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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 22, Issue 2, 2012
Civilization and Religion

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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents


1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Małgorzata Czarnocka Civilization and Religion
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2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Walter Benesch Religion versus Theology: Its Impact on Civilizations
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In this paper the author seeks to clearly define the distinctions between religion and theology in the interest of furthering the discussion on religion. The author defines the two phrases, as well as the term empathy and how the former two relate to the latter. The author uses both ancient and modern references to establish the nature of empathy, and discuss how religion and theology have been confused in the past. Lastly, the author discusses the future of theology in civilization.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Stephen M. Borthwick DIEU ET MON DROIT: Spiritual Sovereignty and the Decline of Civilizations in History
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The study of civilizations is largely motivated by a single question—what drives and defines a culture or civilization? In an effort to locate a civilization—or, in the case of this chapter, three civilizations—historically, perhaps the best way is to call this drive and defining quality the cultural “sovereign.” Historically, in almost every case, this sovereign takes on a spiritual and religious form in the earliest and most vitalized period of any civilization’s lifespan. Conceptualizing civilizations in two phases, this chapter will seek to show that, as a rule, at some point this spiritual sovereign is usurped and replaced by a human and corrupted sovereign. This transition precipitates the decay of Civilization, first explored by Oswald Spengler, examined here with a focus on the point at which the original and eternal sovereign ceases to be the arbiter of moral and cultural questions, and the State takes over this sovereignty. To understand “sovereignty,” the chapter appeals to Schmitt; the sovereign is one who has the power “to decide the exception.” In this way, the ethos of a culture begins as something in which no exceptions can be made by a human being—the point at which the eternal is sovereign. As civilization declines, however, one witnesses human beings making exceptions,as morality ceases to be binding, social propriety becomes a luxury rather than a necessity, and religion becomes a fixture rather than the core of society. This state of collapse is highlighted in three separate civilizations—the Civic (i.e. Graeco-Roman), the Pharaonic (i.e. Egyptian), and the Ecclesiastic (i.e. Western). The viability of any project aimed at “revival” or “regeneration” is also examined and, the author hopes, soundly denied.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Konrad Waloszczyk The Function of Religion in Civilization: Lights and Shadows
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The article defends the view that the role of traditional religions in civilization is ambiguous—at once positive and negative. Religions teach their faithful basic ethics, but they do it in an authoritative manner without consideration for the moral autonomy of the conscience nor the situational aspects of moral choices. They propagate “soft” social attitudes like forgiveness, compassion and peace but are also a frequent source of serious conflicts. The author seeks the reasons behind the dissonances which religion brings into civilization.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Ashok Kunar Malhotra The Role of Religion in Civilizational Development
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The author examines the relationships between civilization and organized religion. A new theory of religion spawning civilization instead of vice versa is discussed, as well as the influence of the great organized religions on the development of modern cultures and civilizations. The history of the various large organized religions, including their origins, spread and mindsets are all examined, and the major differences between the Abrahamic and Indic religions are remarked upon as well.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Isaac Tseggai African Civilization: the Religious Dimensions in Light of the Third Millennium
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Africa prides itself in its ancient civilizations, but the celebratory value of those civilizations is overshadowed by the recurrent challenges of poverty, political and religious wars, ethnic strife, and unrelenting tyrannical rule. Of all these challenges, the inabilities of state institutions to reconcile religious and confessional divisions represent the hardest. Scholars on civilization have in recent years contemplated operationalizing of scientific thinking. The sense of nationalism that tends to look at civilizations as sacred attributes of societies is challenged by the secular features in quantitative analysis. The expansion of global trade and commerce effectively facilitated by the swiftness of Information Technology (IT) provide opportunities for identifying across cultural and civilizational variables of peace and “wisdom”. This analysis focuses on Africa’s religious political experiences to state that Africa’s problems are intractable even to the dynamic theories of IT and globalization.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Piotr Skudrzyk Europeans and Metaphysics
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Visions of reality and supernatural powers accompanied man closely throughout his pre-history and recorded history. The role of the higher religions in the history of human civilization is outlined in an appealing theory developed by Arnold J. Toynbee. Toynbee sees the need for a synthesis of today’s higher religions, a synthesis which should take effect in a trans-rationalistic spirit. The author of the article notes that, although there can be no greatness without the awareness of participating in greatness, uniting Europe is making no effort to build a modern metaphysical awareness to support its ambitious plan.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Hisanori Kato The Potential of Japanese Civilisation: Its Religious Characteristics and Contributions to the World
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Although modern civilization has brought about great technical achievement, mankind face various problems today. It seems that humans are endlessly pursuing economic development, and they often neglect the preservation of the environment. Japan is not free from this world-wide problem. However, Japanese civilization would be able to offer an important paradigm for the future course of mankind. In particular, animism and tolerance towards religious differences seem to be vital elements for the betterment of this world.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo Potential of Christianity for the Civilization. Revival in the III Millennium. On Spirituality. Ever Ancient, Ever New: Christian Spirituality in the III Millennium
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The division of Christianity into two: Orthodox Christian and Western Civilizations by Arnold Toynbee should be understood to describe not a difference of creedal belief but different spiritualities. Christian spiritualities are the animating forces for the material disposition of religious resources and the motivation that patterns individual behavior. The past offers many examples of how spirituality provides discipline to believers to overcome conflictive social pressures and follow doctrinal obligations. The monastic orders recast the evangelical counsel to holding material goods in common during the Middle Ages and groups like the Franciscans, Jesuits, Methodists, Quakers, etc. have performed similar functions. Despite the erosion of institutional resources since the Enlightenment and contemporary secularism, Christianity has produced various new spiritualities. For the III Millennium, it appears the two major characteristics of Christian spirituality include the discipline to “let go” that rejects the dystopia of contemporary society; and the embrace an earth spirituality that extends respect for life to the environment and an equitable distribution of material resources.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Andrew Targowski Spirituality 2.0—A Condition for a Wise Civilization
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This paper offers a diagnosis of contemporary civilization, characterized by a lack of wisdom and numerous conflicts of various natures, which its decline causes. Saving this civilization in decline consists in promulgating the development of a wise universalcomplementary civilization. Its control component is Spirituality 2.0, which is a Decalogue of complementary values, drawn from the contemporary 9 civilizations. The likelihood of enforcing Wise Civilization is low, but it is possible, providing people demonstrate wisdom in the solution of the problems of the contemporary civilization.