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Intercultural
Lexicon

Ethnocentrism

While empathy breaks down the barriers of borders, ethnocentrism – the supposed superiority of one’s own cultural world – is addressed at strengthening them, and if possible, at raising new ones.

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Cosmopolitism

It is the philosophical and political concept that extends the ideas of citizenship and homeland to the whole world and to all humankind, opposing the particularity of nations and national states.

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Enlightenment

In the strictest sense Enlightenment means the cultural movement of philosophical origins that spread through Europe after the beginning of the 18th Century until the French revolution and that is characterised by trust in reason and its clarifying power.

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Democracy

In the Greek polis the meaning of the term “democracy” implied the government of a vast majority of the people, the “plebs”, as opposed to the aristocracy.

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Anti-semitism

The use of the expression anti-Semitism to indicate hostility towards the Jews – only the Jews and not as generally thought towards all “Semitic” people – dates back to the second half of the 19th Century, when the word, a neologism derived from linguistics, was spread throughout...

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

Philosophy and Religion

IT AR Nasr Abu Zayd

A pioneer for democracy

Fred Dallmayr

What was his offense? He had not directly rebelled against or attacked the government. But he did something much more far-reaching: he claimed the right of the free interpretation of scriptures (not arbitrary, but free and responsible interpretation).


Philosophy and Religion

Khaled Abou El Fadl, Interpreting Islamic Law

Egyptian Khaled Abou El Fadl is one of the most authoritative figures of Islamic juridical culture and is currently a Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law at UCLA’s School of Law, where he teaches and lectures on human rights, Islam compared to liberal constitutions, security and terrorism.


IT AR Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd

Farewell, Master of critical thought

Sadik Al-Azm

Nasr is the very up to date descendant of the long line of courageous, bold, outspoken and critical Arab intellectuals, dating back to Qassim Amin from the end of the 19th century, who adopted and vehemently defended the most enlightened, progressive and advanced positions of their times on the major issues vexing Arab and Muslim societies to this very moment, such as progress, renewal, development, education, women’s emancipation, secularism, democracy, human rights, heritage, Islam, modernity, science, rationality and so on.


R. Jahanbegloo and A. Chakrabarti in India

Philosophical investigations in Delhi: about moral choices, intellectual honesty and political freedom

Ananya Vajpeyi, CSDS

Delhi - In the weeks just before and after the new year, when the overall atmosphere of the capital was vitiated on account of the government’s attempts to override Christmas as a Christian observance and an official holiday, replacing it with a so-called “Good Governance Day” and the birth anniversaries of Madan Mohan Malaviya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, brief visits by two eminent philosophers provided some relief. The visitors were the Bengali philosopher, Arindam Chakrabarti, who teaches at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, and the Iranian philosopher, Ramin Jahanbegloo, who teaches at York University in Canada. Both lectured at public fora, met with students and scholars, and brought to the denizens of beleaguered Delhi a much-needed reminder of the importance of philosophy as the core of humanistic intellectual inquiry and democratic dissent.


Philosophy and Religion

Muhammad Sa’id Al-Ashmawi: Against Islamic Extremism

By Nicola MissagliaOften described as “one of the most influential contemporary liberal Muslim intellectuals”, together with the Syrian Sadik Al-Azm and the Egyptian philosopher Fu’ad Zakariyya,  Al-Ashmawi – who is also Egyptian – belongs to the category of secular or secularist Muslim thinkers clearly against the “extremist” emphasis of the Islamic religion’s political role.


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

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. 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.


IT AR Nasr Abu Zayd

Portrait of an Islamic freethinker

Ramin Jahanbegloo

I first met Nasr Abu Zayd at Reset Istanbul Seminars in 2009. His lifeline reads like one long relationship with truth. One might honestly characterize Nasr Abu Zayd as a truth seeker. He was a scholar who had risked everything to restore the tradition of truth seeking in Islam. His work is an indispensable tool for Muslims themselves so they can wage their struggle for enlightenment and reform of their faith tradition.


IT Women

Shirin Ebadi, battling for rights

By Nicola MissagliaJurist and Nobel Prize winner Ebadi took the lead in sponsoring an International Women’s Day in Iran, as well as a series of protest events against Iranian family law. In addition to having published numerous books, among them, Iran Awakening, A Memoir of Revolution and Hope (Milan 2006), as well as The Golden Cage, Three Brothers, Three Choices, One Destiny (Milan 2008), Ebadi founded the Defenders of Human Rights Centre in Iran and the Society for Protecting the Child's Rights. These two organizations are NGOs for the defence of human rights, which focus on strengthening the legal status of women and children in Iran.


Philosophy and Religion

Ahmad Moussalli, Democracy and Human Rights Within Islam

By Nicola MissagliaAs for the Sudanese philosopher Abdullahi al-Na’im, issues linked to democracy and human rights in Islam are central in the ideas expressed by Ahmad Moussalli, a professor of Political Science and Islamic Studies at the American University in Beirut.


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

Ali Abderraziq, Spirituality versus Power in Islam

By Nina zu Fürstenberg and Giancarlo BosettiThe Egyptian theologian Ali Abderraziq (1888-1966) owes his importance to the fact that he was one of the most authoritative authors in the Muslim juridical and theological field who set out the basis for a separation between the spiritual-religious dimension and the temporal characteristics of power.


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