian culture but also the old Korean culture that was very male chauvinistic owing to Confucian teachings that human relationships, between man and woman in particular, are inherently unequal. This is despite the fact that both Christianity and Confucianism made great contributions to humankind.

It is absolutely essential to clearly comprehend who Heavenly Parent is, as co-equal Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, and by extension that True Father and True Mother are in equal providential positions. Such an understanding, paving the way for man and woman’s equality, is all the more critical for our movement at this time. I am truly saddened by the ideological confusion of some people in the movement, including some of my own siblings, who are gravely misguided, unwilling to let go of past patriarchal culture that does not recognize gender equality in Divinity as well as in humanity, and outright dismissing True Mother’s current leadership.

Such actions are contrary to True Father’s own wishes as well. During the inauguration of the Abel Women’s UN, the last public event True Father held in 2012, he proclaimed that “[m]en and women are absolutely equal in terms of value” and that “in the twenty-first century… women will be the central axis” of leadership.[200] One can surmise that he was anticipating True Mother’s leadership to come after his ascension, as he claimed that she was “victorious as the representative of woman in the world” and will be a “true woman leader.”[201] Surely, this providential juncture of the “advent of the global era of women”[202] is the ripe time to unite with True Mother and her daughters to complete the providential mission, instead of attempting to regress the providence back to one-sided and limited patriarchal culture that has already caused much ideological confusion in humanity.

This project to recover the proper understanding of Heavenly Parent as the equally valued and empowered Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother is a milestone endeavor for me. It is of more than just academic interest, for it nurtures my existential quest to know who I am as a woman in the image of Heavenly Mother, following the footsteps of True Mother. I hope others in the movement will be just as inspired about the topic, and that the way will open for Unification theology to deeply reflect upon the equally balanced understanding of Heavenly Parent, who is Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, along with equal human value of man and woman. Only then, I believe, will we set the proper first step for our movement to offer the complete truth to the world.



[1] “True Mother Announces New Directions at Leaders Conference in Korea,” Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) News (January 8, 2013).

[2] This writer understands that Heavenly Parent is One Unified Being, the gender balanced and co-equal Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. For the sake of brevity, I will use the term Heavenly Parent to denote the one God who is both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. When making specific reference to paternal or material side of Heavenly Parent, Heavenly Father or Heavenly Mother will be used. When both pronouns denoting Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother have to be used together, I would use the notation S/He and His/Her.

[3] Exposition of the Divine Principle [EDP] (New York: HSA-UWC, 2005), Preface and Introduction. Elsewhere in the early version of the Divine Principle called the Wonli Wonbon, Rev. Moon mentions that God is both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. See Sun Myung Moon, “Wonli Wonbon” (1952), translation by Hee Hun Standard and Andrew Wilson, unpublished manuscript.

[4] Elaine H. Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), p. 48.

[5] Cheon Seong Gyeong [CSG (2013)] (Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 2013), p. 602; EDP, pp. 2, 7, 68, 378, 404; World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon (New York: Universal Peace Federation, 2011), p. 55. See also, Ye-Jin Moon, “God as the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother” [GHPHFHM], Applied Unificationism, Jan. 2014. The content of that article is also incorporated into this paper.

[6] EDP, p. 176.   

[7] The term “Divine Heart Principle” takes note of the fact that at the core of Heavenly Parent is “Heart,” or Shimjung; See New Essentials of Unification Thought: Head-Wing Thought [NEUT], (Tokyo: Unification Thought Institute, 2006), p. 23. In NEUT, Sang Hun Lee discusses God’s Heart in various phrases. He states it is an “emotional impulse to seek joy through love” (p. 23). Elsewhere, he states that God’s Heart is not only expressed as love but as having a “purpose of creation.” (p. 41). This writer agrees with the assumption that God’s Heart consists of the dual positions of love and purpose.

[8] EDP, pp. 15, 34.

[9] CSG (2013), p. 373; The term “Creation” denotes all that is produced by Heavenly Parent’s creative effort; it encompasses the dual spiritual and physical worlds.    

[10] CSG (2013), p. 373; Message of Peace [MOP] (Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 2007), p. 10; Philip Hefner, “Biocultural Evolution and the Created Co-Creator,” in Ted Peters ed. Science and Theology: The New Consonance (Boulder: Westview Press, 1998).

[11] EDP, p. 33; For more on the Five Roles, see below.

[12] EDP, pp. 25, 47-48. The Cosmic Four-Position Foundation consists of God as the Origin, the spiritual and physical worlds as the dual Division, and a perfected human being possessing a spiritual self and a physical self as the Union of both worlds.

[13] Ibid., pp. 2-3.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid., pp. 181-187.

[16] Ibid., p. 18.

[17] EDP identifies Lucifer as Satan and fallen humanity as the “lineage of Satan” (p. 68). At the same time, since Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation is absolute and unchanging, Heavenly Parent will never cease from being our ultimate Parent.

[18] E. O. James, The Ancient Gods (New York: Capricorn, 1964), p. 46.

[19] F. E. Peters, The Children of Abraham (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), p. 1.

[20] Young Oon Kim, Unification Theology (New York: HSA-UWC, 1987), p. 16. Kim reports that “on Easter morning in 1936,” Jesus appeared before Sun Myung Moon, the founder of Unification Movement, “to take up Jesus’ unfinished work” through Christianity.

[21] CSG (2013), p. 139.

[22] Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, Vol. 1 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951), p. 3.

[23] EDP, p. 7.

[24] Ibid., p. 175.

[25] Cheon Seong Gyeong [CSG (2006)] (Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 2006), p. 1115; CSG (2013), p. 373; EDP, p. 75.

[26] EDP, pp. 15-16.

[27] Ibid., pp. 17, 41.   

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid., p. 18; NEUT, p. 3.

[30] EDP, p. 19.

[31] Henceforth instead of using the words “dual characteristics,” I employ the term “dual positions” for the following rationale. First, all in creation imitate Heavenly Parent’s dual characteristics (dual positions) during the process of forming the four-position foundation through origin-division-union action (EDP, pp. 24-25). As Heavenly Parent is the origin stage, “dual positions” indicate the two positions of the division stage formed as consequence of Heavenly Parent’s dual characteristics interacting to substantiate independent, created entities that can each assume either position of the division as a part of the process of forming the four-position foundation. Thus, once Heavenly Parent’s dual characteristics are imitated through the creative process, and independent entities have been formed taking each position of the division of the four-position foundation, these independent entities are not merely “characteristics” but substantiated entities. Given so, it is better to recognize their status within the four-position foundation as substantiated “positions.” Also, even for Heavenly Parent, since S/He is not merely a Being with “dual characteristics” within Him/Her Self, but a being of the dual Persons Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother who each possess within them dual characteristics, it is confusing to state that Heavenly Parent merely has dual characteristics without clarifying that Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother assume dual positions in relating to each other and to the Creation.

[32] CSG (2006), pp. 61, 68.

[33] EDP, p. 15.

[34] See note 32.

[35] Gen. 1:27.

[36] EDP, pp. 32-36.   

[37] Ibid., pp. 21, 25; NEUT, p. 41.

[38] EDP mainly focuses on the human portion of the responsibility, even though it does allude to the angels, the highest of the spiritual self-only creations, as having a portion of the responsibility (p. 69). However, this writer assumes that all three types of the creations—ones with only a spiritual self, the highest of which are angels; ones with only a physical self, the highest of which are animals; and human beings, who are the sum total of spiritual and physical creations—have a 5-percent portion of the responsibility relating to individual as well collective levels (EDP, pp. 47-48, 68). Yet since the three types of creations have dissimilar purposes, the nature of their 5-percent portion of responsibility differs. Detailed discussion on this topic is beyond the scope of this paper.

[39] CSG (2006), p. 1113; The duality of Heavenly Parent’s created reality as the cosmos consisting of the spiritual and physical worlds follows the logic of the dual positions.

[40] For a learned exposition of this position, see Tyler Hendricks, “An Inquiry into God as Our Heavenly Parents,” Applied Unificationism, May 20, 2013. 2013/05/20/an-inquiry-into-god-as-our-heavenly-parents.

[41] EDP, p. 21.

[42] Ibid., pp. 25, 37, 376.

[43] Ibid., p. 41.

[44] Ibid., pp. 24-25, 41.

[45] CSG (2013), p. 249.

[46] Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol. 2 (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2003), p. 92.

[47]; Geisler, pp. 345-346.

[48] EDP, p. 32.

[49] Ibid.,pp.  33-34.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid., pp. 34-35.

[52] CSG (2013), p. 359, NEUT, pp. 243-249.

[53] EDP, p. 32.

[54] NEUT, pp. 105, 118.

[55] EDP, p. 34.

[56] Ibid., pp. 34-35.

[57] Ibid., pp. 47-49; CSG (2013), p. 213.

[58] EDP, p. 297.

[59] CSG (2013), pp. 308-309.

[60] Ibid., p. 294.

[61] Ibid., pp. 521-523.

[62] EDP, p. 297.

[63] Ibid., p. 49.

[64] Ibid., p. 78; CSG (2013), p. 605.

[65] CSG (2006), pp. 847, 852, 874-875; CSG (2013), p. 694.

[66] EDP, pp. 57-59, 62-64.

[67] Ibid., p. 30. Father Moon also acknowledges that the “evolution of all animals has culminated in man,” in “Founder’s Address,” Fifth Internal Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, Washington, D.C., November 25-28, 1976.

[68] CSG (2013), p. 622; Speaking of pollution, Father Moon states that “people have destroyed our God-given environment” that was originally designed to accommodate various physical creations to live harmoniously.

[69] EDP, p. 37.

[70] Ibid., pp. 24-25.

[71] NEUT, pp. 105.

[72] CSG (2013), p. 164.

[73] EDP, pp. 58-60.

[74] Ibid., pp. 57-58.

[75] Gen. 3:6-7.

[76] Detailed discussion on the Cain and Abel unequal positions as one of the consequences of Adam and Eve’s Fall is beyond the parameters of this paper.

[77] Philip Hefner, p. 176.

[78] Rev. Moon states, “The evolution of all animals has culminated in man, and we can say that man is the ultimate purpose of the first causal being”; in “The Search for Absolute Values: Harmony among the Sciences,” Fifth International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, 1976.; This writer takes the theistic evolutionary approach, based upon the premise of the Divine Heart Principle that the eternal purpose of creation is achieved by a process of co-creation with the portions of responsibility of the diverse creations with their differing created purposes. By virtue of human beings being the sum total of the entire creation, the 5-percent human portion contributes to perfecting 100 percent of entire creation; whereas other creations, whether with only spiritual selves or only physical selves, have 5-percent portions for perfecting each one’s respective worlds and realms. Thus, as regards to creations with only a physical self, the Creator’s 95-percent portion included creating the first organisms within the natural evolutionary process that S/He had designed and was continuously involved in. The limited 5-percent portion of these creations was the free will to multiply their kinds according to their individual and collective portion of the responsibility. Within the parameters of their 5-percent free will they could choose “good” by keeping true to the Creator’s original model for their particular kind of creation, or choose “bad” by going beyond the limit of what is acceptable by variations and mutations that could even cause their demise. In Genesis 1, after each stage of the creative process God proclaimed that what had been created “was good,” thus establishing the good standard appropriate to each creation. As for the creation of human beings, since the creative process is one continuous process and human beings must necessarily be the sum total of the entire creation, encompassing the dual spiritual and physical worlds, Heavenly Parent would have taken the appropriate, existent physical form of primates and infused the human spiritual self into it to create or “give birth” to the first human beings Adam and Eve.

[79] Ye-Jin Moon, GHPHFHM; According to the Divine Heart Principle, Heavenly Parent alone created Adam and Eve as first models of humankind. Thereafter, human creation was to be completed by the 5 percent human input—the parental responsibility as well as the collective lineage contribution, including hereditary means. After Adam and Eve, even though every human being has the intrinsic value of the entire creation, which is also the sum total of Heavenly Parent’s 95-percent original investment in Creation, the 5-percent human contribution coming from dissimilar situations of lineage will create differing personalities, circumstances, and indemnity burdens.

[80] EDP, pp. 83, 198, 206, 226, 230, 266. In comparison to providential male central figures such as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus, their respective wives—Noah’s wife whose name is not mentioned in the Bible, Sarah, Rachel, Zipporah and Jesus’ Bride—were not able to make much of a contribution on the woman’s side. One notable exception was Rebekah, who recognized and supported Abel position child, Jacob, over the Cain position child, Esau, whom Isaac preferred (Gen. 25:22-23, 28; EDP, pp. 218-219). However, since the providential timing of Rebekah and Isaac’s course was not at the time of the worldwide and cosmic-level foundational course that could have restored Adam and Eve’s sins, her contribution could not affect all of womankind and the Cosmic Four-Position Foundation.

[81] EDP, p. 19.

[82] CSG (2006), p. 132.

[83] CSG (2013), p. 88; EDP, p. 176.

[84] See EDP, chapters Restoration, Foundation, and Moses and Jesus.

[85] Ibid., p. 178.

[86] EDP, p. 199; see note 94.

[87] Gen. 6:9.

[88] Ibid.; EDP, p. 199.

[89] EDP, p. 203.

