This paper is an elaborated version of the contribution that David Zoletto, a Researcher at the Department of Human Sciences, University of Udine, presented on December 12, 2013 in Milan, for the last meeting of the series of conferences "Words and ideas for a plural world. An intercultural lexicon" sponsored by Reset-DoC and Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation. The 2014 edition of our Milan-dialogues, this year dedicated to the theme of "inclusive citizenship", begins April 17 with a lecture by Constitutional Court Judge Giuliano Amato on "A new season for citizenship in Europe."
Dialogue of Cultures
The subject I am about to address, specifically the relationship between food and religion, between nutrition and the attribution of values to eating rituals carried out by all religions, is a complex one presenting not just a few methodological problems of which it is worth analysing two in particular. The first is linked to the problem of comparison. What should one compare in the infinite landscape of these values? How should one compare the different food customs and ideologies that each tradition is obliged to develop? And, above all, with what objective, posing which questions would allow one to successfully select - within an immense mass of documentation that clearly cannot be checked by an individual specialist – all that will then allow one to observe these practices and feeding customs of specific religious traditions in a productive manner?
By publishing this paper we would like to remember Massimo Rosati, who died on January the 30th, 2013, at the too-young age of 44. A dear friend of Reset-Dialogues, over the years he supported our work and we were discussing a permanent form of cooperation with him involving a series of projects scheduled for the coming months that would have been directed by him. “The Archaic and Us. Ritual, Myth, the Sacred and Modernity" is the paper presented by Massimo Rosati on December 4th, 2013, for the international seminar "Europe, Democracy and Critical Theory. A German-Italian Workshop on Jürgen Habermas’ Theory", organized by Regina Kreide, Walter Privitera and Ilenya Camozzi at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg. Rosati’s Paper sparked a lively discussion with Prof. Habermas and an intense debate with all the participants in the seminar.
Massimo Rosati died suddenly after suffering a stroke. He was not yet 45 years old. “Reset” has lost a friend and a tireless co-worker, with his ideas, his blog and the projects we shared. His death was completely unexpected, and the suddenness of this break in friendly and productive contacts, in working relations, is unbelievable and painful. Until just a short moment ago there were the normal and trivial efforts made to find a suitable date for a conference on “Religion and the web”, or to plan a series of seminars and a book on religion as a “war and peace” factor.
History says a lot about the relationships between Europe and the “broad Middle East,” to preliminarily use the term to mean the Islamic majority countries of North Africa and the Middle East (MENA), and a good part of Asia – from Morocco to Indonesia. The dichotomy of comparing a geographical entity, Europe, with a religious entity, Islam, bears a lot of historical-political tension, and simultaneously conveys the mindset that accepts comparing two entities on two different grounds. Such a “wrong” and “politicized” way of comparisons needs to change, seeing the changes taking place in the Mediterranean basin and world politics.
“It is not secularization pushing us to think about coexistence. We already have enough material about it in our traditions”. On October 10th, this is how Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina introduced his efforts on the roots of pluralism and coexistence within Islam to his audience at Hartford Seminary, an institution whose motto is “Exploring Differences, Deepening Faith.” A clearly energetic, dynamic and charismatic man Abdulaziz Sachedina is a professor of Islamic Studies at Virginia’s George Mason University. Born in Tanzania, he may boast an international academic background having studied in India, Iraq, Iran and Canada. His main fields of interest are related to social and political ethics, interfaith relations and human rights in Islam.
The story of the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha, or Sacrifice Holy Day, goes beyond the symbolic ritual of slaughtering a qurbani to that of exerting the self to a better understanding of God in different times and spaces. The Eid is supposed to bring the questions of liberty and belief into the mind of the believer again and again, for belief is not supposed to be stable, but dynamic. The universe is in movement and so is supposed to be the idea of belief and understanding of God, otherwise the perception of revelation becomes historic and not active – which is not the wisest perception to hold if the believer thinks that the Creator is Great, Merciful, and Just, as some attributes portray Him in Islam.*
New Delhi 10-11-12 October 2013.Click here to download the program of this year's conference:
The Government of Azerbaijan has recently hosted one of this year's main intercultural events: the 2nd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, co-organized by UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the UN World Tourism Organization, ISESCO and the Council of Europe. The initiative, which took place from May 29th to June 1st in Baku, conveyed 534 participants from 85 countries, in order to address the issue of “Living together peacefully in a diverse world”. The Forum, aiming at raising global awareness about the importance of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, has been divided into 3 plenary sessions, 9 workshops, a ministerial meeting and the UNAOC Fellowship Alumni Meeting.
The road towards an Euro-Mediterranean political partnership is currently facing a huge credibility problem, lying on the lack of a common regional stand up regarding the Israeli-Palestinian and the Syrian crises. While governments and regional organizations are facing an impasse, what has been first conceived as a corollary of the process has actually taken the initiative: civil society, in its non-for-profit, professional and academic constituents from all over the region, recently gathered in Marseille in order to identify and discuss possible solutions for the common challenges.
On March 14 Recep Tayyip Erdogan passed the ten-year mark of his premiership. He would have reached it in November but for the fact that at the precise moment in which Turks assigned the Akp the duty to govern their country in November 2002, our man was still serving a sentence banning him from public office. This was triggered by his now celebrated 1997 speech: “Mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets and believers, our soldiers” – he stated while serving as Mayor of Istanbul, protesting against the military’s decision to outlaw the Welfare Party a few months earlier, to which the then first-citizen of the metropolis was affiliated.
Several days following the September 28, 1982 massacre of Sabra and Shatila, the Israel Council of Ministers decided to establish an investigative inquiry commission to probe and to establish Israel’s responsibilities for the events in the Palestinian refugee camps of Beirut. The report of the Commission chaired by Yitzhak Kahan, former head of the Supreme Court, together with Aharon Barak, Supreme Court Justice, and General Yona Efrat, was complete on February 8, 1983. Thirty years later, the Israeli State archives have published the report in full.