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The Unification Principles

Unification Principles

The key to understanding Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han and their movement is the Unification Principles (The Divine Principle), an important part of their teachings and the name of the revelations Father Moon received from God and Jesus during the period 1935-1944.

The Unification Principles explain God’s original ideal, how and why the ideal was not realized, and the long and complicated process God and we humans have had to go through in order to return to a world that is as God originally wanted it to be. In addition to describing the most important events and people in this process, the Unification Principles explain its ultimate goal.

The teaching gives you answers to each of life’s big questions and also gives you a comprehensive understanding not only of your own life, but of the great physical and spiritual reality of which we are all a part.

We see the Bible and the holy writings of other religions as important contributions to clarifying the path each individual must follow in order to live in harmony with God and their fellow human beings. A unique part of Father Moon‘s teaching is how God has worked for the past 2000 years, and how God works today.

There is no published edition of the Unification Principles written by Sun Myung Moon himself.

Sun Myung Moon‘s first encounter with Jesus in 1935.

After his life-changing spiritual encounter with Jesus Christ 17th April 1935, the young Korean started to study the Bible intensely for many years. In the margins of his Bible he wrote down notes about insights he arrived at and revelations he received. Those notes are said to have been central when later putting together the texts known as the Unification Principles (The Divine Principle).

The very first manuscript of his teachings was apparently lost in North Korea during the Korean War, while he was a prisoner in a concentration camp. After arriving as a refugee in Busan, South Korea, for one year until May 1952, he wrote Wolli Wonbon (The Original Text of the Principles), an unpublished text.

After the Korean War (1950-1953), and after the Unification Church was founded in 1954, he asked one of his main disciples, Hyo-won Eu, to write a more systematic version of the teachings.

Unification Principles – Wolli Haeseol

The first book that was published, only in Korean, was Wolli Haeseol (Explanation of the Principles) in 1957, written as an interpretation of and a new perspective on the 66 books of the Bible.

Unification Principles – Wolli kangnonThe year after, Eu started the work on the text that became the official version of the Unification Principles, Wolli Kangron (Exposition of the Principles).

Unification Principles – Divine Principle 1973
Divine Principle, 1973

It was published in Korean in 1966, and in 1973 in English as “Divine Principle”, after Father Moon had moved to the USA in 1971.

Exposition of the Divine PrincipleA new and better translation appeared in 1996, “Exposition of the Divine Principle”.

Other versions of the Unification Principles have also appeared in English:

“Divine Principle and Its Application”, by Dr. Young Oon Kim, published in 1968 and translated into a number of languages. Republished 2004 as “The Living Code – A New Look at the Bible”.

“The Divine Principle Study Guide”, by Young Whi Kim (Yeong-hwi Kim), one of the first 3 couples, part 1 first published in 1973, part 2 in 1975.

“Outline of the Principle – Level 4”, (Wolli Kangeuian in Korean) by dr. Cheong-hwan Kwak, then International Director of Education of the Unification Church, published in 1980 in English and translated into many other languages. This is a lecture manual with hundreds of diagrams beside the text.

“Essentials of the Unification Principle – Teachings of Sun Myung Moon”, written primarily by Thomas Cromwell, published in 1994 with the approval of the International Director of Education of the Unification Church. The book includes a chapter on Mohammed and Islam as well as one on how we may apply the teachings to our life.

United Visions“United Visions – One God, One Truth, and One Human Family”, by Abdelmoumin Ahmed, written originally in Arabic, published in English 2009, written primarily for a Muslim audience. Input from senior lecturers of the Unification Principles.

Unification Principles – Divine Principle Lecture ManualIn 2016, “Divine Principle Lecture Manual – An expanded edition of the Three Hour Lecture Manual” appeared, published by the Family Federation, Seoul, South Korea. It was designed to train members to become lecturers and contains more than 250 illustrations and lots of explanatory notes.

Tongil wolli (Unification Principles)
Unification Principles in Korean. Screenshot from

What we call the Unification Principles (The Divine Principle), is simply wolli – 원리 – in Korean. The Korean word wolli means principle or principles. Korean nouns are not specific about their number – whether they are singular or plural.

Apparently the singular form “principle” was chosen by the Korean members in 1956, when deciding on an English name for the teachings, in order to emphasize that the content makes up a unitary whole. In order to avoid misunderstandings, we use the term “Unification Principles” here as the teachings certainly refer to more than one principle.

Also, it should be clear that the English expression “Divine Principle” is not intended to mean that everything in the book is about some divine principle. Rather, the teachings reveal that certain fundamental principles play a significant role in shaping historical events and the progress of God’s work to create the world he planned from the beginning. Also, an understanding of those principles allow yourself to better master your own life and your relationships.

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