[90] MOP, p. 143; If Heart-Principled true love unity and human perfection through fulfillment of all Five Roles of the Three Great Blessings had occurred in Adam and Eve’s family or Noah and his wife’s family, since humanity descended from them would have learned from either set of parents Heavenly Parent’s eternal purpose of creation, including human value, all humanity would have understood that we are all brothers and sisters to each other sharing the same first parents. Hence, human perfection would have progressed from the individual and family level to humanity worldwide as “one family with God.” However, when in Adam and Eve’s family division instead of unity occurred with Cain and Abel, that inequality became the model for subsequent fallen humanity. When Noah and his wife’s family failed to restore the failures from Adam and Eve’s family, fallen humanity grew into greater, divided groups, leading to divisions between clans, races, and nations, and fights over land and resources. Further discussions on the failed consequence of Noah and wife’s family, one of which is racial division in humanity, is beyond the parameters of this paper.

[91] Exod. 3:6; EDP, pp. 215-222; Detailed discussions of the deeds of the central figures of these three generations are beyond the scope of this paper.

[92] Genesis chs. 16-30. However a human person is created, although by means of un-Principled lineage arrangements whether by parental and ancestral choices, Heavenly Parent waits to recover every one as His/Her true child. However long that process entails is largely dependent upon the indemnity burdens coming from the relevant ancestry.

[93] Exod. 12:40; EDP, p. 213.

[94] EDP, pp. 234-266.

[95] Ibid., pp. 236-237, 252.

[96] Deut. 34:1-5; Although on the individual level Moses did not commit the faithlessness of the first generation of Israelites in the wilderness, on the collective level he could not evade their fate by virtue of the fact that he was their central leader. This is an example of how someone seemingly innocent on the individual level suffers misery coming from the burden of the collective level.

[97] Num 32:11-12.

[98] Exod. 2:15, 21.

[99] Exod. 4:25-26; EDP, p. 240.

[100] Detailed discussion concerning Moses and the Israelites’ national level foundation is beyond the scope of this paper.

[101] CSG (2013), p. 138.

[102] CSG (2006), p. 2029; The new indemnity condition of Cain and Abel position wives’ divisions that entered central human lineage at the time of Abraham and Sarah’s three generation clan-level foundation was unfortunately repeated in Zechariah’s family. What Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary should have done to properly support Jesus and Bride’s course is beyond the parameters of this paper.

[103] Because Jesus and his Bride’s course was at the providential time for restoring the worldwide and cosmic-level foundation, when Jesus established the individual, spiritual foundation on the worldwide level, Jesus’ spiritual children, the Christians, could expand through the two thousand years of Christian indemnity history to the worldwide, spiritual level in preparation for the course of the Second Coming and his Bride. However, complete restoration of both the spiritual and physical sides of fallen humanity can occur only with the male and female central figures completing both the individual and collective levels of spiritual and physical sides of restoration starting from the individual on to family, clan, national, and up to the worldwide and cosmic levels.

[104] Huston Smith, The World’s Religions (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991), pp. 374-376.

[105] Ibid., p. 377.   

[106] E. O. James, The Cult of the Mother Goddess (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1994), p. 11; Even though a Goddess came to be worshiped, since the complete restoration had not happened and the idea of monotheism was still far away, the world was still polytheistic revering many nature gods.

[107] James, Ancient Gods, p. 17.

[108] Ibid.

[109] “Mother Earth,” in Jonathan Z. Smith ed. The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995), p. 733.

[110] James, Ancient Gods, p. 46; Cult of the Mother Goddess, p. 24.

[111] James, Ancient Gods, p. 47.

[112] E.g. Lev. 11:44; Luke 1:49; Qur’an, Sura 2.

[113] A form of indemnity can be suffering through a specific time period during which one has to endure unprincipled fallen reality. When the central human foundation acting on behalf of humanity fails, resulting in a prolongation of the providence, the course of that prolongation is one form of indemnity involving a required time period. See EDP, Part II, Ch. 3.

[114] James, Cult of Mother Goddess., p. 228.

[115] Ibid.

[116] Gerda Lerner, The Creation of Patriarchy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), pp. 145, 180; Rosemary Radford Ruether, Sexism and God-Talk (Boston: Beacon Press, 1983), p. 53.

[117] Greek myth is one example among many.

[118] Ruether, Sexism, p. 54.

[119] Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father (Boston: Beacon Press, 1985), p. 2; Lerner, Creation of Patriarchy, p. 216.

[120] Ruether, Sexism, 53.

[121] Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 2000), p. 89.

[122] Lerner, Creation of Patriarchy, p. 219; Carol P. Christ, “Symbols of Goddess and God in Feminist Theology,” in Carol Olson, ed. The Book of the Goddess Past and Present: An Introduction to Her Religion (New York: Crossroad, 1983), pp. 235-238; Elizabeth A. Johnson, She Who Is (New York: Crossroad, 1997), p. 23.

[123] EDP, p. 178.

[124] Peters, p. 1.

[125] James, Cult of the Mother Goddess, p. 79; Peggy Reeves Sanday, Female Power and Male Dominance: On the Origins of Sexual Inequality (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), p. 224.

[126] 1 Kgs. 16:32; 18:19; 19:10.

[127] Deut. 23:18; Hos. 4: 14.

[128] Bernard W. Anderson, Understanding the Old Testament, 4th ed. (New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 1986), p. 191.

[129] James, Cult of the Mother Goddess, p. 82.

[130] Exod. 20:14, 17; Deut. 18:12.

[131] William Foxwell Albright, Archeology and the Religion of Israel (New York: Anchor Books, 1969), p. 168; Sanday, Female Power, pp. 223-225.

[132] Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), 33; Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990), 38; Sanday, 223.

[133] Gen. 2:9; Sanday, Female Power, 220, 223.

[134] Gen. 3:5; Sanday, Female Power, 223-224.

[135] Judith Ochshorn, The Female Experience and the Nature of the Divine (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981), p. 148.

[136] Ibid., p. 149.

[137] Ibid.

[138] Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent (New York: Random House, 1988), p. xxii.

[139] Ibid.

[140] Lerner, Creation of Patriarchy, p. 162; Pagels, op cit.

[141] Pagels, pp. xxii-xxiii.

[142] EDP, p. 138.

[143] Rosemary Radford Ruether, Goddesses and the Divine Feminine (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), p. 81.   

[144] Ps. 29:2; Isa. 6:3; Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and Biblical transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: Free Press, 1993), pp. 188-189; Ruether, Goddesses, p. 76.

[145] Howard Eilberg-Schwartz, God’s Phallus: And Other Problems for Men and Monotheism (Boston: Beacon Press, 1994), p. 86; Frymer-Kensky, p. 188; Pagels, “What Became of God the Mother? Conflicting Images of God in Early Christianity,” in Carol P. Christ & Judith Plaskow eds., Womanspirit Rising (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992), p. 107; Ruether, Goddesses, p. 76.

[146] Eilberg-Schwartz, p. 3; Ruether, Goddesses, p. 81.

[147] Ibid.

[148] Ibid.

[149] Ibid.

[150] Jer. 3:2 and Ezek. 16:25-36 are just a few examples.

[151] Isa. 10:11; 13:11; Jer. 50:40; Ezek. 16:43-46, 49

[152] Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (New York: Schocken Books, 1995), p. 229. As it pertains to Heavenly Parent’s 95-percent portion and the human 5-percent free willed portion of responsibility, the limit of Heavenly Parent’s involvement is to try to open the way for human beings to perceive the truth (in this case, regarding the fact that Heavenly Parent is gender-balanced). However, if human beings remain incognizant and are not responsive to the truth, whatever the Heavenly Parent’s preparation for that purpose will not bring the desired outcome.

[153] Ye-Jin Moon, GHPHFHM.

[154] EDP, pp. 280-282; Cain and Abel unequal positions are consequences of the Fall, which must be restored and eventually be done away with. However, during restoration history, even though Cain and Abel position divisions occur for the purpose of restoration, they are not fixed positions, since there is absolute 5-percent human free will. That is even though one may have been in the Abel position, if one does not fulfill one’s providential responsibility, one can always assume Cain position.

[155] EDP, Part II Ch. 6.

[156] Pagels, Gnostic Gospels, pp. 49-58; Ruether, Sexism, p. 59-60.

[157] Pagels, “What Became of God the Mother?” p. 108.

[158] Hippolytus, quoted in Pagels, Gnostic Gospels, p. 49.

[159] The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, Marvin Meyer, ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 2008), p. 161; The reference to being a Hebrew in connection to mother would be alluding to the fact that the Jewish law (halakhah) recognizes a Jew as a person born of a Jewish mother or one who has converted to Judaism: See Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion, eds. R. J. Zwi Werblowsky and Geoffrey Wigoder (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 369.

[160] Nag Hammadi, p. 152.

[161] Ibid., p. 108.

[162] Edmund J. Fortman, The Triune God (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1999), p. xvi; Pagels, Gnostic Gospels, p. 52.

[163] Pagels, op cit.

[164] Pagels, “What Became of God the Mother?” p. 113.

[165] Ibid., 113-114.

[166] Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 1; Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her (New York: Crossroad, 1988), pp. 53, 56; Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, p. 152.

[167] Walter Bauer, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, eds. Robert A. Draft and Gerhard Krodel (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971), pp. 131-132; Fiorenza, In Memory of Her, p. 53.

[168] Fiorenza, In Memory of Her, p. 53.; Pagels, Gnostic Gospels, pp. 49-58.

[169] Fiorenza, In Memory of Her, pp. 52-53; Pagels, Gnostic Gospels, p. 57.

[170] Ruether, Sexism, p. 126.

[171] Ehrman, The New Testament, p. 24.

[172] Luke 24:34; Acts 4:33; 8:37; Eph. 5:20.

[173] Ruether, Sexism, pp. 125-126.

[174] 2 Pet. 1:11.

[175] John 3:18; Rosemary Radford Ruether, Mary: The Feminine Face of the Church (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1977), p. 51.

[176] Ruether, Mary, p. 53.

[177] Ibid.

[178] Ibid., 54.

[179] Rosemary Radford Ruether, “Misogynism and Virginal Feminism in the Fathers of the Church,” in Rosemary Radford Ruether, Religion and Sexism (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974), p. 153.

[180] Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Amazon Kindle, Bk. 1, Ch. 9.

[181] Eleanor Commo McLaughlin, “Equality of Souls, Inequality of Sexes: Woman in Medieval Theology,” in Rosemary Radford Ruether, ed. Religion and Sexism, p. 220.

[182] CSG (2013), p. 302.

[183] EDP, pp. 398-399.   

[184] On Aug. 13, 2012, during his final prayer before ascension offered at Cheong Shim hospital, Rev. Moon stated (in Korean) that that he had “accomplished everything”; See the “Commemorative Video Presentation” for Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Seonghwa Ceremony on Sept. 15, 2012 (FFWP Korean Historical Committee).

[185] Gerda Lerner argues, “The system of patriarchy can function only with the cooperation of women. This cooperation is secured by a variety of means: gender indoctrination; educational deprivation; the denial to women of knowledge of their history; the dividing of women, one from the other… by restraint and outright coercion; by discrimination in access to economic resources and political power; and by awarding class privileges to conforming women.” (Creation of Patriarchy, p. 219) Those who follow the latest developments in the Unification Movement can readily recognize that some of True Mother’s children, including some of the “True Sons,” are directly and indirectly opposing her. Also, for an earlier male-centered Unificationist argument of God as exclusively “the Father,” see Steven K. Nomura, “God as Masculine Subject Partner,” in Journal of Unification Studies, IV (2001-2002): 57-72.

[186] Ruether, “Misogynism,” p. 156.

[187] Ibid., p. 157.

[188] Johnson, She Who Is, p. 24; Lerner, Creation of Patriarchy, pp. 206-207; McLaughlin, “Equality of Souls,” p. 216.

[189] Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part 1, Q. 92, Art. 1, trans. by Fathers of the English Dominican Province Benziger Brothers, Amazon Kindle edition; Johnson, She Who Is, p. 24; McLaughlin, “Equality of Souls,” p. 217.

[190] Aristotle, “De Generatione Animalium,” The Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. by Richard Mckeon (New York: Random House, 1941), p. 676.

[191] Martina Deuchler, The Confucian Transformation of Korea (Cambridge: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1992), p. 280.

[192] Ibid., pp. 284-285.

[193] Ibid., p. 289.

[194] Ibid.

[195] Ibid., p. 262.

[196] Hak Ja Han, “A Blessed Family Has to Carry a Lineage Through the Generations,” speech given at the Senior Church Members’ Luncheon, Cheon Jeong Gung, Korea, February 1, 2015.

[197] Fortman, Triune God, pp. xv-xvi; EDP, p. 25.

[198] EDP, p. 29.

[199] Sallie McFague, Models of God (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988), p. 97.

[200] Sun Myung Moon, “Inauguration of the Abel Women’s UN,” Cheongshim Peace World Center, July 16, 2012.

[201] Ibid.

[202] Ibid.

The Great Jubilee Years 2007-08: A Transition Period in Unification Movement History

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 16, 2015 - Pages 147-184

This article is taken from Michael L. Mickler's forthcoming History of the Unification Movement in the Early Twenty-First Century.

