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The process resulting in the definition of one’s own identity – hence an “us” – in an oppositional manner by, explicitly or implicitly comparing ourselves with “others”, is considered a universal movement in every society.

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The Kurds

An ethnic and linguistic minority in the Near East, the Kurds now live divided between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, in a region unofficially known as Kurdistan, where they have always been the object of persecution and oppression.

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The Diaspora

Literally a diaspora is the “dispersion of a people leaving their homeland and migrating in various directions”.

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The Honor Code

Appeals to personal honor often seem to belong to the past, conjuring images of gentlemen in wigs dueling at dawn; or worse, of blood-soaked Achaeans storming the walls of Troy.

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The United Nations

The Organization of the United Nations is the largest international organisation and in fact includes almost all the states existing on the planet. There are currently 192 member states. The seat of the UN is in New York and the current Secretary General is the South Korean Ban Ki-Moon..

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A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding

Dialogue of Cultures

FR Philosophy and Religion

Dupuis, the “heretical” thinker of religious pluralism. A book reopens his case

Giancarlo Bosetti

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.”

In memory of the philosopher on his 78th anniversary

Mohammed Abed al-Jabri: the Future of the Arab World?

Mohammed Hashas

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.

Philosophy and Religion

Islamic Philosophy in the Age of Ethical Malaise and Local Turmoil

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

Philosophy and Religion

Past and Present Conditions for Existence and Difference

Islamic Philosophy I

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).

Philosophy and Religion

The Moderns and Contemporaries in Search for a New Paradigm

Islamic Philosophy II

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.

Philosophy and Religion

The Question of Ethics: Taha Abderrahmane’s Praxeology and Trusteeship Paradigm

Islamic Philosophy III

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[1], 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.

Culture and society in the United States

American Civic Republicanism: What Went Wrong?

Jim Sleeper, Yale University

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  


Intercultural dialogue: the potential of emerging leaders

Lorenzo Kihlgren Grandi

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”.

First World War

Sarajevo 1914-2014, When Memory Divides

Rodolfo Toè

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.”

Toleration dossier

For a Post-Sociological Analysis
of Political Life

Alain Touraine, EHESS Paris

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.

Toleration dossier

Discussing Toleration After Susan Mendus

Roberta Sala, University of Milan San Raffaele

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

Toleration dossier

The Changing Face of Toleration

Susan Mendus, University of York

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.

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