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1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Editors Editorial
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2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Wacław Hryniewicz Hope for Man and the Universe. On Some Forgotten Aspects of Christian Universalism
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The paper attempts to show that Christian hope is not a product of religious fantasy. It finds today an ally in the dialogue with the natural sciences which started in recent years on the topic of the ultimate destiny of the world. The natural sciences have confirmed that the universe is doomed to physical annihilation. Humanity with its cultural riches, scientists say, is only an episode in universal history and doomed to perish. Hence, if the Earth is nothing more than an island of rationality in a cosmic void, then the only thing we can do is to keep up a heroic attitude worthy of human beings towards our own fragile existence. Contemporary science’s visions of the future are pessimistic: abundant, though short-lived, evolution culminating in a sense of final futility and the ultimate destruction of all life in the universe. Such forecasts question religion’s claims for the eschatological transformation of all creation. Christian eschatology does not accept, however, reductionist presuppositions about the very nature of reality. The universe contains levels of meaning far richer than what we have been able to discover sofar. Theology’s task is not to provide easy consolation, or generate false hopes. It has a good reason to avoid catastrophism, and maintain calm in its strivings to keep up our faith in God’s concern for the destiny of all His creatures. Theologians have to take a serious stand on the very concept of finitude, furthered by natural and social sciences. This, in turn, will require critical review of such concepts as the world’s future in God, hope and new creation. This effort must be undertaken in dialogue with the scientific views of the world’s finitude. Both sides are prone to stereotype judgements and shallow answers which must be corrected in consideration of the complexity of the issue at hand. Christian theology has to justify its claim to truth, but certainly not by launching battles with science. Christian hope shows the new creation not as annihilation and destruction of the old but as its ultimate transfiguration and salvific transformation. It speaks about the paradox of continuity/discontinuity in this new universe’s emergence. Special attention is paid in the paper to the “logical” structure of matter. If the world ofultimate events is, in fact, to be a new world of the resurrection, created by transition into new reality, then certain scientific suggestions and data on the present world’s processes could prove helpful in grasping the truly cosmic dimensions of Christian hope. Crucial here will not so much be particular data but rather a sort of meta-science allowing the deduction of general concepts from the detailed achievements of scientific research. Such generalized insights include today the following elements: 1) the dynamic concept of physical reality, 2) the relationality of its processes and, 3) a deeper understanding of the complexity of matter/energy as carriers of a specific information-bearing pattern. It appears that there are some similarities in science’s and theology’s strivings for a deeper understanding of the truth of reality, which continues to evade our theories and teaches us modesty. Neither method nor concept has yet managed to explaineverything. There exists no universal key to a comprehensive interpretation. The postulate to avoid reductionism in approaching the manifold richness of reality is addressed to scientists and theologians alike.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Władysław Stróżewski Rev. Wacław Hryniewicz: Hope Teaches Differently
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These are reflections on Rev. Professor Hryniewicz’s substantial essay presented by an eminent historian of philosophy.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Krzysztof Gawlikowski From False “Western Universalism” Towards True “Universal Universalism”
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The article outlines tragic consequences of wrong, Euro- and Americano-centric views of the world, with the military intervention “to introduce democracy” in Iraq as its most recent example. The study presents the roots of “false universalism” identified with Western civilization, the intricate way of dialogue among civilizations as leading towards a true “universal universalism”, which considers all civilizations as valuable sources and treats them as equal. The reasons and consequences of the Western and American domination in the world, including the cultural dimension, and some fundamental characteristics of the Western civilization are also outlined. Some indications are presented how the future universal civilization could evolve, and how to deal with the differences of values. The problem of human rights and of democracy is also discussed.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Emilyia Velikova, Zbigniew Wendland Reasoning in Faith: Reflections from 20th Seminar in Washington
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In the period from September 15, 2004 to November 15, 2004 there took place a 10-week philosophical seminar, which for some time has been organized every fall by The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy and The Center for the Study of Culture and Values—both institutions associated with The Catholic University of America in Washington.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Andrew Targowski The Civilization Index
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Before one can speculate about a new world order and “a clash of civilizations”, or “the end of history”, it is necessary to develop an appropriate set of measures to compare human competition in world politics and economy. Components and the generic model of an autonomous civilization is defined for eight civilizations recognized at the beginning of the 21st century. Each component of contemporary civilizations is numerically estimated in order to construct the civilization index. A comparative analysis of 8 civilizations’ indexes is provided in order to define strategies for the civilization development within 3 zones of encounters: clashes, modernization, and westernization. Two layers of world civilizations are defined and the dynamics of world civilization at the beginning of the 3rd Millennium is modeled. Based on that dynamics, the challenges for civilizations and peoples conclude the paper.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Michael H. Mitias Universalism as a Metaphilosophy