Reverend Moon declared a “Great Jubilee Year” in 2007 and extended it through 2008. He referred to them together as the Ssang Hap (7/8) jubilee years. Rev. Moon declared them on the foundation of what he termed “The Pacific Rim Era.” As he expressed it,

The development of human civilization has completed a circuit of the entire globe and has arrived at the Pacific sphere. Human history has come to a point in time in the providence at which it should reach completion and fruition through the Pacific Rim region. No force can impede the providence now. Though there were both victories and defeats… in the Era Before Heaven, nothing could prevent the rise of the Pacific Rim era. Herein lies the reason that Heaven declared this a jubilee year.[1]

It was typical of Rev. Moon that the jubilee years were not occasions of respite but a call to mission. In proclaiming the Pacific Rim era, he called upon the United States, Korea, and the island nations of the Pacific to exercise their responsibility “to protect and save the oceanic realm.”[2]

Ironically, at the close of the Ssang Hap jubilee years, it was the Unification realm that required protection. During 2007, conflicts within Rev. Moon’s family sharpened and he indicated publicly that he would not tolerate bickering or fighting. However, in 2008, a series of events further accentuated their differences. The sudden passing of Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s eldest son Hyo Jin at age 46 by a heart attack on March 17, 2008 surfaced questions of succession in ways that had not been raised previously. The movement’s decision to run a slate of candidates in Korea’s April 9, 2008 National Assembly election and their resounding defeat raised questions as to Unificationism’s future direction.

Finally, Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s near-fatal helicopter accident on July 19, 2008 brought the family together temporarily but then widened the gap. Their parent’s brush with death had the effect of generating within their adult children a stronger sense of urgency to implement their respective agendas for the movement. By the end of 2008, the situation had reached a breaking point. In this respect, the Great Jubilee Years were a bridge between the relatively stable era that preceded them and the open conflicts that followed.



Rev. Moon’s declarations of “a great jubilee year” and “the Pacific Rim Era” in 2007 focused not just on the Unification community but humankind as a whole. Following the proclamation of the Pacific Rim Era, Rev. and Mrs. Moon conducted a series of “New Civilization” speaking tours from April-June 2008 during which the good news of the jubilee year and the new era was propagated in Korea, Japan and the United States. During the same period, the movement re-registered the Family Party for Peace and Unity in Korea and announced that it would field candidates in the 2008 National Assembly general elections. Other hopeful signs consistent with the proclamation of a great jubilee year were the official opening of the movement’s World Peace Center in Pyongyang, North Korea, completion of first phase construction of a Gimpo Aerospace Industrial Complex in South Korea, and the easing of restrictions on Rev. Moon’s travel in Europe. However, an undercurrent of friction and hints of conflict among Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s sons accompanied these developments. By the end of the year it was apparent that they were moving in very different directions.

Declaration of the Pacific Rim Era

Rev. Moon chose to deliver his “new civilization” declaration before some 700 movement leaders and non-Church dignitaries on the grounds of Hawaii King Garden, a movement-owned property on the island of Kona. His speech, titled, “A Providential View of the Pacific Rim Era in Light of God’s Will—The United States and the Future Direction of the United Nations and the World,” drew on themes that had been prominent in his thought for some time, including his identity as “the True Parent of humankind,” the fruition of human civilization “in the Pacific Rim region, centered on the Korean peninsula,” oceans as “the resource on which humanity's future depends,” the responsibility of the United States “to bring harmony and oneness among the world’s 6.5 billion people and to expedite the creation of a peaceful, ideal world,” the significance of international and cross-cultural marriage Blessings, and the necessity of “an ‘Abel-type’ counterpart to the United Nations.” He also proclaimed, “The oceanic era that has begun represents the women’s era.”[3]

Having delivered the “providential” address, Rev. Moon proceeded to disseminate it as widely as possible. He did so in a “New Civilization” tour covering twenty-four cities in Korea during April and early May. Mrs. Moon delivered the same speech in ten Japanese cities on May 2-11. She began the American phase of the tour in late May, delivering the message in twelve American cities with two of the Moons’ daughter-in-laws covering cities in thirty-eight states during May and June.[4] Rev. Moon delivered the same message at the 25th anniversary of The Washington Times, an event at which former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush also spoke.[5] Finally, movement leaders were directed to hold “new civilization” rallies in their respective nations.

The Substantial Abel UN

Besides speaking tours and rallies, the movement convened International Leadership Conferences (ILCs) on April 17, May 17, June 17, July 17, August 17 and September 17. These were timed to coincide with the original declaration of the Pacific Rim era on March 17, 2007. The conferences included representatives from Korea and Japan as well as from World War II allied and axis nations (the United States, England, France, Germany and Italy) for whom Rev. Moon had been praying since the start of his public ministry. The ILCs were a build-up to the launch of what Rev. Moon termed the “Substantial” Abel UN on September 23, 2007.[6] Two years earlier, he founded the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) as an “Abel-type” UN. Now, Rev. Moon intended to establish the “Abel UN” as a viable entity. Conducted at the movement-owned New Yorker Hotel and adjacent Manhattan Center, UPF’s Assembly 2007 brought together repre-sentatives from 192 nations seated at UN-styled conference tables. Flags and additional regalia added to the atmosphere. His keynote address was a revised text of the Pacific Rim message augmented by extemporaneous comments, his entire discourse lasting three hours. Finishing at 11:00 p.m., he penned an approximately thirty-foot calligraphic message that read in Chinese characters, “May the Sovereignty of the God of True Love, the Sacred Reign of Peace, Last Forever.” He then struck a giant gong, sealing the evening’s proceedings.[7]

The Family Party for Peace and Unity (FPPU)   

Another initiative which clearly moved beyond proclamation to implementation was Rev. Moon’s direction to re-register the Family Party for Peace and Unity (FPPU) in preparation for fielding a slate of candidates in 2008 general elections for the Korean National Assembly. The movement initially formed the Family Party for educational purposes in 2003, but neither campaigned nor fielded a candidate for office. Due to a Korean law stating that a political party must elect at least one candidate to office within four year period, the Family Party was legally dissolved in March 2007. It was re-registered on August 28. However, the movement’s thinking remained determinedly idealistic. Chung Hwan Kwak, the party chairman, stated,

It [the Family Party] will never become involved in the confrontation and conflict that characterize the relationship between the government and opposition parties in Korea today. It will be a parental organization that works to take care of the people.[8]

Rev. Moon likewise stated,

The Family Party indicates that we are all brothers and sisters. In that case, there is no ‘you’ and ‘I.’ We are all basically like relatives; thus there will not be any quarrels. We are not here to fight; we are here to assist.[9]

According to Chung-hwan Kwak, Rev. Moon based the Family Party upon “a providential view of politics.” He suggested, for example, “The government and opposition party should be like husband and wife, or like a father and mother in a family—always discussing matters and promoting the national welfare together.” Rev. Kwak also commented on the Family Party’s policy positions or lack thereof,

Father is teaching that a political party that is in accord with the heavenly way will not have to develop policies… there is no need for any other policy aside from the policy of applying principles rooted in the true family ideal connected to God. Of course, to be approachable by the general public, the Family Party must be able to explain itself in language that people can understand and relate to. In that way how the party applies heavenly principles will be expressed in that context. You have to keep in mind that God does not formulate policies.[10]

In re-launching the Family Party with the intention of fielding candidates for office, Rev. Moon embarked upon a new and, as it turned out, risky experiment. In essence, he was attempting to apply Unification principles within the rough and tumble world of politics.

Additional Breakthroughs   

Prior to re-registering the Family Party, the movement achieved a breakthrough of sorts with the official opening of its World Peace Center in Pyongyang, North Korea. The movement already operated the Potong Hotel in Pyongyang and a Pyeonghwa (Peace) Motors joint venture in Nampo, thirty miles to the east. Rev. Moon’s December 6, 1991 meeting with Kim Il Sung opened the way for both these initiatives. At that meeting, the North Korean president said that he would provide land for a church. Rev. Moon countered that a peace center would be more valuable. Kim subsequently provided land and permitted construction to proceed, a decision that his son and successor, Kim Jong Il, honored after his father’s passing.

On August 4, a party of 147 mostly Unification leaders with two former South Korean government officials and several representatives of South Korean civil society flew north for the opening ceremony the following day. The building, itself, was an imposing structure, five-stories high with an impressive glass and pillar frontage. It housed offices, multiple conference and lecture rooms, a coffee shop, multi-media room, living and guest quarters, main auditorium and significantly, a chapel. As such the Peace Center doubled as the Pyongyang branch of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, or Unification Church. Five hours before the official opening, movement leaders consecrated the building with holy salt and conducted “a genuine church dedication… with the full knowledge (though not the presence) of the North Korean authorities.”[11]

Completion of first phase construction of the Gimpo Aerospace Industrial Complex in South Korea on October 18, 2007 was another hopeful sign consistent with the proclamation of a great jubilee year. Times Aerospace of Korea (TAK), a sister company of Washington Times Aviation (USA), broke ground on the project a year and four months previously, and the first phase included construction of a 200,000 square foot state-of-the-art helicopter maintenance facility on 125 acres outside of Seoul. Rev. Moon, who spoke at the dedication along with the head of the Korean government’s Ministry for Construction and Commerce, the provincial governor, and the mayor of the city of Gimpo, stated that the complex will “become Asia’s largest helicopter logistics center.”[12]

Yet another hopeful sign consistent with the proclamation of a great jubilee year was the ending of travel restrictions which had banned Rev. and Mrs. Moon from most of Western Europe. The German government listed them as “dangerous persons” in 1995 and renewed the ban on their entry every three years through 2004. Although several nations granted “exceptions,” the fourteen European signatories to the Schengen Treaty which provided for common immigration policies followed the German listing. The movement contested the action, and in November 2006, after eleven years of litigation, the German Supreme Court declared the ban illegal. It took another six months for the decision to be fully implemented, but on July 28, 2007, UPF Europe Secretary-General Mark Brann reported, “True Parents are free to come to Europe wherever and whenever they wish and… all Schengen listings against them have been removed.”[13]

Emerging Leadership

The assumption of public roles by three of Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s adult sons, each Harvard-educated and highly regarded, was another source of inspiration to the movement’s membership. The eldest was Hyun Jin (Preston) Moon (b. 1969). He was a Columbia University and Harvard Business School Graduate (MBA, 1998), had been a member of the Korean equestrian team in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, and ran United Vision Group (UVG), a movement-related wholesale and retail business in the United States. He also was a graduate of Unification Theological Seminary (2001). In 1998, he was appointed Vice-President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification International (FFWPUI) and committed himself to the education of the movement’s second generation as well as to a “new vision for the world’s youth.” He assumed leadership of World CARP, the movement’s collegiate association, in 2000 and the Youth Federation for World Peace (YFWP) in 2001. He also ran the movement’s Special Task Force (STF), a two-year missionary program for high school graduates, and founded Service for Peace, an international service and educational NGO. He published Owning the Culture of Heart (2003) and Owning the Creation of the Culture of Heart (2006), collections of speeches and sermons delivered during rallies and speaking tours. Many members believed that he was Rev. Moon’s likely successor, and over time his focus shifted from leadership of youth to leadership of the movement as a whole.

Kook Jin (Justin) Moon (b. 1970) was the next oldest. He was a graduate of Harvard (B.A. Economics, 1992) and the University of Miami (MBA, 1995). He also was the founder and CEO of Kahr Arms (est. 1995), a successful small arms manufacturer specializing in ultra-compact pistols, based in the United States. In 2005, Rev. Moon called Kook Jin to Korea to take charge of Tongil Group which at that time consisted of 34 companies, 70 percent of which were performing poorly with losses of over 54 million (USD) in 2004.[14] In 2006, Kook Jin reported, “I was able to turn the businesses around and make $12 million profit in 2005.”[15] He did so by closing down or selling companies that were losing the most money. Then he began restructuring companies that were weak but had potential for improved performance. This included substantial downsizing of personnel as well as the introduction of new managerial practices and a make-over of existing company culture. According to Kook Jin,

We practiced… rules of management and we introduced new management tools for our managers to follow… We invested in new IT infrastructure; we brought in a groupware system for the Foundation and its businesses. We installed a group-level manage-ment information system. We hired over two dozen certified public accountants, attorneys, and other professionals from the best firms in Korea… People who were not qualified were asked to move on. We then sold and disposed of non-performing non-strategic assets.

Kook Jin believed that the processes that revived Tongil Group businesses were applicable to the church, and many members agreed.

Hyung Jin (Sean) Moon (b. 1979) was the youngest of the three. He was a graduate of Harvard College (B.A., Philosophy, 2004) and Harvard Divinity School (M.A. in Comparative Religion, 2006). He had experienced a religious awakening following the death of an older brother in 1999, shaved his head, donned Buddhist clothing, and began an intense regimen of meditation and spiritual practices. He visited Catholic monastics in Italy, the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, India, and conducted meditation workshops for members. In 2005, he published A Bald Head and a Strawberry, an account of his spiritual journey and philosophy. During this period, he began to attend Rev. Moon in the manner of a devotee and “to develop a scholarly interest in Unificationism.”[16] After completing studies, he moved to Korea. There at one public meeting, he impressed members by publicly washing the feet of an African brother and “the oldest grandmother present.”[17] He also performed jeongseong (“sincere devotion”) conditions in support of movement efforts. These included 12,000 bows over a six-day period and writing out the Chinese character for seong (“sincerity”) in his own blood.[18] Members were wary of Hyung Jin’s spiritual transformation at first. By 2006, his spirituality was not only accepted but considered by many to be needed.

By 2007, each of the three had become major church leaders. Hyun Jin had been inaugurated as Chairman of the Unification Church International (UCI). This was a significant appointment that went beyond education or youth ministry. UCI controlled the bulk of movement assets in the United States including The Washington Times and its parent company News World Communications, of which he became chairman. UCI also owned major assets in Korea. Kook Jin was subsequently appointed head of the Tongil Foundation in Korea. This also was a significant appointment, as Tongil Foundation controlled the distribution of funds to movement operations in Korea. Essentially, it meant that Kook Jin would have the opportunity to imprint not only Tongil Group businesses but also the wider movement and church. Hyung Jin was appointed to a local pastorate in Korea that was to propel him to leadership at the highest level of the church.

