Dialogue e-zine is a free collection of articles on culture, religion, politics, social sciences and of course, dialogue.

On Dialogue 

Discussion Paper on Intercultural Dialogue and Education
Richard Evanoff

The following is a discussion paper in which I have tried to pull together some ideas from a number of different research projects I have worked over the years concerned particularly with intercultural dialogue. Part of the paper includes entirely new material which attempts to apply this research specifically to the problem of intercultural education. The paper is definitely a working draft, however. I have not yet had time to supply full references or a bibliography, and additional revisions in style, organization, and content may be necessary. At times the paper digresses into areas not specifically concerned with cross-cultural education but, as the first section indicates, I am also interested in trying to place cross-cultural education in its wider social, economic, and political context. The paper does not follow the precise outline given by David in his recent e-mail, but it does cover many of the topics he suggested. While the paper raises issues that I am particularly concerned about and also shows my present thinking on these matters, it is presented in what George Kelly (1969, 147-162) would call an "invitational mood," meaning that I welcome comments and criticisms, and do not regard any of the positions set forth here as fixed. As I argue in the paper itself, dialogue is a means of transforming and enlarging our current perspectives. (Full Text)

Dialogue among Civilizations: What For?
Hernán López-Garay

There is no question: globalization is one of the major themes of our time. Increasingly, the lives of millions and millions of people in this world are being touched by this historical phenomenon. Recently, a great world debate is emerging in which the rationale of globalization and its negative consequences for humanity as a whole are beginning to be seriously questioned (see for instance Porto Alegro Conference, 2001, Proceedings ICAG, 1998). Unfortunately, in this debate, both those who are the victims and outcasts of this process, and those who are its masters—and who also hold an unheard of military, technological and economic power in the world—are ignoring considerations about the deep historical and moral forces which are driving our present epoch (Arendt, 1958; Foucault, 1973; Fuenmayor, 1997; Guignon, 1993; Heidegger, 1955; 1973; MacIntyre, 1985; Rorty; Taylor, 1991; 1989; Weaver, 1948; Howard, 1999; Anderson, 2000; PWPA Eighth Congress, 2000). One of these hidden and to some extent repressed forces has to do with the ideal of the creation of a new community of nations and cultures, a truly world community, whose common and integrating objective is to realize the dream of a better life for all human kind (Rorty, Sandel, 1996, pp. 338-351).1 In this context, the old Western themes of the collective search for the good life and of dialogue among civilizations shine with a new light: what could be more pressing in our time than to reflect deeply on the conditions of possibility of a dialogue among civilizations, about the realization of a new global order more just and dignifying for all humans? (Full Text)

The Necessity of Interfaith Dialogue: A Muslim Perspective
Fethullah Gülen

Today, people are talking about many things: the danger of war and frequent clashes all over the world, water and air pollution, hunger, the increasing erosion of moral values, and so on. As a result, many other concerns have come to the fore: peace, contentment, ecology, justice, tolerance, and dialogue. Unfortunately, despite certain promising precautions, those who should be tackling these problems tend to do so by seeking further ways to conquer and control nature and produce more lethal weapons. Besides obscene material are spread through the mass media, especially the Internet. At the root of the problem is the materialist world view, which severely limits religion’s influence in contemporary social life. The result of such a situation is the current disturbed balance between humanity and nature and within individual men and women. Only a few people seem to realize that social harmony and peace with nature, between people, and within the individual only can come about when the material and spiritual realms are reconciled. Peace with nature, peace and justice in society, and personal integrity are possible when one is at peace with Heaven. (Full Text)

Dialogue Toward Unity in Diversity
Heiner Benking & Sherryl Stalinski

The authors seek to briefly address the persistent challenges of applying general systems principles to our human cultural systems. We identify individual and cultural worldviews which continue to cause us to resist integrating diverse human perspectives and cultural systems in relevant and meaningful relationship. We introduce dialogue methodologies which can lead to cultural praxis toward a more unified and ‘whole’ global humanity which not only retains our individual and cultural diversity, but celebrates and integrates this diversity into ever-increasing relevant and meaningful relationship. The authors introduce the five global ethics identified by the Institute for Global Ethics as the "centralizing influence" which can guide our inter- and intra-cultural dialogues. (Full Text)

Beyond Multi-Culturalism: Universalism, Multi-culturalism and Beyond
Yeu-Farn Wang

This article is part of a continuing debate on the concepts of Orientalism, universalism, and multi-culturalism, following a series of articles which appeared in NIAS Nytt. In issue no. 1, 1994, there was an article on Denys Lombard's positive stance on Orientalist scholarship. Then Stein Tønnesson proposed to continue the critical examination of the Orientalist discourse on the basis of universalist values in issue no. 2, 1994. Finally in issue no.1, 1995 Ing-Britt Trankell expressed her critical views on some extreme forms of Orientalism and claimed that universalism is impossible. As a visiting fellow at NIAS in March, I had the privilege to discuss these issues with a number of scholars there and took the pleasure of participating in continuous dialogues on Orientalism. (Full Text)