Cultures, in Conflict or Dialogue? Alternative Models


Hassan Hanafi


Cultures are living entities, carried by living human beings, and subject to the same laws of life, birth and death, struggle or concord, conflict or dialogue. Every culture has two aspects: a particularist and a universalist. The particularist aspect is the vehicle of self identity and autonomy. The universalist aspect is the common share between the self and the other and the common goal for all humanity. The relation between particularism and universalism resembles the relation between change and permanence. Cultural interaction is the expression of the balance of power between cultures. Dialogue is not only mutual talk, but dialectics between the two partners.

Examples from the two alternative models of “conflict” and “dialogue” are numerous. The challenge is when and under which circumstance does each model occur? The power of Greek Logos was behind the inter-cultural dialogue between Greek philosophy and nascent Islam. The power of domination is behind the cultural interaction between modern Europe and the rest.  This paper examines what are the ways and means to change the model of conflict to the model of dialogue.

Designed by DelGraph 2009 ©mailto:delgraph@gmail.com?subject=email%20subject

Home    About     Speakers     Conference Program    Registration    Contact    Accommodation    Blog     Photos