Cross-cultural dialogue





In the contradiction between one’s own interests and indifference toward Others, dialogue is the voice of responsibility and of recollection.
As a human achievement with the ability to intervene in the natural state of affairs, the logical sequence, and the inevitability of events and social structures, dialogue is a cultural fact.For those cultures that engage in dialogue the prospect of finding universal peace – “shalom” – is on the horizon, emerging from the construction of a world composed of an immense variety of cultures. The individuals who belong to these cultures succeed in recognising part of their own dreams and plans in those of Others. Peace is not the result of eliminatory rounds of discussion, nor of functionalist or integrationist complementarities. We therefore propose a new model: an admixture of coordinated differences. It’s the utopian vision of the meeting of opposites. This admixture of coordinated differences overcomes the violence of a global concept which, in fact, represents a dominant mass culture; it also overcomes the post-modern gulf which exploits indifference to isolate diverse environments and it rebuffs the profit-seeking goal so typical of the cooperative and operational formulae on which many projects are based.
Dialogue as an “admixture of coordinated differences” can be found in music, but also in religions, in science and in ethics; it leads to the realisation that a global scale does not necessarily sing the same song to the same tune. What it brings is sharper hearing, the heightened awareness of all our senses, providing us all with a strange and remarkable insight and an increasing ability to become involved. Cross-cultural dialogue is not an argument over truth or who is in the right, but a busy interchange of “truth-telling” that illuminates open questions and unfinished ideas from different angles. Subjected to the new light of an admixture of coordinated differences, such ideas and questions enable irreconcilable differences to be transformed into the opposite, but constructive, poles of a single work in progress. In an admixture of coordinated differences, each culture seizes the critical moment in time to contribute a flood of historic recollection and preserves at least part of the longings of Others, signalling, through its growing involvement and egalitarian cooperation, the possibility of a new mode of conduct.





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