Undercurrents of Friction and Conflict

Amid these promising developments, there was an undercurrent of friction and hints of conflict among Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s sons. In 2006, Hyun Jin, Kook Jin and Hyung Jin’s speeches before the movement’s International Leaders Assembly evidenced significantly different orientations with respect to the movement’s future. Hyun Jin took an anti-institutional, anti-theological stance stating that the “death” of the church will come if it is “consumed with itself.” On the other hand, Kook Jin emphasized modern management tools and principles in building up the movement’s institutional base, including the church, and Hyung Jin gave special prominence to theology, asserting that it was not “useless” but had “tremendous repercussions.” Noting the potential for conflict, Rev. Moon told them, “You three must become one.” However, there was little evidence of rapprochement.

After his 2007 God’s Day (New Year’s) midnight prayer, Rev. Moon stopped as he was leaving to say, “Don’t fight; if you do you will be in trouble.”[19] He repeated this admonition to the movement’s global leadership at the beginning of the 2007 International Leaders Assembly stating, “Everything should come to an end in laughter, not in fighting. From now on, if I see fighting, I’ll make changes. Is that clear?”[20] Rev. Moon did not name names. However, it was an uncharacteristic acknowledgement of disharmony within the ranks. At the same assembly, the brothers spoke in ways that did not leave much room for optimism in terms of their reaching consensus. Hyun Jin, for example, stated, “I can only see what I’ve decided… I cannot listen to others. If I make a decision, I stay on that path.”[21] In his prepared report, he claimed, “True Parents have given me the responsibility to ensure that all providential activities are aligned and advancing toward one goal.” He stated his intention of conducting “a 2008 Million Youth Rally… on each continent… for the substantial restoration of sovereignty of the Korean peninsula centering on our True Parents.”

Kook Jin took the opposite line, eschewing grandiose visions and commitments in favor of developing the movement’s institutional base. He maintained that “continuous improvement business cycles” were applicable to the church. His main point, based on the principle of compound interest, was “to stay in the game” rather than “to win big.”[22] Hyung Jin addressed the issue of conflict most directly. He presented a series of case studies from religious and secular history intended to highlight lessons learned in avoiding schisms, saying,

Let’s not shame the True Parent’s legacy with schism, feuds or ecclesiastic politics. Let’s work together to create a Cheon Il Guk that will provide an eternal model and legacy of freedom, unification, harmony and happiness.

It’s fair to conclude that this concern would not have surfaced before 1,500 international and Korean leaders had it not been lingering just beneath the surface.

These concerns carried more weight than otherwise would be the case due to two additional factors. First, Rev. Moon began to speak more frequently of his mortality. In his God’s Day 2007 morning address, he stated, “I, a person you respect with affection, will soon go to the spirit world.”[23] In May, he said, “my era is coming to an end.” On that occasion, he referred to painful leg swelling which, to him, indicated “there is not much time left for me on earth,” and mentioned “moving to the rear.”[24] He also spoke of giving up “superfluous titles” and in August 2007, stated,

I even hate the term True Parents. I am sick and tired of it, just as much as I am sick and tired of the word Savior. I said one term, Lord of the Second Coming, and for my whole life all kinds of walls have been built to oppose me.[25]

Rev. Moon voiced some of these sentiments in private, early morning devotions. However, his intimations of mortality were tricky, because on other occasions he expressed confidence in making it “past 100” and at age 88 declared himself to be “as healthy as a man of fifty.”[26] In fact, his good days far outnumbered the bad, and he evidenced no inclination to give up overall or even day-to-day leadership of the movement. Still, expressions such as “The time when I could guide you will pass”[27] raised questions about challenges that lay ahead.

Apart from Rev. Moon’s statements, his sons began taking steps to implement their respective visions. The problem was that they were pulling in different directions.
The year 2007 was something of a triumphant march for Hyun Jin. Prior to the Leaders Assembly in February, he conducted a 12-city American speaking tour titled, “A Call to Action: God’s Kingdom of Peace Is Now at Hand!” After Rev. Moon’s proclamation of the Pacific Rim Era, Mrs. Moon and Hyun Jin led New Civilization speaking tours in Japan and the United States. Hyun Jin also was the driving force behind a series of International Leadership Seminars (ILSs) which served as forums for discussion of Rev. Moon’s Pacific Rim message and other movement initiatives. He later was appointed Chairman of the movement’s 2007 World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF) in Seoul at which he convened a Global Peace NGO Seminar at the Korean National Assembly Office Building and a Global Peace Festival (GPF). In August, he led several delegations of movement leaders and ACLC clergy on visits to U.S. mega-churches. In September, he introduced Rev. Moon at the inauguration of the “Substantial Abel UN,” and in October, he introduced his father at ceremonies marking completion of first phase construction of the Gimpo Aerospace Industrial Complex. In November, he and Mrs. Moon undertook another 12-city American speaking tour, this one titled, “One Family Under God,” and in December, he conducted a large-scale Global Peace Festival in Manila, Philippines as the kick-off for an ambitious round of GPFs planned in 2008.

Although he presided over several events in Korea, Hyun Jin’s vision was global. On the other hand, Kook Jin focused his energies on Korea. As chair of the Tongil Foundation, he conducted an inspection tour of 120 “providential organizations” and churches. He subsequently convened a task force, staffed by church administrators and Tongil Foundation professionals, charged with assessing performance and making recommendations. They found the 450 churches and CARP centers in Korea were “inefficient because there were too many of them” and “church buildings… were not good enough to attract people.”[28] Whereas, Hyun Jin had declared, “[T]he Unification Movement must get rid of its church-centered framework,” Kook Jin allocated 2.5 billion won (approximately $2.7 million USD) from church companies in 2007 for “repairing church buildings... improving the church environment and building an infrastructure to give strength to our witnessing activities.”[29] He not only focused on creating a substantial foundation in Korea but also criticized the sorts of large-scale events Hyun Jin favored. As he put it, “When we hold these rallies, people can say nice things and make you feel good, but what use is it to feel good for a day but go on without any development?”[30] Thus, while Hyun Jin expanded his work throughout the world, Kook Jin solidified his hold on the Korean movement.

After completing a Master of Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School, Hyung Jin relocated to Korea in 2006, intent on being a religious practitioner rather than an academic. He conducted meditation workshops at Cheongshim Theological Seminary on the grounds of the movement’s Cheongpyeong Lake complex, and in March 2007 he undertook the first of numerous trips to Japan at Rev. Moon’s request. There he met with members and “slept in his sleeping bag on the floor” in church centers, awoke at 2:30 a.m. for his regular regimen of spiritual and physical exercises, spoke publicly, and visited families in their homes.[31] In August, he became pastor of Mapo Church, a small congregation in the Western Seoul Region. In December, he became Dang Haejang or Senior Pastor of the Seoul Headquarters Church. At his induction ceremony, he stated that he and Kook Jin had been assigned a “great mission” by Rev. Moon, “to create within three years a church where 20,000 can gather.” He expressed his determination to be “on the same level” as other “prominent church organizations,” saying, “I have that conviction in my heart. My elder brother Kook-jin also has that same goal.”[32] Tellingly, Hyung Jin made no mention of Hyun Jin in his remarks. The gap between Hyun Jin and his two younger brothers would widen in the coming year.



Despite the widening gap between his sons, Rev. Moon remained optimistic. He spoke approvingly of Hyun Jin’s work with mega-churches in America. When others reported Hyun Jin spoke “exactly the same way Rev. Moon did in the past,” he said, “Can that be bought with money?”[33] In fact, Rev. Moon believed all his sons were “doing well.”[34] He expressed his optimism by proclaiming 2007 and 2008 the Ssang Hap [combined] Jubilee Years. He was convinced that the extended jubilee year was a turning point, and that “the gates are opened wide to the revolutionary Era After the Coming of Heaven.”[35] In reality, the Unification movement absorbed three significant blows during the year. The first was the passing of Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s eldest son, Hyo Jin, who died of a heart attack at age 46 on March 17, 2008. The second was the dismal showing of the movement’s Family Party for Peace and Unity in Korea’s April 2008 National Assembly elections. The third was Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s helicopter crash in July. By that time, he acknowledged disunity among his sons but hoped that the helicopter near-fatal accident would unify them.

Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. During the latter half of 2008, the fissure between Hyun Jin and his younger brothers widened. Hyun Jin had long been critical of efforts to institutionalize Unificationism as a religion. Kook Jin and Hyung Jin were correspondently critical of “big events, which take up a huge amount of resources.”[36] In August, Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s second eldest daughter, In Jin, became chairperson of the Unification movement in the United States. This introduced additional instability as Hyun Jin understood that he had authority over the movement in the Americas.

The Passing of Hyo Jin Moon

Hyo Jin Moon’s death on March 17, 2008 had more ramifications for the movement than might have been expected, in that he had relinquished leadership positions years before. The impact of his passing was due to particularities of Unification theology. A musician with a troubled past, Hyo Jin was understood to occupy the elder brother or “Cain” position in relation to Hyun Jin, the next oldest living brother. His passing meant that Hyun Jin now occupied the elder brother or “Cain” position in relation to the next oldest son, Kook Jin. On April 6, some three weeks after Hyo Jin’s death, Rev. Moon conducted a ceremony in Hawaii signifying the shift. He stood Hyun Jin and Kook Jin on either side of Mrs. Moon and “reminded them that the older brother represents Cain and the younger represents Abel.” He directed them to unite centering on their mother.[37]

This turn of events was a shocking reversal, especially to Hyun Jin. Many within the movement regarded him as the presumptive successor to Rev. Moon. Hyun Jin also had been conducting himself as the putative heir, convening meetings of the movement’s continental directors, claiming at Cheon Il Guk Leaders Assemblies that Rev. and Mrs. Moon had given him “responsibility to ensure that all providential activities are aligned and advancing toward one goal,” and going so far as to write Rev. Moon about “the need for repositioning the Unification Movement.”[38] In a March 23, 2008 “Report to Parents,” submitted less than a week after Hyo Jin’s passing, Hyun Jin stated, “I have been leading the Unification Movement in a clear methodical manner, aligned to the providence of God and your legacy.”[39] However, Rev. Moon made it abundantly clear on April 16, 2008 that he was still leading the movement. On that day, he appointed his youngest son, Hyung Jin, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) International President and President of FFWPU Korea. Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Hyun Jin’s father-in-law, had been FFWPU International President and Hyun Jin Vice-President. Rev. Moon had clearly bypassed Hyun Jin.

Although he did not offer an explanation for choosing Hyung Jin over Hyun Jin, it is likely that Rev. Moon’s decision was the result of both positive and negative considerations. On the positive side, Hyung Jin had pursued an explicitly religious vocation since 1999, immersed himself in theological studies, conducted meditation workshops, and offered jeongseong, “conditions of sincere devotion,” in support of Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s activities. He undertook pastoral ministry, first as minister of small congregation in the Western Seoul Region and then at the Seoul headquarters church. There he conducted six services a week and congregational attendance reportedly increased tenfold.[40] Hyung Jin also emphasized the importance of theology and of elevating “True Parents.” Rev. Moon had a high regard for Hyung Jin’s relationship with his wife and family, terming their home a “house of heavenly harmony.” He also had a special, even mystical regard for their third son, Shin Joon (b. 2004), at various times describing him as “my true friend,” a “teacher to me,” and “the center of the Unification Church.”[41] From infancy, Rev. and Mrs. Moon insisted that Shin Joon accompany them on public tours.

If there were positive reasons for the choice of Hyung Jin as FFWPU International President and President of FFWPU Korea, there were negative considerations associated with Hyun Jin. Rev. Moon emphasized the necessity of harmonious relationships between his immediate family, particularly those who had leadership positions, and the general membership. Hyun Jin had a coterie of devoted followers. However, he also had an abrasive, in-your-face style and a penchant for calling out leaders in public, particularly those who in his view “misrepresented” his father’s work. Hyun Jin himself acknowledged that this “led to many misunderstandings and even a feeling that I was arrogant.” He said,

False perceptions were construed to be reality, and I have been the victim of accusations ranging from my trying to control everything out of greed without consideration of my family to my collusion with the people around me. My brothers unite around these groundless fabrications and I became perplexed at times when it seemed Parents heart wavered and accepted these accusations.[42]

Apart from strained relationships, Hyun Jin was avowedly anti-institutional. On the other hand, Rev. Moon kept the institutional and movement aspects of Unifictionism in creative tension. Hyun Jin declared, “[T]he Unification Movement must get rid of its church-centered framework” and entirely reposition itself as an inter-religious, international peace movement.[43] This had resonance with de-institutionalizing steps Rev. Moon took during the 1990s when he re-cast the Unification Church as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. However, Rev. Moon moved beyond the Family Federation phase by declaring Cheon Il Guk (the nation of cosmic harmony) in 2001. Hyun Jin’s efforts to continue the trajectory of the 1990s as an exclusive emphasis were out of sync with the institutional and nation-building aspects of Cheon Il Guk. More significantly, Hyun Jin launched initiatives with less than official authorization and reported to Rev. Moon about current and future “providential” necessities in ways that seemed to tread on his father’s spiritual authority.

