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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 21
Studies of Civilizations

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Displaying: 21-40 of 40 documents


precursors of civilizational science
21. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo Fire and Force: Civilization as Noosphere in the Works of Teilhard de Chardin
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The French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote provocatively about world civilization from his dual expertise as paleontologist and Catholic priest. This paper will extract from his many writings references to civilizational process in terms of his concept of the noosphere, that is, the transhuman accumulation of knowledge. Basing himself on the notion of a geogenetic process that he described in his important publication, Le Phenomenene Humain (1955), de Chardin considered the evolution of humankind to involve not merely the change of individual members of the species, but in the development of the capacity to shape the earth and its forces by the invention of technology. He foresaw the human creation of a new level of understanding (some would say this is the cyberspace of the Internet) that would be the achievement of a unifying human civilization. The impulse to contribute to and benefit from this wealth of shared knowledge constituted for the Jesuit a quasi-magnetic force that brought together disparate human experiences. Borne in part by his religious faith, de Chardin described in a second masterpiece, Le Milieu Divin (1957) this unifying force as “love”. When a new world civilization learned to harness this kind of love in common purpose, said de Chardin, “for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire”. Possibly because of his religiously tinted language and mystical orientation, Teilhard has not always been viewed a contributor to the field. This paper will offer suggestions for ways to incorporate the French Jesuit among the sources for civilizational analysis.
22. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Roman Zawadzki Feliks Koneczny: The Forgotten Philosopher of History and Civilization
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The paper presents the life and work of Feliks Koneczny, the forgotten polish scientist of the 19th and the 20th centuries. The four main field of his activity areshortly presented, especially his historiosophic synthesis in form of very original theory of the plurality of civilizations, based on the axiological assumptions. His concept of social philosophy that emerged from his historical studies seems to be controversial but, in fact, has strongly influenced the work of many historians and philosophers. In his opinion, any utilitarian political, economical, social and psychological functionality turned into the ideologically imposed life algorithms must be considered as very dangerous threat for the freedom and free will of individual as well as for the independence of so many different communities, societies and cultures. Consequently, Koneczny suggested to be very careful in attempts to implement, by international political means, the idea of total globalization considering it as harmful illusion.
the question of cooperation in the world of multiple civilizations
23. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Piotr Balcerowicz Rationality as a Common Public Domain
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Even though globalization is not necessarily a modern phenomenon, quantitatively id does exceed anything which we could observe in the past. In its modern form it entails certain side effects and brings news risks which often involves direct encounters of people representing different or conflicting worldviews and systems of values. To speak of “a clash of civilizations” or “a war of civilizations” would be a misunderstanding, probably motivated politically. What is really pertinent is, however, the question to what extent conflicting systems of values (i.e. people representing or subscribing to conflicting systems of values and lifestyles) can coexist or enter in a dialogue, which should be a requirement for any strategy to solve or manage a conflict. In this context, it proves extremely fruitful to distinguish two kinds of rationality: of the first and second level. Such distinction helps, first of all, to understand to what degree, e.g., deeply religiouspeople and secular scientists are rational, and in what context a dialogue or exchange of ideas between such divergent parties is possible. These results can easily be transferred onto a wide range of other conflicting systems of values. Further, the paper claims that it is not cultures or civilizations, the identity which being extremely complex, heterogeneous and multi-layered, as such enter into a conflict but cultural / civilizational subgroups. The conclusion is that a dialogue between two systems of values is in most cases possible, with one exception.
24. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Ashok Kumar Malhotra Reflections on the Clash or Reconciliation of Civilizations
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The thesis of the paper is that the root cause of clash or reconciliation among civilizations is housed in the drama of consciousness! Two models of consciousness that highlight this drama are put forward here. First is Jean Gebser’s view, which asserts that the history of human civilization is nothing more than the manifestations of the development of consciousness. This development has taken place through five distinct stages: the archaic, magical, mythic, mental and integrative. Clash in civilizations is due to the fixation on the first four stages whereas reconciliation is possible through the use of the integrative stage. The second is the Tantric Yoga view of consciousness in terms of the seven chakras or wheels of consciousness. These chakras are spread out in the body like seven colors of the rainbow—starting with the base of the spine to the genitals, the belly button, the heart, the throat, the forehead and ending in the crown of the head. Clash in civilizations is due to the fixation on the first three levels (chakras) of consciousness whereas reconciliation is possible through the use of the upper fourwheels of consciousness (chakras), which are focused at developing universal consciousness. Since religion and civilization are intimately connected and several of the prominent civilizational clashes have been due to the religious differences, religious consciousness will be taken as the paradigm of this paper.How can humanity move from clash towards reconciliation? Such a possibility is suggested by both Gebser and Tantric Yoga whose theories point towards the development of an integrative universal consciousness: an encompassing consciousness that will transcend as well as incorporate all limited religious consciousness perspectives in its fold! The views of Vivekananda, a scholar-monk of India, on “one religion/one spirituality” are of particular interest in this context. They indicate an approach, which might lead to a possible future solution thus paving a path towards one-world-spiritual-peaceful order!
25. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Stephen Blaha The Future of Civilizations
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The short term and long term prospects of civilizations is considered. It appears that the present mix of five major civilizations will continue with the possible addition of a Pan-African civilization that appears to be in the process of formation. The cycles of events in these civilizations is expected to be a continuation of cyclic behavior found in the author’s earlier work. Global Warming, environmental degradation, overpopulation, excessive numbers of older unproductive people, warfare and competition for resources will be detrimental to the future of civilizations for the foreseeable future. In short, the discussion is based on a continuation of ongoing civilizational trends. Improved communications and technology will have a significant impact but is not likely to change the overall unity of each contemporary civilization.
26. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Pedro Geiger Civilization, Mode of Production, Ages of History and the Three-Legged Movements
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Since its presumed origin by the big bang, about 14 pasts billion years, the Universe is composed of entities, or objects, that produce movements that produce new objects that produce new movements, in an endless sequence.The human mind is one of these entities, whose movements are capable to produce many objects, materialized or as ideas. Those objects in their turn will interact with the mind and new movements will be produced. This process had composed the history of mankind.The Nature presents a world of movements, originated from its first movement—the explosion of the Singularity. The Universe continues in its expansion, while the Earth rotates and the animals move on its surface. So are the humans, who continue to reproduce by natural movements, biologically, but are capable to fly to the Moon. The entire Universe is composed by the same particles, forming a multitude of objects, inserted in the primary objects, participating in the primary movements, and introducing new ones. It is a World of an infinite number of movements derived from the first one, disposed in levels. The upper levels are constituted by the social movements.Thus, history is a development of the producing of material and ideal objects and of their related movements. To produce it mankind have been using the natural environment, offered by the earth’s surface, and the social products already produced during their times of history.Among the last, the social products, one recognizes: a) the knowledge, or information; b) the social relations between men and their social structures, and c) the spatial shaping of their social life, or geography.Thus, in this paper one tries to develop the idea of relating the terms Civilization, Mode of Production and Ages of History to the above three-legged composition.An example is given here: the invention of the caravel, that had conduced to the large discoveries (technology, information, knowledge). It intensified commercial activities, geographical interactions, accelerating the replacing of the feudal society in Europe by the mercantile society (social relations, social structure). The geography also changed with the higher development of the commercial sea port urban centers (spatial shaping geography).The current age of globalization is being an age of a new geography and of new forms in the urbanization process.
27. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Marek J. Celiński The Concepts of Progress and Regress in Relation to Civilizations
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History provides us with instances of various societal and economic changes that with a hindsight are interpreted as either indicating progressive or regressive trends. The present paper attempts to define what represents progress and regress by applying psychological constructs to evaluation of the psychosocial changes. Seven principles of progress are applied as criteria for interpreting various historic events. The primary condition for progress is courage to face adversity or, in the cognitive domain, ambiguity, controversy and “unknown”. An overall model of Challenge-Resilience-Resourcefulness is described as the process through which progress can be achieved.
28. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Norman C. Rothman Islam as a Multi-Faceted Phenomenon in Culture: The Case of Indonesia
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Indonesia has received Islam over the past millennium During this period, Islam has intermingled in varying degrees with Buddhism, Hinduism, and indigenous animism in different parts of the archipelago. Consequently, beliefs and practices diverge. Nevertheless, Islam has an overwhelming if diverse presence in Indonesia. The paper will examine the resultant diverse versions of Islam that currently coexist in Indonesia. These versions are the modernist, traditional, devotional, and syncretic aspects of Islam. Each version will be analyzed in terms of both differences and similarities.
29. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Editors’ Note
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book review
30. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
J. Reed Smith The Oxford History of Byzantium, Cyril Mango
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