On the Art of Intercultural Dialogue. Some Forms, Conditions and Structures

In P. N. Liechtenstein & Ch M. Gueye (eds.), Peace and Intercultural Dialogue. Universitätsverlag Winter (2005)
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Abstract
This essay begins with the claim that intercultural dialogue is an art rather than a science or technique and it attempts to point out what it takes to learn the art of intercultural dialogue. In PART ONE some basic forms of intercultural dialogue are presented which correlate to some basic forms of human life, such as family, politics, economy, science, art and religion. Also a few common traits about how intercultural dialogue is practised today are specified. PART TWO is pointing out that cultural pluralism is not merely a political ideology, but rather a realistic political attitude towards the social realities in all cultures. Cultural pluralism means to accept that a certain variety of different forms of life is existing already within every culture, country or nation. Further it it argued that any society whether it is governed by a modern democracy or by a more traditional political system, such as a monarchy, needs some ethical, legal and political orientation in order to guarantee civil liberties, but also to limit civil, economic and political freedom. A common normative orientation being based on ethical ideals, principles, norms and values can only be established by philosophy and jurisprudence and neither by science nor by religion and neither by democracy nor by economy alone. Finally, PART THREE presents and discusses shortly a few reflections about three philosophical models of dialogue by Buber, Jaspers and Gadamer which are relevant to intercultural dialogue, to interreligious dialogue and last, but not least to philosophical dialogue.
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