Still, there was a certain ambiguity in the decision to elevate Hyung Jin. At Hyung Jin’s inauguration as international president of FFWPU, Rev. Moon stated,

Thinking of this beautiful young man and woman standing here, representing Korea, the world, and furthermore the cosmos, I believe they are people you can take pride in. They will become the pillars of our house in the future. It is my hope and wish that the dutiful way of filial children, patriots, saints and divine sons and daughters will be fulfilled in… them.[44]

This statement and others conveyed an “already” but “not yet” quality. Rev. Moon had already appointed Hyung Jin to the presidential office. He and his wife Yeon Ah were already an exemplary couple. However, they were not yet the pillars of Unificationism; not yet the fulfillment of filial piety, patriotism, sainthood; and they had not yet attained the status of being a “divine” son and daughter. Rev. Moon expressed “sincere hope” that Hyung Jin and Yeon Ah become “representatives and inheritors who can attend to everything on behalf of True Parents.”[45] This “already” but “not yet” ambiguity kept the issue of succession open and would require further clarification in the face of challenges from Hyun Jin. However, that lay in the future. For the present, Rev. Moon made it clear that he was giving them his blessing. He called Hyung Jin and Yeon Ah forward, presented them with a copy of the Cheon Seong Gyeong holy book, put his and Mrs. Moon’s hands on theirs and prayed for the couple.

In his inaugural address, Hyung Jin questioned whether he deserved the compliments he received and the “glorious position” he was given, but resolved to follow Rev. and Mrs. Moon in their vocations as “ministers.” He described this as a calling that agreed with him,

I like leading a religious and prayerful life and meeting people… It is a great joy for me to conduct services, write sermons, study True Parents’ teachings deeply and work with the members. True Parents, also, know well that this is what suits me best.[46]

At the same time, he recognized serving as international president and holding the presidency of the Korean church required “the largest vision and clearest objectives.” In this, he expressed confidence that his older brother Kook Jin, whom he described as “a genius at organizing things,” would help him. Significantly, Hyung Jin made no mention of Hyun Jin, who was not present. Still, he stated,

A few years back, many people believed True Family members could not work together because we are all very passionate and we would fight among ourselves, but we have shown them otherwise. We are working together, and we will continue working together to uphold the legacy of the True Family and True Parents. I strongly believe we are different from members of the second-generation in the famous Korean business conglomerates, who are always fighting among themselves.… Our church is different… our bloodline is different. We will leave an example in history of the True Family uniting and working together on the frontline.[47]

This was an overstatement, given fissures that had already surfaced and conflicts that would develop. In fact, Hyung Jin immediately followed his claim of “True Family uniting and working together” with an indirect reference and challenge to Hyun Jin,

I hear some people say… we are no longer a church because True Father founded the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, and that he himself has said we are not a church, and not a religion.

As you may know, I studied religion for seven years… No matter how much we say we are not a religion… we are most definitely a religion.

Without the religious context, we could not explain True Parents, the Divine Principle… or the Messiah. If this were the case, how would be any different from a large corporation or social movement?[48]

Whereas Hyun Jin insisted that the movement “get rid of its church-centered framework,” Hyung Jin stated, “without a doubt we should strengthen our church.” He further said, “I have a dream to make a church that those in our second and third generation can proudly proclaim… that can praise our True Father and True Mother for millions of generations to come!”[49] Clearly, the stage was set for a confrontation.

Electoral Defeat of the Family Party

The dismal showing of the Family Party for Peace and Unity (FPPU) in Korea’s April 9, 2008 National Assembly elections was a second blow to the movement. In fact, Rev. Moon’s sudden elevation of Hyung Jin to the presidency of FFWPU International and FFWPU Korea on April 18 may have been an effort to shift members’ attention away from the result. Alternatively, FPPU’s poor showing may have convinced him that the movement needed to focus more of its energies on institutional and church development, areas that Kook Jin and Hyung Jin had been emphasizing. The wonder was that the movement expected to do any better in the election than it did. The Unification Church was still widely stigmatized in Korean society, especially within Christian circles. Opposing Christians mounted a negative campaign and went to the extent of organizing a rival political party. In addition to this, FPPU had no political base or meaningful election experience. It had never run candidates for office and became a registered political party only months before the election. Chung-hwan Kwak, the party’s chairman, stated that FPPU would not appeal to regional, age-group, economic, or ideological “mind-sets,” but that its support would come from “healthy families.”

This was consistent with the movement’s understanding of providential politics. FPPU had stated its intention of steering clear of confrontation and conflict, taking a “parental” position. More than that, it would be a party of principle. Rev. Moon had contended that “a political party in accord with the heavenly way will not have to develop policies.”[50] Nevertheless, in the course of the campaign, FPPU did present a “public election promise” in two parts. The first, under the slogan “Only when the family is well set-up is the country well set-up,” listed five promises:

1.    A family that has more than three children will get the benefit of one child having free education until graduating from college and one child will be exempted from military service.

2.    A family with three generations will get tax and housing development assistance from the government.

3.    A couple who has been married more than thirty years will get a government allowance seven times until their golden wedding anniversary.

4.    The government will establish a new system for determining the head of a family and prohibiting name change.

5.    There will be an intensification of punishment on people who commit sexual assaults and adultery.[51]

The second set of promises focused on Korean reunification:

1.    The implementation of hometown visitation for persons who came from North Korea;

2.    Establishment of a fully responsible organization for setting up a legislative election between North and South Korea;

3.    Creation of an ecology peace park in the demilitarized zone.[52]

In addition to these promises, FPPU recommended construction of an undersea tunnel between Korea and Japan, a Eurasian highway, a “Peace King” bridge/tunnel across the Bering Strait, and assistance for the creation of a “Peace UN.”

The movement’s understanding of “providential” politics extended to its choice of candidates. Rev. Moon long employed the technique of drawing lots in choosing members for missions, and FPPU applied this method in selecting its candidates. Rather than tough primary struggles among party hopefuls, members in legislative districts drew lots. There was a bias in favor of those who had a significant number of relatives or strong local connections, and Rev. Moon directed that 30 percent of the candidates be women.

This was in accord with his position that women play a leading role in the Pacific Rim Era. It also was an attempt to take advantage of a Korean election law under which parties that nominated a slate of more than 30 percent women and which included a formerly elected legislator were eligible for the equivalent of $2 million USD in government funding. In the end, FPPU fielded 35 women, a respectable number in the context of South Korean politics but just under 14 percent of its candidates. It also was unable to field any previously elected legislators. Therefore, FPPU failed to obtain additional funding.

Given these realities, the outcome of the General Assembly election was predictable. FPPU was the only political party to field candidates in all 245 legislative districts. None were elected, and FPPU’s party registration was cancelled again automatically. Nationally, FPPU won 1.05 percent of the vote. A post-mortem assessment highlighted two additional factors in the party’s disappointing performance. One was the lack of enthusiasm and commitment, even a negative attitude on the part of Unification members, especially leaders. A FPPU participant said, “It seemed that they believed they could not win; therefore, lots of members were not willing to run for election even though they were nominated by the drawing of lots.”[53] One leader, an overseas missionary who also managed some 3,000 members of a Korean mountain-climbing club, chose to go to his assigned nation rather than invest in a “losing battle.”[54] The second negative factor was the lack of support from Korean “Ambassadors of Peace” (APs) in whom the movement had invested significant time and money. They not only did not help FPPU but reportedly voted for other parties’ candidates. According to one account, this “made Father so angry… they completely betrayed True Parents and our movement.”[55]

There were a few positive outcomes. Many FPPU candidates cam-paigned earnestly on busses, in public speeches and in television or radio debates with opponents. Their efforts, though not necessarily translating into votes, helped turn public opinion on the FPPU and movement from negative to friendly in some districts. Parents and relatives of members, many of whom had been negative, were said to be proud that their sons and daughters, nephews and nieces were candidates for public office. However, many leaders borrowed up to $100,000 USD or more in the losing effort. There were claims that FPPU’s lower listing on election ballots was confusing, especially to older people and they voted wrongly, thereby lowering FPPU’s total.[56] There may have been some truth in that claim. Yet there was no getting around the reality that the movement, which viewed itself as the prime agent of global transformation and had spent tens of millions of dollars in efforts to educate and influence Korean leaders, was unable to get a single candidate elected to the Korean National Assembly.

All of this reinforced Kook Jin and Hyung Jin’s position that the movement was not following a winning strategy. Rather than expending resources on rallies and conferences, it needed to build up its material assets, professionalize its organizational structure, and dramatically increase core membership in order to influence society. Hyung Jin made the latter point explicitly in response to FPPU’s defeat,

As you all know, the results from the recent elections did not reach our expectations. We were involved in numerous activities, but the results were not good. Yet, we learned an important lesson. That is, people will not genuinely support True Parents unless they become members.[57]

He contrasted FPPU’s performance with that of Soka Gakkai, a religious organization in Japan with six million followers. “On that foundation,” he said, “their members ran for election and had good results. Their political influence in turn played a positive role in expanding their religious foundation.” In order to increase membership, he argued, “we must transform our church culture.”[58]

For Hyung Jin, this meant adopting basic principles of church development—care for members, a welcoming atmosphere for guests, consensual decision-making, institutional fairness and transparency, servant leadership, careful management of assets, a volunteer spirit in addressing societal needs, and, most importantly, pride in being a Unification Church member. As he put it, “True Parents gave me the mission of creating a church where members increase in number, rather than just a church that holds providential events and provides education.” He further stated, “All providential organizations should work together for this mission.”[59]

Hyun Jin had argued just the opposite, that the movement’s organi-zational and financial resources should be consolidated under the Universal Peace Foundation (UPF) and support Global Peace Festivals (GPFs), which he was preparing to launch in earnest during the latter half of 2008.

Clearly, Rev. Moon’s sons were actively engaged in a contest for the hearts and minds of membership and, more importantly, for the support of Rev. Moon. In this competition, Kook Jin and Hyung Jin had distinct advantages. For one, Hyun Jin spent most of his time away from Korea while Kook Jin and Hyung Jin were present, directly attending Rev. and Mrs. Moon. Additionally, as a consequence of the Tongil Group turnaround, Kook Jin was gaining status as a rising young corporate executive and had been the subject of several profiles in mainstream Korean business magazines. He also visited and spoke at 120 Unification Churches and providential organizations in Korea, conveying his vision for church development. Hyung Jin regularly communicated his views in sermons, first at Mapo and later from the pulpit of Seoul Headquarters Church.

His appointment as FFWPU International and Korean Church President added weight and significantly expanded the scope of his influence.

In May, 2008, Rev. Moon appointed Hyung Jin President of World CARP, the movement’s collegiate association which Hyun Jin had led since 2000. This extended Hyung Jin’s reach into youth education and the movement’s second generation, previously a mainstay of Hyun Jin’s support. It appeared that Rev. Moon had tilted toward Kook Jin and Hyung Jin. Still, the situation was fluid. Rev. Moon had by no means written off Hyun Jin. In June, 2008, Rev. Moon appointed him chair of the well-funded Peace Dream Foundation which had oversight of the Sun Moon Peace Football Foundation and aspired to be “the world’s leading sports-for-peace organization.”[60] Essentially, a situation was developing in which Hyung Jin, with the support of Kook Jin, had emerged as head of church operations while Hyun Jin retained authority within the sphere of movement non-profits. This was consistent with Rev. Moon’s pattern of maintaining institutional and movement aspects of Unificationism in creative tension.

However, there were two significant and increasingly messy loose ends. The business area was ambiguous, with Kook Jin running Tongil Group and Hyun Jin chairing the Unification Church International (UCI), which controlled key movement property holdings and business interests in Korea and the Americas. There also were ambiguities in the movement’s overall authority structure. Hyung Jin clearly led FFWPU internationally; Kook Jin ran the Tongil Group and Tongil Foundation; and Hyun Jin chaired a portfolio of organizations under UPF. Yet alongside this, Rev. Moon created a tripartite leadership division with Hyung Jin responsible for Korea, Kook Jin for Japan and Hyung Jin for America. He did so informally. This was not communicated in an official memo or in any of his publicly accessible speeches. However, the arrangement was attested to by leaders and generally accepted, though understood in different ways.[61] The ambiguous division of property and business assets and the ambiguous division of authority would be the source of much future conflict.

Helicopter Crash

Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s near-fatal helicopter crash on July 19 was a third blow absorbed by the movement in 2008. They, along with ten members, three of their young grandchildren and three crew members were returning to the Cheong Pyeong Peace Palace from a Seoul meeting. Having departed at 4:45 p.m., they encountered a fog bank as they approached the heliport, some 300 yards below the palace. According to the account of Rev. Moon’s personal assistant,

The pilot decided, quickly, to take the craft up and out of the pitch dark, foggy area. It was then that the tail hit a tree and the helicopter reeled from side to side. As the powerful blades plowed through trees by the scores, the pilot tried his best to find a way to secure a soft landing in the wooded area of thousands of pine trees. The helicopter, with only half of the tail wing, plowed through the woods, tree-top level, for about a hundred and fifty yards. It finally hit a big tree and crashed in a muddy wooded area near a small stream… One of the blades of the helicopter was lost as the craft went through the trees and the remaining three blades became stuck in a muddy bank as the helicopter crashed. Boom! It made a thunderous noise.[62]

An urgent effort to escape the already burning helicopter ensued. The craft had rolled onto its side and the entrance door was overhead. Rev. Moon “was dangling over the side of his chair, tightly seat-belted.” Two security staff released him and then lifted Rev. and Mrs. Moon through the hatch that one of them opened. One of the pilots, already outside, helped them slide down to the muddy ground. The three grandchildren were lifted up through the same exit. The remaining eight members then exited, everyone running, some crawling away from the burning helicopter. Two security staff members carried Rev. Moon some eighty yards up the slippery hill where they found shelter behind a large pine tree. Several members carried Mrs. Moon to the same location where they and the three grandchildren gathered. Others “were scattered nearby.” Some twenty minutes after the crash landing, the helicopter exploded. Amazingly, no one was seriously injured.