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In this article I offer an account of what it means for Universalism to be a metaphilosophy. I first argue that traditional philosophical systems and views suffer from two main defects. First, they are closed, in the sense that they have made their final judgment on what the world is like. Second, they are mostly Eurocentric; regardless of their attempt to be objective and universalist in their orientation, they express the European values, beliefs, and world views. As a metaphilosophy, Universalism is an open concept. It recognizes that our knowledge of the world is an on-going process of discovery. It does not attempt to synthesize or reject the variety of religious, ideological, and philosophical views and approaches; on the contrary, it seeks to provide a universal conceptual framework within which these views and approaches can thrive and dialogue with each other. The structure of this framework is made up of the universal features of nature and human nature. Accordingly the universal is not an ideal or natural or metaphysical essence of some kind. The universal is made, and it is made collectively by scholars from the different academic disciplines. This is why Universalism aspires to articulate the most comprehensive vision of the world. In this attempt it tries to grasp the highest fruits of all the achievements of the human spirit in religion, ideology, philosophy, and culture. I also discuss two more important features of Universalism as a metaphilosophy: co-creation and metanoia.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Tadeusz Kowalik Systemic Diversity of Modern Capitalism
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The article analyzes the scope and depth of systemic differences between national economies in the modern world, focusing on the experience of Central Europe in the process of the enlargement of European Union. The core argument of the article is that the world needs not one model of development, but more diversity and more experimentation, encouraging entrepreneurship and institutional change. There is no one best model that can be implemented in any country, independent of its tradition and culture. Globalization as well as integration is, beyond certain limits, harmful to future development.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Gary B. Madison Global Ontologies
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This paper examines various views—religious, scientific, philosophical—on the meaning and significance of world history. The view it defends is a phenomenological, non-metaphysical one, i.e., it is one that does not seek to understand history in the light of end-states lying beyond time and history but which seeks, rather, to lay bare the logic at work within the contingency of events. Taking as its focus the phenomenon of globalization, the paper seeks to make explicit the global ontology that is implicit in philosophical hermeneutics. The thesis it defends in this regard is that, to the degree that it prevails and by reason of a kind of “functional necessity,” globalization is capable of bringing into being a global ethic of mutuality and reciprocity.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Cezary G. Cerekwicki The Practice of International Cooperation in the Third Sector
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In this paper I describe three similar projects, and investigate origins of their success. All of them are non-governmental and non-profit voluntary international initiatives that developed from small local projects. I claim that the basis of their success is universality of their underlying philosophy.
11. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Jan Danecki, Maria Danecka, Maciej Bańkowski At the Roots of Global Threats: Development Dilemmas
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Political relations in today’s world are in a deep, perhaps even radically threatening disequilibrium; similarly, humanity’s home—the Earth—is treated with disdain and contempt despite its increasingly angry protests. Moreover, the rules and principles by which most of the world runs its economic affairs and strives to “modernize” its life are founded on a set of market laws devoid of all social context and only serve to deepen the dangerous contrasts between small islands of wealth and a sea of humanity doomed to poverty and alienation.
reviews and notes
12. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Tadeusz Kowalik America in an Age of Settling Accounts
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13. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Magdalena Borowska The Essence of Art and Artistic Creation: The Post-Modern Vision of the Path to a “Community of the Future”
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14. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Our Contributors
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15. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Ashes and Diamonds of European Historicity
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i. the absurdities of the situation, the meaning of struggle
16. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Aleksander Gieysztor, Ewa Gieysztor Introduction to the Conference “The Meaning of Polish History”, Royal Castle, Warsaw, November 4, 1988
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The State and the nation belong to the ideas created by the common consciousness, and at the same time, as a true forma formans, have connotations to the world of predominance, influencing the reality. There exist such strong connections, that their understanding is an intellectual duty of those who research nowadays the social links and try to explain them to the contemporary audience.
17. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Aleksander Gieysztor, Aleksandra Rodzińska-Chojnowska The Warsaw Uprising in the Europe of 1944
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The debate on the Warsaw uprising has been conducted for fifty years now, showing deep differences of attitudes and judgments. To explain a defeat is always difficult. For sure—as in the case of the partitions of Poland’s territory at the end of the eighteenth century—some of the reasons for the defeat lie in the fact that the two invaders drastically outnumbered Polish forces. Other reasons may be due to those macro-political decisions which, once made, sentenced Poland to the fate of a satellite within the eastern empire. What could be called the official stance on this subject proclaimed in the country, was reduced to stigmatizing the irresponsible, but tragic in its consequences—quotation from Stalin—“political adventure”. The political leaders and military commanders were unequivocally condemned. At the same time, the legend of the Warsaw Uprising first smoldered, and then started growing. At first, based on the oral tradition, later, fighting its way to publication, being revealed in exile, persevering in the country, the legend, which sought in the uprising the values worth passing to sons and latergrandsons. A complicated and different picture of the uprising’s motivations has been formulated in journalistic publications, hundreds of memoirs, scientific papers, and during meetings with the growing participation of younger historians.
18. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Władysław Bartoszewski, Ewa Gieysztor The Warsaw Uprising: Facts and Afterthoughts
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Sixty years that have passed since the Warsaw Uprising are meaningful on the life scale of human generations. The Uprising, planned for 2 or 3 days, lasted in fact for 63 days. That fact astounded the military experts and was even noticed by the German high command, which has to be mainly ascribed to the exceptional tension of patriotism of the soldiers and the population.The Germans suffered especially great losses on the average around 1,900 weekly, almost twice as many as during the highest intensity of fighting in 1944/45. On our side the losses were estimated at 18,000 dead (or missing) and about 6,500–7,000 wounded insurgents. However, the Warsaw Uprising and the whole nation counted around 150,000 dead among the civilians.During the two months of the uprising 25% of the pre-war buildings in Warsaw were destroyed, mainly due to the barbarian practice of burning the whole streets. Against the conditions of the capitulation agreement just signed, the majority of historical monuments were burned down.In Warsaw, the tradition of sacrifices and solidarity in action, bravery and the deep attachment to liberty, manifested in September 1939, was alive and brought results all the time of war through the acts of the patriotic resistance organizations. The leaders of the Warsaw Uprising belonged to the resistance fighters before World War I and during it. The battle for independence was their curriculum vitae, and the majority of the uprising participants, the youth, was educated in the independent Polish Republic, in respect for patriotic traditions of independence fights and insurrections.Jerzy Kirchmajer believes that the Warsaw Uprising was an error, as it did not suit the Soviets; Jan Ciechanowski from London—that it was against the plans of the British ally. It is said sometimes that the Uprising started without calculating the possibility of a helping hand.Faith played a major role during the Uprising. The clergy helped the community every way they could.
19. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Jerzy R. Krzyżanowski The Unforgettable 1944
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The events occurring in Poland in 1944 are discussed here as the story of Home Army [AK] unfolds in its dramatic developments taking place during that year. Starting with south-eastern provinces the gradual Soviet incursion moved toward the north-east, and eventually to central Poland, everywhere affecting the actions of AK aimed at liberation of Poland. The ensuing conflict culminated in the Warsaw Uprising in August and September when the Soviets refused to help AK in order to promote their own choice for Poland’s government. The author participated in many of the events presented, thus being able to recall them as an eyewitness.
20. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Józef Szajna, Agata Trzcińska Sense and Nonsense
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These are reflections of an outstanding artist on his traumatic experience in the time of war and hatred through overcoming suffering and anguish towards a radical change of mentality: reconciliation is what we vitally need today as we are all responsible for the fate of the world.