The publication of a posthumous book has obliged us to once again address the case involving Jacques Dupuis, the Belgian Catholic theologian of religious pluralism, treated and “notified” as a heretic by the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, all in 2000, the same year and days of the publication of the Declaration “Dominus Iesus”, the most criticised pontifical document of recent decades, acclaimed only by “devout atheists.”
Dialogue of Cultures
Written on the occasion of his birthday (b. 27 December, 1936, in Figuig, eastern Morocco, d. 3 May 2010), this piece is an homage to a towering figure in modern Arab-Islamic thought, a figure that any serious scholar in the field cannot do without: Mohammed Abed Al Jabri. One has either to build on the heritage he has left, or overcome it with a more challenging one. In both cases, one cannot escape reading him. In the age of Arab turmoils, al Jabri must be in the library of every Arab house for one simple reason: he genuinely managed to classify Arab-Islamic thought, a thing that is still missing from Arab socio-political life.
Like other classical world traditions and civilizations that seek renewal for survival, continuity and contribution to world affairs, the Islamic one is convened and questioned, maybe more than others and more than ever before, seeing its geographical and intellectual positions between the so-called East and West, an archaic dichotomy that disrupts politics and stirs philosophy at the same time. The ongoing dire socio-political chaos in the Arab-Islamic world questions the intellectual tradition of this part of the world, to see where it stands, and what contributions it offers to overcome the turmoil. Reset-DoC is pleased to present three reflections on Islamic Philosophy by Mohammed Hashas (PhD), as part of an ongoing conversation with a civilization that was, and a worldview that is still vibrant and confident that it can still contribute to world intellect and local politics. Past and Present Conditions for Existence and DifferenceIslamic Philosophy IThe Moderns and Contemporaries in Search for a New ParadigmIslamic Philosophy IIThe Question of Ethics: Taha Abderrahmane’s Praxeology and Trusteeship ParadigmIslamic Philosophy III
Classical Islamic philosophy has broadly been a philosophy of reconciliation between reason and revelation. It has tried to differentiate itself from Greek – and now Western philosophy – but it does not seem to have established some other norm than reason as the key to philosophy. Even what is called rational theology, theosophy, and Sufism have all used reason to empower revelation. Yet, some voices of contemporary Islamic philosophy – very few in fact - are trying to re-ground philosophy and its practice, by making ethics, and not reason, the essence of man and philosophy. This view will be presented gradually into three complementary pieces and steps (Islamic Philosophy I, II, III).
The last two centuries (since 1798) have witnessed a lively intellectual revival in Islamic thought, a fact that has impacted all sectors of life, without, at the same time, forming a clear line of thought or a “new paradigm” that overcomes the malaise of either/or, modernity or traditionalism, change or conservatism. Medieval Islam managed to construct a dominant and prosperous “sharia paradigm” for some centuries, a paradigm in which reason and revelation generally worked together. This paradigm was especially enforced politically, and that is how it rooted itself in Islamic history, and medieval history in general.
The previous two pieces (Islamic Philosophy I and II) presented some reflections on the past and present conditions and themes of Islamic thought, philosophy in focus. The present piece, based on two forthcoming papers, introduces a voice that aims at regrounding (i.e. reconstructing) not only Islamic philosophy but philosophy in general, and the way philosophers pose philosophical questions. It sketches out some major aspects of the project of Taha Abderrahmane (b. 1944, Morocco), a leading logician and ethicist in the Arab-Islamic world.
A somewhat bleak survey of American democratic prospects for this year’s American Independence Day begins by reminding us what America was meant to be all about. “By the rude bridge that arched the flood,Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,Here once the embattled farmers stoodAnd fired the shot heard ‘round the world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Concord Hymn,” 1837
In the last few years many international organizations have been implementing youth empowerment activities as a tool to achieve their own strategic objectives. One of most structured efforts in this field is represented by the Arab-European Young Leaders Forum (AEYLF), created in 2009 by the League of Arab States in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria. At the centre of this initiative are emerging leaders representing the civil society, the academia, the media as well as the social and creative economy, carefully selected on the basis of their remarkable achievements and their potential as “multipliers”.
SARAJEVO – Nowadays the body of the young man, who, a century ago, ended the lives of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia sparking an escalation that was to result in World War I, lies in Ciglane, a suburb in central Sarajevo. The body lies in a small chapel with no markings, and is not even shown in tourist guides. The words on the grave written in Cyrillic read: “blessed is he who lives forever as he was not born in vain.”
1. We usually call historical rather than modern societies whose systems of social organization are mainly defined by the resources they use and by their social institutions, which shape these resources in line with key cultural orientations which are first of all social representations and modes of construction of human creation and freedom. Our societies are defined not only by their activities but, even more deeply, by their creations and value-oriented interpretations of their productions, included their own limits. These interpretations are both economically and organizationally situated and universalistic in their meaning: they are cultural constructions of human creativity and of its limits, in materially defined social situations. In the western world - and in other societies – we usually define material situation and the cultural pattern in which we have lived during the two past centuries as the industrial society, in which human creativity and freedom are represented by their capacity to increase the productivity of economic activities.
In her paper entitled The changing face of toleration Susan Mendus critiques the idea of toleration as acknowledgement, which she calls “new toleration”, in opposition to the more classical notion of toleration as not interfering in what we consider an object of disapproval (be these decisions, actions or forms of behaviour). In particular “new toleration” is not, in her opinion, able to answer new questions posed by religious toleration. These are in truth ‘surprisingly’ new issues, when considering that until a decade ago they seemed definitively resolved
The topic of toleration has interested, indeed fascinated, me for nearly 30 years. Twenty-eight years ago, in 1985, I was appointed Morrell Fellow in Toleration at the University of York, and I have continued to work within the Morrell Centre ever since – first as a Research Fellow, then as Director of the Programme, and now as Morrell Professor Emerita. In short, the problem of toleration has occupied much of my working life. However, looking back on the past 30 years, it is interesting to note that the problem of toleration is not at all the same now as it was when I began studying it all those years ago, and my main focus this evening will be on ways in which the problem of toleration has changed and with the new challenges which toleration faces in the modern world. Let me begin, though, by saying something about the way in which the problem of toleration was understood when I first began studying it all those years ago.