Rev. Moon referred to their survival as “a miracle from God.” In a sermon a week after the accident, Hyung Jin expanded on this, recounting a whole series of minor miracles. For example, when the helicopter hit the ground two passengers had their seat belts unbuckled and were sent “flying from the back.” However, instead of hitting the dividing wall on both sides and suffering serious injury or death, they both flew right through the middle passageway, one landing next to Rev. Moon and the other on top of him. Also, after plowing through 150 acres of pine trees “like a samurai cutting through bamboo,” the helicopter struck a large oak tree, jumped up eleven meters and spun around as it was falling. Another miracle was that the damaged tail became lodged in a Y-shaped tree which prevented the cabin from wildly spinning and likely exploding from hitting a solid object. The spinning blades, 18 meters long, were also a major concern, but miraculously they became stuck in the soft mud of an incline. Finally, the helicopter door side was up. Had the exit hatch been on the ground side of the tilted craft or had it been damaged, no one would have been able to escape.[63]

Hyung Jin noted that a high percentage of helicopter crashes result in fatalities. He attributed their escape to supernatural intervention and the heroism of members on board in focusing their efforts first on Rev. and Mrs. Moon and their grandchildren and secondarily on themselves. He reported that a well-known Korean movie director and a non-Unification member who was boating on Cheong Pyeong Lake called in to testify having seen the helicopter “encircled in a lotus flower rainbow.” According to Hyung Jin,

[H]e said, “I saw all these things in white, flying around this helicopter… First I thought they were birds. I thought they were birds.” But I said, “How many doves are there in the sky today flying near a helicopter?” And he said that he looked closer and that he saw people, forms in white garb, holding lotus flowers and heading towards the Cheon Jeong Gung.[64]

While independent testimonies such as this were considered significant, member testimonies linked the passenger’s survival to Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s eldest son, Hyo Jin, who had passed away the previous March. Hyung Jin reported, “The day before the accident, one grandmother had a dream of Hyo Jin Nim holding a toy helicopter.” To Hyung Jin, the connection was clear: “Hyo Jin Nim had sacrificed his physical life in order to set a spiritual condition. If he had not gone to the spirit world, True Parents would have.”

More than substituting for his parents, Hyo Jin was understood to have played an active role in the helicopter’s miraculous landing. One of the security staff thrown to the front of the craft said that he “saw Hyo Jin… at the front of the helicopter right before the impact.”[65]   

Hyung Jin took this a step further in linking Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s survival to all three of his elder brothers who had passed away. In his words,

If we look through the eyes of the providence, we see that our eldest brother sacrificed his life this year. His role was to protect our True Parents. Hyo-jin nim was such a strong person… he was the [oak] tree that was completely destroyed when it was hit, but this prevented the craft from going fifty more meters and striking… [a] rock.… The Y tree was Young-jin hyun… Why? It’s a Y! He caught the tail. That soft hill was Heung-jin hyung. He is a soft guy… He caught those blades, boom, boom, boom! They were all doing kung fu training that day![66]

Hyung Jin may have been speaking metaphorically, but he conveyed an important point about unity. In the account, his three deceased elder brothers had acted together to save the passengers. Members on board had acted as one to save Rev. and Mrs. Moon. The implication was that Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s three living sons who had taken major leadership roles—Hyun Jin, Kook Jin and Hyung Jin, also needed to unify.

The need to overcome disunity was also expressed more plainly in the aftermath of the near-fatal accident, particularly since all of Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s immediate family had gathered at Chung Shim Hospital. Hyun Jin, who came from the United States, stated,

I could strongly sense that Father was very worried about us because we are not united. Until now, Father has suffered a lot while leading this providence… But I felt it is not God's Providence that is worrying Father, he is worried about us… Because I’m his son and have been working in the church for 10 years, I know our situation. We have not become one. Even when we speak about the Divine Principle, one person thinks this way and another thinks that way. We have not become one. I felt so sorry in my heart. My poor father.[67]

Sun Jin, Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s third daughter, echoed the same sentiment in stating,

The main message that Father kept giving us is that everything in the providence and what we hope for in the future will only be realized if we have unity… And with Father’s message, saying how we have to be one as a family, we realized the urgency and that our not being able to unite is causing True Parents to go through more indemnity [i.e., suffering].[68]

She noted, “It is sad that it always has to be tragedies that teach us,” but expressed confidence that the near loss of their parents would pull the siblings together. Rev. Moon expressed similar confidence. He referred to the ordeal as “a turning point in going beyond Satan's divisive forces.”[69] He termed August 1, 2008, when he left Cheong Shim International Medical Center and returned to the Peace Palace, as a day of “rebirth and resurrection.”[70]

However, this was not to be, at least with respect to the widening gap between Hyun Jin and his siblings, particularly Kook Jin and Hyung Jin. Rather than bringing them together, Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s near brush with death generated within them a stronger sense of urgency to implement their respective agendas for the movement. During the latter half of 2008, Hyun Jin, Kook Jin and Hyung Jin all moved forcefully to solidify their programs. Hyun Jin conducted seventeen Global Peace Festivals on five continents. At the same time, Kook Jin and Hyung Jin launched a movement-wide campaign to construct a new international headquarters, conceptualized as a World Unification Temple, in Seoul. Both sides were utterly convinced that their way forward was the path the Unification tradition should follow. In reality, their ways forward further opened a breech within the movement.

Global Peace Festivals

Hyun Jin convened the first Global Peace Seminar and Festival in July 2007 as part of the movement’s twelfth World Culture and Sports Festival in Seoul. Afterwards he conducted a Global Peace Festival (GPF) tour in Europe and a huge, week-long festival in Manila, Philippines in December. It included a community service project involving more than 10,000 volunteers from 39 schools and universities and over 100 community groups who targeted the badly polluted coastline of Manila Bay. There were a series of concurrent conferences and a massive festival-rally. These initial efforts convinced Hyun Jin that GPFs had the potential to transform the Unification Church into a “global peace movement” and “bring the culture of the international marriage blessing into the mainstream on the worldwide level.”[71] He claimed that ninety percent of the $4 million plus cost of the Philippines GPF was borne by program partners. At the same time, he called upon the movement to create “a global economic engine… with the explicit purpose of financially supporting UPF,” GPF’s sponsoring organization.[72]

Hyun Jin was able to mobilize UPF and church membership worldwide to support an impressive series of GPFs during the second half of 2008. These were large-scale, three-day events that included conferences of several hundred VIPs, many of whom were flown in and feted in hotels; service projects; and concluding festivals held in public venues, often stadiums in smaller countries, that featured local headliner entertainment, greetings of local dignitaries and a keynote address on the theme of “One Family Under God” delivered by Hyun Jin. In his address, Hyun Jin emphasized GPF’s core themes of the family as a model of peace, interfaith reconciliation, and the culture of service. He tailored his remarks to particular venues but challenged listeners to “dream big,” testified to his father’s vision and issued a call to action. He built upon the movement’s global network of members and Ambassadors for Peace. He and his GPF staff also evidenced singular ability in building coalitions and partnering. As a result, the GPFs were remarkably successful.

In Asunción, Paraguay, GPF partnered with the mayor to mobilize a reported 10,000 high school and college students for a city-wide cleanup and beautification effort. An International Leadership Seminar (ILS) convened more than 250 international leaders from 80 nations, including eight former heads of state, 30 congressional leaders from South America, religious leaders, academics and youth leaders as well as more than half of the newly elected senators and deputies of the new Paraguayan government. An estimated crowd of 25,000 packed Asuncion’s Club Olimpia Stadium for the festival itself.

In Nairobi, Kenya, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his wife Ida, both of whom had “been Ambassadors for Peace for a long time,” welcomed GPF and testified that “values” learned at ILC seminars helped them fashion a coalition government following a disputed election. In Ulaanbatar, Mongolia, the country’s first judo and boxing gold medalists from the recent Olympic Games in Beijing joined the festival. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the nation’s first astronaut lent his support as did Mahathir Mohammad, Malaysia’s Prime Minister from 1981-2003. Bishop Manoel Ferreira, President of the nine-million member Assemblies of God fellowship in Brazil, chaired a spirited GPF in Brasilia.

Additional GPFs were held in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; Los Angeles, California; Ottawa, Canada; Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; London, England; Manila, Philippines; and Haifa, Israel, all during the last six months of 2008. At the Manila GPF, held from December 11-13, Hyun Jin announced that Manila would be the host city for the first GPF World Convention in 2009.

World Unification Temple

At the very time that Hyun Jin was conducting his whirlwind GPF tour, Hyung Jin and Kook Jin launched a campaign to construct a World Unification Temple in Seoul. In an address to continental directors on August 7, Kook Jin stated, “If we wish to grow our churches worldwide, we should first develop the headquarters.”[73] The following month Hyung Jin reported that Rev. Moon gave him and Kook Jin “the goal of making a church for twenty thousand members” and that Rev. Moon subsequently increased that to “a new goal of two hundred and ten thousand.” Hyung Jin referred to the church as “the third temple of God.” He noted that the first temple built by King Solomon had been destroyed by the Babylonians and the second, rebuilt following the Israelites’ return from exile, was destroyed by the Romans in the first century. The “two thousand-year perfection stage third temple,” he said, will bring “all the work we have been doing… to fruition.” This, he indicated, would “move the providence of Jerusalem to Korea.” He envisioned “Buddhist-style Unificationist services, Catholic-style Unificationist services, Protestant Christian-style Unificationist services, and Islamic style Unificationist services” for ten thousand worshippers at a time, something even the largest Christian churches couldn’t do.[74] He grounded this theologically in the Unification doctrine of resurrection, which taught that the Lord of the Second Coming comes as the fulfillment not just of Christianity but all religions.[75]

Kook Jin and Hyung Jin announced the World Unification Temple project rather suddenly to the movement’s continental directors and general membership. Whether or not they mounted the aggressive drive to preempt or counter Hyun Jin’s Global Peace Festivals is not clear. What was clear is that they regarded the temple project as essential for the movement achieving success. Hyung Jin stated that the temple would influence Korea and eventually the world, not just socially and culturally, but spiritually.[76] Kook Jin asserted that the temple “will be a public, national platform” through which Korea “will become God's country, will become Cheon Il Guk, will become our fatherland, in reality, in substance.”[77] In the same way that Hyun Jin called upon the movement to align its activities and resources with GPF, Hyung Jin and Kook Jin insisted that World Unification Temple project be the “top priority” and “primary mission of the Unificationist community.”[78] Their competing visions were coalescing into competing projects.

In this competition, Kook Jin and Hyung Jin had to overcome one important disadvantage. Hyun Jin’s Global Peace Festivals were already in place and being implemented while their World Unification Temple project was conceptual. They overcame this disadvantage in two ways. First, they emphasized the World Unification Temple was Rev. Moon’s initiative. In a sermon delivered on August 16, Hyung Jin stated, “True Father has ordered the construction of the Temple of God in the fatherland of Korea… [and] gave us the big goal of creating a 20,000 member church.”[79] He subsequently reported that Rev. Moon increased the goal to 210,000. That sounded very much like Rev. Moon. However, there was no record in any publicly accessible speeches at that time of Rev. Moon giving this direction or even mentioning the temple. On October 13, at a meeting of leaders in Hawaii, Hyung Jin announced that Rev. Moon had named the temple Cheon Bok Gung (“Heaven’s Heart” or “Heavenly Blessing” temple) and produced a rendering of the name in Chinese characters with Rev. Moon’s signature. Nevertheless, in Rev. Moon’s publicly recorded addresses at the same gathering he made no mention of the temple, although he discussed a range of other initiatives geared toward 2013.[80]

Apparently whatever orders or goals Rev. Moon communicated had been done in private. The only reference to the temple in any of his recorded speeches of Fall 2008 was on October 29, when he stated,

Hyung Jin Nim is saying, “Let's build Cheon Bok Gung, a place where all people of any religions will be able to come for the next 10,000 years to give offerings to God and receive blessings.”… We are talking about a temple for 210,000 people. It is not a church but a base for moving the nation. If we have more than 50 percent of the people with us, the democracy can move in God's way.[81]

Even then, he mentioned the temple in different sections of his address, not as part of a sustained discussion but in the context of other activities. It may have been that Rev. Moon did not want to go too far in supporting Kook Jin and Hyung Jin’s temple project over Hyun Jin’s Global Peace Festivals. Either consciously or instinctively, he may have been trying to preserve a level playing field.

It was not uncommon for Rev. Moon to sign off on projects, affixing his signature to proposals. In fact, leaders aggressively sought his signature to authorize their initiatives and afford them leverage in negotiations for funding. It also was not uncommon for him to ‘name’ projects as he did in the case of the Cheon Bok Gung. Nevertheless, in making the case that the World Peace Temple was Rev. Moon’s initiative and undertaken with his explicit approval, Kook Jin and Hyung Jin established an important distinction between their project and Hyun Jin’s Global Peace Festivals. Hyun Jin did not claim that Rev. Moon initiated or even authorized GPF. Hyun Jin stated, “Starting in 2006 I began creating the foundation for the creation of the Global Peace Festivals.” He also admitted, “I have not been good at reporting to Father.”[82] In this sense, Hyun Jin undertook GPFs on his own authority with the intention of subsequently “offering” them to Rev. and Mrs. Moon. This was consistent with his philosophy of “taking ownership,” which he had emphasized for some years but which also led to numerous misunderstandings. Kook Jin and Hyung Jin gained leverage for their project by anchoring it within the scope of Rev. Moon’s authority.

