Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Theology

First Advisor

Annette Moran

Second Advisor

Erik Pratt

Third Advisor

Murphy Fox

Abstract

My thesis, coming out of a theological perspective, explores a way for those involved in international service to become more effective in helping solve crises in the world. I first examine the current crisis in Darfur, Sudan as representative of the need for more efficient international service. The situation in this region has been compared to the crisis in Rwanda in 1994 and, similar to its reaction to that crisis, the international community is once again hesitant to put an end to the atrocities. Next, I describe the philosophy of humanism as a means recently used to address such international crises. The advent of humanism brought with it a much needed emphasis upon social responsibility and forced the world to consider whether or not it had any responsibility to help people who are suffering in some remote comer of the world. As can be seen in the case of Darfur, however, even though the world may recognize a need from its humanistic perspective, that same humanism may be unable to provide an efficacious approach to aid those people who are suffering. Finally, in proposing a more efficacious approach, I analyze the writings and public service career of Dag Hammarskjold, UN Secretary-General from 1953-1961. Hammarskjold’s life and service were founded not purely upon humanism, but also upon a deep theo-centric spirituality that came to light with the posthumous publication of his journal. Rooted in this spirituality, Hammarskjold displayed a deep-seated humilitas that imbued his everyday life and his work as a UN Secretary-General. My thesis argues that the international community should incorporate such humilitas into its humanistic methodology if it desires to work toward becoming more efficient in aiding those who suffer in the world.

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