On September 10-12, 2009, I had the privilege of attending the 7th Interdependence Day in Istanbul, Turkey. A rare moment of pleasure, meeting like-minded scholars or artists from all over the world, trying to make a difference in the international debate…As usual, here are my notes which I’d like to share with you…
About the Keynote: it was simply essential and vibrant; Parekh, Biku. “Interdependence Day: Keynote Address.” Paper presented at the Art, Religion, and the City in the Developing World of Interdependence, Istanbul 2009.
We are interdependent.3 main issues:
1) Prosperity depends on other countries prosperity;
3) Moral and cultural interdependence
Multiculturalism is not absolutely true or correct if it doesn’t dialogue with other civilisation and cultures.
Ethics and politics of solidarity
Barber’s point with the IDDay concept was to build up a network and movement recognizing interdependence…what are the specific forms for that interdependence?
Religion: Matters to lots of people whether we believe or not. It’s a shaper of civilisation, an integral part of it! It leads to conflicts when it’s centered on its own perspective and it can create unity when it deals with a transcendental humanity, a common human brotherhood.
One major question: why should religion (THE finder of THE revelation) dialogue with another religion holding the same standpoint…except in the perspective of proselytism. In fact, the transcendental principle is only partly reflected in each religion. We need both inter and intra religious dialogue;
Development: has increasingly been equated with economic prosperity. Social, moral development have been set apart and should be included into the notion of development, not only economy. We should be focused, not on GDP or GNP but on a well-being index (how can we cash on it?). A normative sense of development should include all aspects of humanity.
Women: Almost all religions have been patriarcal. Yet all of them have given, built into them, the recognition of women. Nevertheless, discrimination exists!
How can we exploit fully emancipation sources of our civilization. There cannot be a unique definition of full gender equality.Cannot apply worldwide.
CONCLUSION: How do you recognize difference? Women are asked to pay a heavy price by being asked to be men as well as women!
open question for this conference: Self-chosen difference and equality!
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