Apart from this, Hyung Jin and Kook Jin became more pointed in their criticism of Hyun Jin’s Global Peace Festivals. They did not criticize GPF directly but attacked the premises upon which it was based. In September 2008, Hyung Jin stated,

The providence is moving away from big events, which take up a huge amount of resources. It is investing those resources back into the community, so that we actually build communities, build groups and invest in facilities and in educational curricula. We are investing back into our faith.[83]

In October, he was more explicit, asserting,

True Father has said that our church is the root. If there were no church, there could be no root. We would neither have the Divine Principle from true Father nor be able to explain about True Father. Father would just be some peace-lover, or the big leader of an organization, or the founder of a big company.[84]

The following month, in a less than subtle criticism of Hyun Jin’s Global Peace Festivals, Kook Jin stated,

I'm not talking about gathering a hundred thousand people for a big rally and a big party. We are talking about gathering a congregation centered upon a holy site and building that congregation over the next ten years, hundred years, and one thousand years.[85]

By attacking the foundations of GPF and linking the World Unification Temple to Rev. Moon, Hyung Jin and Kook Jin neutralized Hyun Jin’s advantage in having already begun his project. In early autumn, they launched an aggressive $75 million (USD) fundraising campaign.

Additional Projects

The Unification movement was not just pulled in two different directions during the latter half of 2008. Another reason why Rev. Moon did not comment extensively on either the Unification World Temple or Global Peace Festivals may have been because he initiated and promoted three additional projects. The first of these was unfolding in Las Vegas. Rev. Moon had long been interested in cleaning up the gaming industry. As far back as 1970s, he stated,

I have paid much attention to Las Vegas, the gambling capital of America, because some day that has to be cleaned up too. If religious people run away from evil, who will take responsibility for cleaning it up? Who will build the Kingdom of Heaven in the evil world if they run away? Someone must face it.[86]

By early 2008, Rev. Moon had established a residence in Las Vegas, partly because the climate was advantageous for his health. Its proximity to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead where he could fish and pray was also a plus. In April, he stated his intention of “transforming Las Vegas into what it should be—a special vacation spot for families, a special technological conference center for the entire world.”[87] In October, he began developing “a plan of using the official residence in Las Vegas for an education program.[88]

Rev. Moon began a related initiative in Hawaii. There, a year earlier, he declared the dawn of the Pacific Rim Era. From October 10-24, 2008, he convened a workshop for 163 movement leaders as the first of what subsequently were referred to as Original Divine Principle (ODP) workshops. They included additions to the movement’s core theological text related to “the way we should live in the Kingdom of Heaven” and details as to the “restoration course that True Parents victoriously completed.”[89] Along with the 2500-word Cheong Seong Gyeong and Rev. Moon’s “Peace Messages,” ODP was to be the ideological base upon which the Pacific Rim Era would rest. Rev. Moon reportedly “chose Hawaii as the site of the first proclamation workshop because ‘it is the place closest in character and environment to the Garden of Eden.’”[90] In this respect, it was a reverse image of Las Vegas. Nevertheless, Las Vegas was to become the venue for large-scale ODP workshops in the not-too-distant future. 

A third initiative that Rev. Moon promoted in 2008 was construction of the Cheong Shim Peace World Center. This was to be a massive Madison Square Garden-like stadium with seating for some 20,000 built on the grounds of the movement’s Cheong Pyeong Lake complex in Korea. At its ground breaking on October 28, Rev. Moon offered his unqualified support for the project. This was striking given his virtual silence about the World Unification Temple, at least in his publicly accessible addresses and in light of Hyung Jin’s assertion that the temple “be the top priority in all nations.”[91] In fact, his strong support for the Peace World Center seemed to undermine or at least threaten prospects for the World Unification Temple.

There were several possible explanations for this. First, neither Hyung Jin nor Kook Jin had ever undertaken or delivered a major construction project. On the other hand, Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim (Hoon Mo Nim), the director of Cheon Pyeong Lake Training Center, delivered a number of impressive building projects, several in the face of almost insurmountable challenges.[92] In this sense, she had earned credibility and merited support. Rev. Moon may have wanted his sons to earn their stripes. Second, Rev. Moon was not one to shy away from competition as a means of enhancing leadership capacity. Third, he undoubtedly believed that the worldwide Unification movement could support both of these projects and more. They certainly both paled in comparison to his proposed Bering Strait tunnel. Finally, Rev. Moon found the natural surroundings of Cheong Pyeong Lake preferable to downtown Seoul. As he put it during the ground-breaking ceremony,

Let us offer a great round of applause to God who has opened the path to build the Cheongshim Peace World Center in the Cheongshim Complex that is filled with nature's beauty on this beautiful clear day… Heaven has prepared this place for several decades… One year from now, this place will have a better environment to live than Seoul… From now on, you must join hands with Hoon Mo Nim and take responsibility for completing this Cheongshim Peace World Center![93]

Regardless of his specific reasoning, Rev. Moon showed himself willing to multi-task. As much as Hyun Jin, Kook Jin, or Hyung Jin may have wanted his single-minded attention and support, that was not to be.

Appointment of In Jin Moon

The situation became more complicated when In Jin (Tatiana) Moon (b. 1965), Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s second eldest daughter, was appointed chairperson of the Unification movement in America on July 29, 2008. She was a graduate of Columbia University (B.A. Political Science, 1992), Harvard Divinity School (M.A., 1995), and the mother of five children all of whom she homeschooled and two of whom were “identified as musical prodigies.”[94] She had been appointed CEO of the church-owned Manhattan Center, home to Manhattan Center Studios and the Hammerstein Ballroom, one of New York’s renowned performance venues in April. Like her elder brothers, In Jin had clear ideas as to the direction the movement should go. Thus, in addition to the seventeen Global Peace Festivals Hyun Jin convened during the second half of 2008, Kook Jin and Hyung Jin’s launch of the World Unification Temple, Rev. Moon’s initiatives in Las Vegas and Hawaii, and construction of the Cheong Shim World Peace Center, the movement found itself confronted with yet another vision of the way forward.

In Jin made it clear from the beginning that she intended to put her stamp upon the American movement. At her formal inauguration at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom on August 14, she stated, “I want our movement to be a movement that people are dying to join, dying to be a part of.” To her, this meant two things. First, it meant re-branding the movement. She described Rev. and Mrs. Moon as “the world’s best-kept secret” and said, “Job One will be to overhaul the distorted image of Unificationism on the Worldwide Web.” Second, she emphasized that the movement must transition from campaigns and providential mobilizations. “Job Two,” she stated, “is promoting the concept of ‘natural witnessing’.” According to her, “Unificationist families will naturally attract admirers, allies, and, eventually, disciples by virtue of the intellectual and moral excellence of their children. People will then start to ask, “’Why are your kids so incredible?’“ [95]

In Jin developed these themes in a nationwide “listening tour” between September and December, 2008. She and her family visited Unification communities each weekend. She dedicated Saturday evenings to movement youth, asking that they individually share their dreams and goals and “how you think we should change our church.”[96] At Sunday services, she articulated her vision for the movement, particularly the importance of natural witnessing. She contended that the movement’s youth need not repeat the course of the first generation. It was okay that they get “the best education” and “great jobs.” More than that, they need not participate in arranged marriages to complete strangers or to those for whom they felt little attraction. They, she said, had the “incredible opportunity… to experience and enjoy romantic love.”[97] Unificationists should not be known as “pathetically miserable people, who live a life of self-flagellation.” She challenged parents to make a movement “exciting enough” for their children “to want to be a part of.”[98]

As with Hyun Jin’s Global Peace Festivals and the World Unification Temple that Kook Jin and Hyung Jin promoted, Rev. Moon said little publicly about In Jin’s appointment. His only comment was on September 24, 2008 when he stated, “In Jin Nim is chairman [sic] of the U.S. movement and has the mission to unify the 12 children… I do not want any one of the True Children to work alone; they must unite and work together.”[99] This was consistent with Rev. Moon’s concern for family unity in the immediate aftermath of the helicopter accident. However, rather than drawing family members together, In Jin’s appointment led to more friction and instability among the Moon siblings, which spilled over into the wider movement.

The initial reason for this was that her appointment as “Chairperson of the American Movement,” announced in an official memo from International Headquarters under Hyung Jin’s authorization on July 29, 2008, was ambiguous. “Chairperson” was a position that had never existed in the American movement. In addition, “movement” was not designation that had legal standing.[100] The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC, i.e. Unification Church) had standing, as did the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU). “Movement” was simply an informal designation that referred to the constellation of organizations and persons in one way or another connected to Rev. Moon. Most importantly, there was ambiguity between In Jin’s new position and the earlier tripartite leadership division whereby Hyun Jin held authority in the Americas.

Hyun Jin, at least initially, understood that In Jin had been appointed to a ministerial role that he as leader in the Americas would define. With this understanding, he supported her position and even attended her formal inauguration on August 14. However, it soon became apparent that In Jin viewed her appointment differently. On August 21, the HSA-UWC Board of Directors convened at short notice, and In Jin requested resignations from eight of its members, including the North American Continental Director Christopher (Pyunghwa) Kim, whom Rev. Moon had appointed the previous Spring, and HSA-UWC President Michael Jenkins. At the same meeting, the board appointed six new directors including In Jin and her husband, three women,[101]  and a male church leader In Jin had previously known in Boston. In Jin was to be appointed board chair. Clearly, she was moving in a decisive manner to take control of the American movement.

Christopher Kim, having been ousted from the HSA Board, flew to Alaska two days later requesting clarification from Rev. Moon. Specifically, he requested clarification from Rev. Moon “regarding the appointment of In Jin Nim and what Hyun Jin Nim’s role should be.” According to a report prepared by Hyun Jin’s supporters,

True Father explained that In Jin Nim was sent to America as a Chooksajang, which is a pastor or church leader. She was not appointed as the Chairperson of the American church. Father instructed Reverend Kim to guide her under Hyun Jin Nim’s supervision. True Father’s direction was recorded and the audio recording was presented to In Jin Nim. She disregarded the recording.[102]

In actuality, five of the eight original members who had been asked to resign were reinstated and four of the six newly appointed members were kept on the board. That was decided at a subsequent HSA-UWC board meeting on September 4. However, at that meeting, the effort to alter the board composition took on a larger significance. According to a board member present,

Kook Jin Nim sat at the head of the table and led the entire HSA Board meeting (even though he is not a member of the Board), and he spoke for nearly two hours in support of the chairmanship of In Jin Nim and constantly invoked the authority of Hyung Jin Nim and of the International Church to decide who is the leader in America.[103]

Hyun Jin was convinced that In Jin’s elevation from Chooksajang to chairperson of the Unification Movement in America was due to machinations of Kook Jin and Hyung Jin. That raised the stakes considerably. Previously, the brothers had articulated conflicting philosophies, implemented rival agendas, and cast mostly indirect aspersions on one another. This was the first instance in which one or the other side had taken direct action to undermine the other’s authority and position.

International Headquarters issued a memo shortly afterwards which announced “The appointment and dismissal of executives of the FFWPU board of directors in each region and mission nation must receive approval from the International President.”[104] According to Hyun Jin’s supporters,

This represented a benchmark change in our movement’s policies for leadership selection because it moved the final authority from Father’s spoken word to Hyung Jin Nim’s “official” memos… It was also noteworthy because Father’s direction now had to go through the channel and filter of the International Headquarters.[105]

This was an overstatement. Rev. Moon still actively led the movement. However, Kook Jin and Hyung Jin were consolidating their positions as his direct representatives. Hyun Jin found this difficult to accept on two counts. First, he did not believe that they accurately represented Rev. Moon’s direction with respect to In Jin’s appointment. Second, he was not willing to concede that they were Rev. Moon’s direct representatives.

This resurfaced the question of succession. Many within the movement regarded Hyun Jin as Rev. Moon’s presumptive successor. As noted, Rev. Moon undercut these expectations in early 2008 by conducting a ceremony at which Hyun Jin represented the “Cain” position in relation to his younger brother Kook Jin. He then appointed Hyung Jin FFWPU International President, stating that Hyung Jin and his wife “will become the pillars of our house in the future.” That was fairly definitive but did not entirely close the door on the issue of succession. Rev. Moon himself appeared to be more concerned about unity. Succession made little sense if whoever inherited his authority presided over a movement that was fragmented and broken.

Toward the end of 2008, Rev. Moon conducted another ceremony at which he stated, “In the positions of Cain and Abel, Hyun Jin from the U.S., which represents the UN, and Hyung Jin, representing Korea, are to unite centering on their mother.” He then had Mrs. Moon and Hyung Jin read from his most recent “peace message.” Because Hyun Jin was absent conducting a GPF, Rev. Moon had four major movement leaders read next, “proving they are connected together one by one, and are thus in unity.” As he put it, “we must get past this point.”[106] However, the church did not get by that point, at least in the short term. The great jubilee years were followed by turmoil and conflict unprecedented in the movement’s history.



[1] Sun Myung Moon, “A Providential View of the Pacific Rim Era in Light of God’s Will,” Unification News, May 2007, p. 3.

[2] Moon, “A Providential View of the Pacific Rim Era,” p. 14.

[3] Moon, “A Providential View of the Pacific Rim Era,” pp. 2-3, 14-15.

[4] See “The New Civilization Tour: Some Experiences,” Today’s World 28:4 (April/May 2007): 16-19.

