Quake Shocks Sichuan
Nation demonstrates progress in dealing with severe disaster
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Weekly Watch
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Print Edition> Lifestyle
UPDATED: October 18, 2010 NO. 42 OCTOBER, 2010
The World Needs Dialogue
The dialogues are always conducted first among scholars, since scholars have broader knowledge backgrounds and deeper concerns for social development. But people are the creators of history and they can push the world in a direction of cultural diversification. As long as those who are eager for harmony in human society continue to make efforts, the goal will eventually be achieved.

As you said, such a dialogue is the result of long-term competition. Can the opposing sides be expected to sit together to have a dialogue?

The history of the development of human society and the history of intellect indicate that if we examine the characteristics of the contemporary world with no regard for differences in ideology, state, ethnicity, geography and community—which surely should not interfere with universal principles of justice and equality—we will find that all states, ethnic groups, regions and communities—that is, all human beings—whether in developed or developing nations, hegemonic or post-colonial states, rich or poor, privileged or underprivileged, share basically the same worries and pain.

Industrialization has significantly expanded mankind's vision and has improved the ease and quality of life. Nevertheless, it has also created tension between man and nature, people to people, present and future, and form and substance. In a sense, such tension leads to two rarely contemplated but very practical questions: "What is happiness?" and "What is the destination of mankind?"

In reality, such tension is manifested in the conflict between the accelerating development of science and technology, the insatiable desire for wealth and the fact that human minds need a certain amount of composure and faith and mankind needs not only material life but also spiritual world. Such conflict made people get lost spiritually and resulted in various social problems, which has revealed a horrible future for the mankind. Dialogues among civilizations are not only necessary for weaker nations, ethnic groups, regions and communities suffering from cultural unification; they are also an intrinsic need for developed countries, the rich and the powerful, though they may not have recognized this. Dialogues among civilizations will benefit all the mankind.

The Nishan Forum is the first world civilization forum held by China. Does this mean that Chinese now have more say in civilization dialogues than they used to?

There have been numerous dialogues between Christianity and Islam, in the United States, Spain and Singapore. But Chinese were not involved in the dialogues. We were only observers for the dialogue in Spain. As a member of the observing delegation, Master Xuecheng, a monk from Longquan Temple in Beijing, made a short speech about Buddhist ideas, which raised the interest of other attendants, as it is rare for them to hear voice like his. This made me realize that Chinese culture should hold dialogues with others. So, we decided to hold a forum in China and invite people from different civilizations to communicate with each other and strengthen mutual understanding.

Chinese civilization should and will contribute to the dialogues among civilizations. This is because the Chinese nation is remarkably accommodating and fully committed to harmony and peace. We have the elements of civilization and rich experiences that have helped to sustain the unity and stability of the nation for thousands of years. Much of Chinese civilization can serve as points of reference for other civilizations and be used to supplement, remedy and check Western civilization, which dominates the world. In this way, mankind can build a future civilization that strongly facilitates its own progress and assures global peace and harmony.

For example, in Chinese civilization, unlimited enhancement of moral ethics is considered the highest aspiration for individuals and society. Chinese people consider oneself a part of the universe and others as equals and revere broad benevolence.

Although there has been no national religion, with the worship of a personal god, in China since ancient times, there is awe among people for nature and sages' remarks.

At the Nishan Forum, we hope to promote the study of Confucian thoughts through dialogues. People studying Confucius should also have some knowledge of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Brahmanism and other belief systems. By comparing different cultures we can identify the merit and shortcomings of our own culture. Only in this way can Chinese culture develop in a healthier direction.

The revival of a nation's culture depends on its cultural consciousness, which means that a nation should have a sober, thorough and deep understanding of its own culture. The intellectual elites should shoulder more responsibility for this. Now China has joined many dialogues in the world, but those dialogues did not touch culture and philosophy, which is just indispensable. Thus we need a higher platform for dialogues between different cultures and civilizations.

   Previous   1   2  

Top Story
-Too Much Money?
-Special Coverage: Economic Shift Underway
-Quake Shocks Sichuan
-Special Coverage: 7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Sichuan
-A New Crop of Farmers
Most Popular
Useful Links: CHINAFRICAChina.org.cnCHINATODAYChina PictorialPeople's Daily OnlineWomen of ChinaXinhua News AgencyChina Daily
CCTVChina Tibet OnlineChina Radio Internationalgb timesChina Job.comEastdayBeijing TravelCCNStudy in China
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved