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Intercultural contributions from French-speaking Africa
For years the fact that the debate on science and religion was not related to cultural diversity was considered only a minor issue. However, lately, there is a growing concern that the dominance of ‘Western’ perspectives in this field do not allow for new understandings. This book testifies to the growing interest in the different cultural embeddings of the science and religion interface and proposes a framework that makes an intercultural debate possible. This proposal is based on a thorough study of the ‘lived theology’ of Christian students and university professors in Abidjan, Kinshasa and Yaoundé. The outcomes of the field research are related to a worldwide perspective of doing theology and a broader scope of scholarly discussions.
For the writers and artists in In-Between Identities: Signs of Islam in Contemporary American Writing, contemporary Muslim American identity is neither singular nor fixed. Rather than dismiss the tradition in favor of more secular approaches, however, all of the figures here discover in Muhammad’s revelation resources for affirming such uncertainty. For them, the Qur’anic notion of a divine “sign” validates creation, even that creativity born of contrasting if not competing assumptions about identity. To develop this claim, individual chapters in the book discuss Muslim faith in the work of poets Naomi Shihab Nye, Kazim Ali, Tyson Amir and Amir Sulaiman; novelists Mohja Kahf, Rabih Alameddine, and Willow Wilson; illustrator Sandow Birk; playwright Ayad Akhtar; and the online record of the 30 Mosques in 30 Days project.

African Philosophy is related to the need for the self-reflective contextualisation of philosophy in a multicultural society. African Philosophy, understood as a family name for all the diverse articulations of philosophy from within and for the cultural contexts of Africa, is significant in this regard as it exemplifies in a paradigmatic way the historical and cultural contingency or con-textual particularity of philosophy. It is argued that a similar, though more complicated self-reflective contextualisation of philosophy is what is called for in present-day societies. By analysing the logic of modernity it is argued that modernisation and the increasing globalisation of modern culture does not mean increasing cultural homogeneity, but the extension of cultural differences and multiculturalism to a common feature of societies. In conclusion a few preliminary remarks are made about the impact of multiculturalism on philosophy and how philosophy may contribute towards the self-understanding and well-being of multicultural societies.

In: Crossroad Discourses between Christianity and Culture

Privatization, the liberal political strategy for handling religious differences, has been criticized for hegemonically privileging a secularist worldview and for refusing to provide full public scope to the plurality of religious traditions that exist in contemporary democratic societies. For these and other reasons, it is important to explore alternatives to privatization that do not thereby neglect the importance of maintaining citizen solidarity in these societies. This essay explores the potential that amor mundi, a fundamental theme of Hannah Arendt’s political philosophy, has for addressing this vexing issue. In doing so, it also asks whether Arendt’s thematization of the human position between past and future, amidst the demise of tradition, holds any lessons for contemporary Christians. What would it mean for today’s Christian to love a world that has, for both good and ill, become what it is, from out of a past that remains to be discovered, in its full plurality and natal potentiality? Can Christian faith, at the end of the day, do without amor mundi?

In: Crossroad Discourses between Christianity and Culture
In: Roots and Routes
In: Roots and Routes
In: Roots and Routes

Beginning with Western Europe, the world has changed in the last two centuries in a way unprecedented in human history. We must view not only the secularization process but also religious resurgence and pluralism against this background. Modernization is the basic cause of a dramatic transformation in many areas of life, including religion. It encompasses and nourishes other processes such as urbanization, migration, individualization and the media revolution, all of which have consequences for the religious situation. In this article, the map and geology of the current religious landscape in modern Europe are explored. The perspective is that of social science or, more specifically, the cultural anthropology of religion. It is suggested that current believers have to find their way through a series of repertoires that provide models or schemas for their meaningful place in modern culture and society. The range of views and options is sketched briefly. The unique and ambiguous nature of our era is reflected in present signification processes and their outcome.

In: Crossroad Discourses between Christianity and Culture
In: Roots and Routes

This contribution will explore the moral and philosophical problems corporations meet when, in a pluralist world, they want to stimulate intrinsic motivation for moral behaviour in their employees. The aftermath of the financial crisis especially shows that extrinsic motivation alone is not enough. To face the many complex moral challenges in business, employees also need to be internally inspired to do the good. But most methods for moral training do not transcend the level of sanctions and rewards. The main reason for this restriction is that corporations also want to meet the requirements of a free society. The source of intrinsic motivation originates from one of the many (religious or secular) worldviews. In a pluralist organisation such ideals cannot be imposed on employees with different ideas. The leading question in this contribution will be if it is possible to include intrinsic motivation in moral training while respecting the requirements of a free and pluralist society. I will examine contemporary strategies for integrity management such as compliance, corporate governance, religious and spiritual ways, value-oriented approaches and competence management. I will conclude by giving some suggestions for changing moral attitudes in an intrinsic way.

In: Crossroad Discourses between Christianity and Culture