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Intercultural
Lexicon

Revolution

Though its semantic origins are pre-modern, revolution has been a fundamental category of the interpretation of modern times.

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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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Refugees

Transnational migrations and global interdependence challenge the liberalism of western countries, which is becoming increasingly national and less universal.

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Secularisation and Post-Secularisation

“Secularisation” means the process that has above all characterised western countries during the contemporary era and led to the progressive abandonment of religious rules and sacral kinds of behaviour..

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The Armenians

The Armenians descend from Indo-European populations who, between the 7th and 6th century B.

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

Philosophy and Religion

Politics and Religion

Part II: Context and Features of Trust State in Fifteen Arguments

Mohammed Hashas

Below, we outline fifteen arguments in support of this call for a new reform and form of the State in the Arab political domain.


Philosophy and Religion

Political Legitimacy and Islam in the Ottoman Empire: Lessons Learned

Karen Barkey

This article explores the role of religion in Ottoman political legitimation. It shows that the Ottoman rulers were interested in a much more expansive, diverse form of political legitimation that included Islamic religious legitimation, but also used toleration and sultanic law to construct a more capacious form of political legitimation that included Muslim and non-Muslim populations of the empire.


Philosophy and Religion

Ashis Nandy: Why Nationalism and Secularism Failed Together

An interview by Giancarlo Bosetti

October 2016, New Delhi – MilanAshis Nandy sees vendors of nationalism inflicting damage all over the world, including in his own country, India. In India, the modern ideologies dominant during the liberation struggle against British rule were anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism. These then gave way to secular nationalism after Independence in 1947, under the first Prime Minister of free India, Jawaharlal Nehru (d. 1964). But less than seven decades later, what dominates Indian politics today is Hindu nationalism or “Hindutva”, and this is now being aggressively promoted by the 'strongman' currently leading the government in Delhi, Narendra Modi. Nandy, 79, a clinical psychologist by training, an analyst of culture and society, an astute political commentator and today India's most significant living public intellectual, has embraced the view of one of India’s founding fathers, Rabindranath Tagore, who thought that the idea of Indian nationalism was as absurd as Switzerland having a navy. In this interview below, Nandy will explain why.


Philosophy and Religion

The paradox of the Holy texts
where violent people look for legitimation

Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan and Ed Kessler

Christianity has been part of the essential fabric of the Middle East for two thousand years. Far from being a Western import as some, incredibly, now seem to suggest, it was born here and exported as a gift to the rest of the world. Christian communities have been intrinsic to the development of Arab culture and civilisation.


Philosophy

Death took them in 2010: let’s celebrate their legacy

Brahim El Guabli

From Reset-DoC's Archive - For people of the Maghreb, or at least for those who are interested in the intellectual life, 2010 will undisputedly be associated with the heaviest harvest of intellectual and political figures of the region. As if death plotted against the region and decided to take away the emblematic figures of a glorious period of intellectual and political life. Mohamed Abid Al Jabiri, Edmond Emran El Maleh and Abraham Serfaty from Morocco; Mohamed Arkoun and Tahar Ouettar from Algeria and Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd from Egypt, took their leave in 2010. As much as these intellectuals’ works are widely studied in Western academia, especially in Europe and America, they remain unknown to large sections of the Arab world. Many factors inform this ignorance. First, the objective discontinuities that exist in terms of free circulation of knowledge between the Mashriq (the east of the Arab world) and the Maghreb (the west). Second, the historical jealousies that have always existed between the two sides of the Arab world. (This article was published on Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations in 2011)


IT Philosophy and Religion

Lost in Linguistics: Abdou Filali-Ansary

By Nina zu FürstenbergAccording to Filali-Ansary, religion provides a cohesive contribution to collective life in the Arab world, as religion does for many Christians in Western countries. The presence of religion can thus be invoked to oppose excesses of individualism, consumerism, and capitalism, without necessarily compromising the secularity of political institutions.


IT Philosophy and Religion

Liberal Democracy in Islam: Abdolkarim Soroush

By Giancarlo BosettiDue to the importance of his reformist religious perspective, many journalists have described him as “Islam’s Luther,” perhaps explained by the fact that in the Shiite tradition, unlike the Sunnis, there is the presence of the clergy and its earthly power. Soroush is a theoretician of freedom and individual rights, and he is a critic of the theological tradition that has justified power through transcendence, thereby sanctifying centuries of tyranny.


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.


IT AR Philosophy and Religion

Fu'ad Zakariyya's liberal rationalism

By Nicola MissagliaThe Egyptian philosopher insists that an intellectual “renaissance” in the contemporary Arab world, similar to the one that influenced the western world in the 15th and 16th centuries, would necessarily have to involve the Muslim’s re-appropriation of their own historicity, opposing the “hypostatization” of the past and the Islamic legacy.


IT DE Switzerland

Secularism, Post-Secularism, Religion and the ‘Open Society’

Reinhard Schulze

The open, secular society threatens to turn into a laical one when the state takes on the function of an religio-juridical regulatory body. In this doubled fragmentation of both society and religion, the state is assigned a role which, within the classical liberal social order, had never been its due. This laical transformation of claims is much more than a mere extrapolation of the religio-political model that became the law in France over 100 years ago; it is a model of order which is based on statements on the truth of religion. In the example of Islam, this can be seen quite clearly: advocates of the ban on minarets justified their demands by stating that they knew ‚the truth of Islam’.


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.


Archive

The case of Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd

Abdou Filali-Ansary

From our archive - At the end of the day, we find ourselves, again, in a familiar position. Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd held a moral high ground and commanded respect from most scholars, but was prevented from being heard by those who needed to learn from him. The artificial polarisation and tension around him prevented even serious criticism from those who could assess his work with expertise. The motives alleged to justify his ordeal will always sound ridiculous. (This article was published on Reset-DoC in August, 2010)


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