[5] See Laurent Ladouce, “The Peace Message is Given Urbi et Orbi: A Cathartic Moment in Washington, D.C.,” Today’s World 28:3 (April/May 2007): 26-27, 33.

[6] Rev. Moon regarded the United Nations as a providential organization. However, he believed that the UN needed to incorporate the wisdom and peace-making potential of the world’s religious traditions. To that he, he called for the establishment of a religious assembly or council of religious representatives within the structure of the UN in 2000. When that proved difficult to attain, he resolved to set up a new organization ro set of organizations as an alternative or “Abel” UN.

[7] This account is taken from Julian Gray, “UPF Challenges Its Limits,” Today’s World 28:8 (September 2007): 18-19.

[8] Chung-hwan Kwak, “Family Party for Peace and Unity,” Today’s World 28:8 (September 2007): 23.

[9] Sun Myung Moon, “ILC for Axis Powers: Hoondokhae at Cheon Jeong Gung,” August 19, 2007.

[10] Kwak, “Family Party for Peace and Unity,” 23.

[11] “World Peace Center in Pyongyang,” Today’s World 28:6 (August 2007): 17.

[12] “The Dominion of the Skies,” Today’s World 28:9 (October/November 2007): 17.

[13] Mark Brann, “True Parents are Free to Come to Europe,” July 28, 2007.

[14] Kook Jin Moon, “Completing 120 Church Visits,” July 29, 2006; Kook Jin Moon, “People of the Liberation Period,” Today’s World 27 (May 2006): 18. Elsewhere, Kook Jin stated that losses were on the books at $50 million but were really more than $100 million. See Kook Jin Moon, “Tithing vs. Subsidization,” April 28, 2008.

[15] Kook Jin Moon, “People of the Liberation Period,” 18.

[16] Hyung Jin Moon, A Bald Head and a Strawberry (New York: FFWPU, 2005), p. 11.

[17] Michael Jenkins, “Update on Chung Pyung and the Original Palace,” June 11, 2006. Jenkins wrote, “Hyung Jin Nim moved the hearts of 10,000 when he demonstrated the real way of True Love when he washed the feet of one black brother. He proclaimed that there are no barriers. All races are equal. Then he washed the feet of the oldest grandmother present. People were weeping. This is the way that Jesus taught; this is True Parents’ life and the way of the Peace Kingdom.”

[18] “Hyung-jin nim’s Letter to True Parents,” Today’s World 27:9 (September 2006): 11.

[19] “Midnight Prayer,” Today’s World 28:1 (January 2007): 7.

[20] Sun Myung Moon, “True Father Speaks to the Global Leaders,” Today’s World 28:3 (March 2007): 6.

[21] Hyun Jin Moon, “Hyun Jin Moon Speaks at the Cheon Il Guk Leaders Assembly 2007,” Today’s World 28:2 (February 2007): 19.

[22] Kook Jin Moon, “Kook-jin Moon Speaks at the Cheon Il Guk Leaders Assembly 2007,” Today’s World 28:2 (February 2007): 20-24.

[23] Sun Myung Moon, “Happy God’s Day, Morning Speech,” January 1, 2007. http://

[24] Sun Myung Moon, “The Era When God Will Be at the Forefront of the Providence and Guide It,” Today’s World 28:5 (June 2007): 4, 7.

[25] Sun Myung Moon, “Fleeing Pyongyang: Hoon Dok Hae at Cheon Jeong Gung,” August 14, 2007.

[26] Moon, “A Providential View of the Pacific Rim Era,” 2.

[27] Moon, “The Era When God Will Be at the Forefront,” 4.

[28] David Beard, “The Vine Shall Yield Its Fruit: An overview of the early stages of the Korean church restructuring,” Today’s World 30:6 (September-October 2009): 36.

[29] Kook Jin Moon, “Kook Jin Moon Speaks on the 53rd Anniversary” Today’s World 28:4 (April-May 2007): 13.

[30] Kook Jin Moon, “Kook-jin nim Completes 120 Church Visits,” Today’s World 28:8 (September 2007): 15.

[31] Masaichi Hori, “Face to Face with a True Son,” Today’s World 28:5 (June 2007): 16-17, 25.

[32] Hyung Jin Moon, “Hyung-jin nim Speaks at his Induction as Senior Pastor,” Today’s World 28:10 (December 2007): 15-16.

[33] Sun Myung Moon, “Hoon Dok Hae at Cheon Jeong Gung,” August 9, 2007.

[34] Sun Myung Moon, “Sister's Day Hoon Dok Hae,” September 16, 2007.

[35] Sun Myung Moon, “Pledge Service and Commemorative Service for True Parents Birthday,” Unification News 27:3 (March 2008): 3.

[36] Hyung Jin Moon, “God’s Kingdom and Temple,” Today’s World 29:8 (September 2008): 17.

[37] “True Parents’ Day,” Today’s World 29:3 (April 2008): 3.

[38] Hyun Jin Moon, “Activities and Future Directions,” and “Report to Parents,” March 23, 2008.

[39] Hyun Jin Moon, “Report to Parents.”

[40] Tossa Cromwell, “The Building of Cheon Bok Gung, a Summary to Date,” June 2010.

[41] Sun Myung Moon, “Welcome Back, True Parents! True Parent's Return to America,” April 15, 2006.; “Jesus Wasn't Meant to Be Just King of Israel but King of All Kings,” August 2, 2010.; “Yesterday the Rally Finished, Where Do You Think it Started?” January 16, 2012.

[42] Hyun Jin Moon, “Report to Parents.”

[43] Hyun Jin Moon, “Activities and Future Directions.”

[44] Sun Myung Moon, “Become an Inheritor: Inauguration of Hyung Jin Moon as International President of FFWPU,” May 3, 2008. (Note: the inauguration occurred on April 18; the text of Rev. Moon’s speech was prepared afterwards).

[45] Sun Myung Moon, “Become an Inheritor.”

[46] Hyung Jin Moon, “Inaugural Address.” Today’s World 29:3 (April 2008): 21-22.

[47] Ibid., 22.

[48] Ibid., 23.

[49] Ibid., 23.

[50] Kwak, “Family Party for Peace and Unity,” 23.

[51] Taesuk Jung, “Unification Movement: Final Term Paper,” unpublished manuscript, Unification Theological Seminary. May 18, 2009, pp. 10-11.

[52] Ibid., p. 11.

[53] Sang Hyu Kim as cited in Jung, “Unification Movement: Final Term Paper,” p. 7.

[54] Jung, “Unification Movement: Final Term Paper,” pp. 7-8.

[55] Ibid., p. 8.

[56] Ibid., p. 15.

[57] Hyung Jin Moon, “”Hyung-jin nim Speaks at His Inauguration as World CARP President,” Today’s World 29:4 (May 2008): 14.

[58] Ibid.

[59] Ibid., pp. 2, 14.

[60] David Beard, “Welcome Back the Queens of Football,” Today’s World 29:5 (June 2008): 35. See also Hyun Jin Moon, “Sports as Fuel for Dreams,” Today’s World 29:5 (June 2008): 13.

[61] In a “Memorandum” to “Block Advisors, District Directors, State Directors, All Blessed Central Families and Members” in the United States, then Continental Director Pyung Hwa Kim and President Michael Jenkins stated, “As True Parents’ have stated in the past and several times last week at Hoon Dok Hae in Korea, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon has the central responsibility for guiding our movement in the USA and throughout the Americas.” Report on Special Meeting with Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, February 25, 2009. Phillip Schanker, a former vice-president of FFWPU-USA, stated, “I remember the puzzlement and discomfort among those of us working with Hyun Jin Nim in 2006, when Father announced Hyun Jin Nim’s responsibility for business in America, Kook Jin Nim’s responsibility for business in Korea and Japan, and Hyung Jin Nim’s responsibility for the realm of religion. I cannot remember the date and cannot quote Father directly, but I remember how seriously it was discussed.” See Schanker, “A Rebuttal from Personal Testimony to ‘Facts Behind the Change of Leaders of the Unification Church in the United States, and Hyun Jin Moon’s Removal From His Public Positions.’”

[62] Peter Kim, “A Letter to My Family,” Today’s World 29:6 (July 2008): 29.

[63] Rev. Moon’s characterization of the passengers’ survival as “a miracle from God” and the description of additional “miracles” associated with the crash landing is taken from Hyung Jin Moon’s sermon of July 26, 2008, reprinted as “Hyung-jin nim Speaks,” Today’s World 29:6 (July 2008): 14, 16-23.

[64] Hyun Jin Moon, “Hyung-jin nim Speaks,” 20.

[65] Ibid., 20.

[66] Ibid., 20.

[67] Hyun Jin Moon, “God Had Protected True Parents,” July 21, 2008.

[68] Sun Jin Moon, “Sun-jin nim Speaks,” Today’s World 29:6 (July 2008): 26-27.

[69] Sun Myung Moon, “Special Declaration, July 22, 2008,” Today’s World 29:6 (July 2008): 14.

[70] Sun Myung Moon, “Visualizing the Kingdom of Heaven,” Today’s World 29:8 (September 2008): 6.

[71] Hyun Jin Moon, “Report to Parents.”

[72] Ibid.

[73] “Continental Directors’ Meeting,” August 7, 2008.

[74] Hyung Jin Moon, “God’s Kingdom and Temple,” Today’s World 29:8 (September 2008): 2, 14-15.

[75] See Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: HSA-UWC, 1996), pp. 150-51.

[76] Hyung Jin Moon, “A Sanctuary Welcoming All Faiths,” Today’s World 29:9 (October 2008): 2.

[77] Kook Jin Moon, “The Temple and Japan,” Today’s World 29:10 (November-December 2008): 12.

[78] Hyung Jin Moon, “A Sanctuary Welcoming All Faiths,” 19; Hyung Jin Moon, “From Hyung-jin Nim’s Speech to Leaders,” Today’s World 29:9 (October 2008): 15.

[79] Hyung Jin Moon, “Being Spiritually and Physically Blessed.”

[80] See Sun Myung Moon, “The Key to Your Spiritual Life,” October 12, 2009.; “9th Anniversary: Liberation Ceremony of the Spirit World.” October 14, 2008.; “Toward 2013 and the God Constitution,” October 14, 2008.

[81] Sun Myung Moon, “49th True Children's Day,” October 29, 2008.

[82] Hyun Jin Moon, “Report to Parents.”

[83] Hyung Jin Moon, “God’s Kingdom and Temple,” 17.

[84] Hyung Jin Moon, “A Sanctuary Welcoming All Faiths,” 19.

[85] Kook Jin Moon, “Special Service by Kook Jin Moon,” November 29, 2008.

[86] Sun Myung Moon, “Our Present Position,” October 7, 1979.

[87] Sun Myung Moon, “True Parents Day,” April 6, 2008.

[88] Sun Myung Moon, “There Must Be Only the Peaceful World of Parents,” October 10, 2008.

[89] FFWPU Headquarters, “Explanation of the Purpose of the Original Divine Principle Education Sessions,” May 28, 2009.

[90] Angelika Selle, “In the Presence of Heart and Grace.” Today’s World 29:9 (October 2008): 14.

[91] Hyung Jin Moon, “A Sanctuary Welcoming All Faiths,” 19.

[92] Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim had overseen construction of Cheongshim Hospital, Cheongshim Oriental Hospital, Cheongshim Village, Cheongshim Youth Center, Cheongshim Graduate School of Theology, and Cheongshim International Middle and High School as well as numerous prayer halls and the Cheonseong Wanglim (“Palace of Heavenly Presence”). Her most impressive achievement was construction of the Cheon Jeong Gung Palace, a massive domed structure built into the side of Cheon Seong Mountain overlooking the movement’s Cheon Pyeong Lake retreat center.

[93] Sun Myung Moon, “Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Cheongshim Peace World Center,” October 28, 2008.

[94] “In Jin Moon.”

[95] In Jin Moon, “Developing the Vision,” Today’s World 29:7 (August 2008): 12-13; Douglas Burton, “In Jin Moon Gets to Know the Washington Family,” September 21, 2008.

[96] “In Jin Nim’s Monthly Journal,” No. 2 (October 2008), 9.

[97] In Jin Moon, “What Does America Mean to Us Americans?” Washington, D.C., September 21, 2008.

[98] In Jin Moon, “True Parents’ Heart,” September 28, 2008.

[99] Sun Myung Moon, “What Shall You Do When I’m Gone,” September 24, 2008.

[100] These points were later raised by supporters of Hyun Jin. See Blessed Central Families for Truth and Transparency, “Facts behind the Change of Leaders of the Unification Church in the United States, and Hyun Jin Moon’s Removal from His Public Positions,” August 22, 2010.

[101] One of the resigning board members later wrote that In Jin “explained the need to improve the gender balance and move from the traditionally male-dominated board.” See Schanker, “A Rebuttal.”

[102] “Facts Behind the Change of Leaders of the Unification Church in the United States, and Hyun Jin Moon’s Removal From His Public Positions,” in Schanker, “A Rebuttal.”

[103] This was communicated in an e-mail sent to Hyun Jin on March 2, 2009. Cited in “Facts behind the Change of Leaders.”

[104] Hyung Jin Moon, “Appointment and Dismissal of Executives on the FFWPU Board of Directors in Each Mission Nation,” September 30, 2008. Reprinted in “Facts behind the Change of Leaders.”

[105] “Facts behind the Change of Leaders.”

[106] Sun Myung Moon, “Creation and Fruition,” Today’s World 29:10 (November-December 2008): 5.