Yasin Ceylan, Ankara
Islam and Global Dialogue
Islam and Global Dialogue
Man by nature seeks consensus. But the means he manipulates for this end do not always serve the purpose. Human history is full of momentous events whereby certain individuals or groups have endeavoured to effect an agreement but the consequences of these events have far exceeded the innocence of their initiators. Religions or belief systems have always occupied a significant place in man’s struggle for consensus. Some contemporary intellectuals have stressed the importance of interreligious communication to the degree that without a factual understanding between the adherents of various world religions, they claim, the future of mankind will remain under threat.1
However, it is ironic that despite persistent attempts by the adherents of many religions in history, to implement a universal belief system for all humanity, a common ground for intercultural dialogue was first brought into reality, though not at a desired level, by secular states and institutions in the last two centuries, in which period religious assertions and differences were put aside. The proponents of secularism were arguing that all medieval religious strife was finally over, and that humanity was at the verge of a new era, when scientific inquiry was the new occupation of the minds. All obstacles between man and the knowledge of nature were at last eliminated. This knowledge was further idealized and imbued with a semi-religious zeal, which was termed as scientism, a substitute for the abandoned beliefs.2
But the hopes attached to this new phenomenon were not fulfilled. Happiness and peacefulness of mind as ends for mankind have not yet been achieved. So a new attempt of search for a better system has now arisen, and many publications from both Western and non-Western countries are appearing. The common themes in all these works are that the heydays of modernity are over, and that a movement of deconstructivism is already underway. The name which commonly used for this new era is postmodernism.3
In this new period a considerable interest has been aroused for various social matters, among which traditions and belief systems that make the crux of worldviews, are the most discussed issues. Moreover, certain religious movements both in the Muslim and the Christian worlds are other indications that the old-abandoned beliefs for the sake of modernity are reappearing and that all reservations against non-scientific matters adopted during modernity are no longer at work.
Another characteristic of this new beginning is that scholars have begun to notice that the subjugation of social studies to the methodology of scientific inquiry is wrong. Therefore, social matters where human beings are agents but not physical objects, require a methodology of their own. This new approach to social phenomena which is yet in the making, may include any perspective that contributes to the analysis of events caused by human interaction, except the principle of deterministic causality which renders human beings to properties of nature deprived of will and feelings.
Another implicit inference that can be deduced from the developments of the last few decades is that science and scientific activity cannot determine man’s fate, and that it will be unjust to give primacy to man’s need for the knowledge of nature at the expense of other major needs that man manifest as a complex rational being. It has almost become commonplace that the logic that dominates scientific occurrences is not applicable to other human areas of activity. Thus, scientific and technological achievements cannot compensate for failure in other major areas.
As a result of such developments new attempts have come into play to forge novel social theories to explain the roots of social crises found in the societies dominated by the western culture. These attempts are not confined to specific disciplines such as philosophy, sociology or religion; but almost in all related fields fresh inquiries are being made. Some of the expressions prevalent among different scholarly circles denoting this mood of new endeavour are: inter-religious dialogue, communicative action, intersubjectivity, universalism, transcultural activities, free world market, globalization, multicultural world community etc.
In this article my purpose is to describe a tentative Islamic strategy in the framework of newly emerging circumstances that favour globalization which can serve as guideline for a Muslim in communication with the adherents of other religions.
First, the medieval techniques of converting non-Muslims into Islam which continued until the beginning of the 20th century are now virtually obsolete.4 This is equally valid for the Christian world. The main causes for this development were primarily those trends of thought that characterised western worldview since the Enlightenment. These can be shortly summarised as: the categorisation of religious beliefs under subjective knowledge, relativism, de-absolutised knowledge in all fields, including natural sciences, facilitated acquaintance with alien cultures, pervasion of secular ethics. All these factors dissuade a proselytiser from carrying out his vocation in traditional fashion, i.e. engaging in a dialectical discourse whereby he persuades his counterpart that the set of beliefs that he advocates is superior and more meaningful than the beliefs of the other, and on the other hand, he tries to refute the others’ beliefs, though mostly through allusions. Such a stance, of course, stems from the conviction that he is the possessor of the absolute truth, and that any other claim to truth is void.5
Another reason for the abandonment of the old approach to the peoples of other religions is that the uniformity necessary among the believers of the same religion is no longer intact, due to exposition to various propaganda influences of different cultural orientations. Easy access to the knowledge of alien cultures has caused considerable polarisation among co-religionists, so much that difference of opinion between two members of a religion on essential matters may become greater than that may exist between members of two different religions. A good example of this is the discrepancy in respect of worldview between a traditional Muslim and a secular one.6 The former may feel that a practising Christian is nearer to him than the secular Muslim as far as the similarity between their respective fundamental (metaphysical) beliefs is concerned. In such a situation it would be more befitting for a Muslim that is anxious to propagate his belief, to start with his coreligionist: the so-called secular-minded Muslim, rather than attempting to convert a Christian.
Difficulty in maintaining homogeneity in a religious community may, on the other hand, be interpreted as a progress towards a universal concept of religiosity. Since, if differences between the members of the same religion are tolerated, and these differences may concern even essential matters, then why not different religions be equally tolerated.
However, propounding a universal religion in order to secure a general consensus that may serve a peaceful co-existence of different societies in different parts of the world may be viewed as a new religion trying to eliminate all other religions. For, such a universal religion will not be identical with any existing religion that it wants to subdue for the sake of universalization, though partial resemblance may still be retained. Thus, a universal religion can be considered as a religion of religions, or a theory of theories, which ultimately can be defined as another religion.7
Similarly, the language of such an imaginary religion cannot be the language of any existing religions, but rather a language incorporating its concepts or vocabulary from all religions, or a meta-language assuming completely new terminology for its meanings. Such a language as the language of languages or ecumenical Esperanto can equally be regarded as a new language struggling for dominion over other languages.8
In these two examples an implicit dichotomy can be sensed in the concept of universalization. Since while universalism originally means elimination of differences, the process of universalization involves submerging of religions and cultural differences and therefore wiping out any tolerance existing between different belief systems.
Universalism and particularism
Then, universalization of religion can mean to accept de facto differences among religions and to promote further the atmosphere of tolerance among them. In this new interpretation universalization can only be accepted within the concept of tolerance and extending its scope, rather than expanding the area of a specific religion.
Expanding the limits of tolerance between religions implies two important processes. First, sanctioning different beliefs and practices and ruling out the tyranny of a specific belief system. Second, enlarging the ground of understanding between the adherents of these separate sets of beliefs and practices to avoid fanaticism and mutual antagonism, the evils of which mankind experienced at great costs.
Trying to achieve a consensus with other religions without necessarily compromising your own beliefs seems to be a very new attitude. This attitude, as mentioned above is dependent on two presuppositions. a) Differences should be retained and honoured; b) a mutual consensus is necessary for an ideal world community. These two presuppositions can further be elucidated. First, the conviction that differences are worth of being retained may be inferred from the argument that man by nature can only grasp a part of the truth, and knowing that my share of truth is only partial, will naturally lead me to another assumption that other belief systems also are of similar nature, so that both of them can enjoy only a portion of the truth. Consequently, the truth in its complete form is not in the possession of any system, and therefore, of anybody.
Another stage of this reasoning is that there can still be preferences as to approximation to the truth and the degrees of the shares distributed among various cultures and religions. But yet, the share best suited to my case is my own belief, I nonetheless have every means of enlarging my share through deepening my consciousness in the metaphysics of my beliefs or through methodological borrowings of certain elements from other belief systems which are to be internalized and integrated to my own. For, to abandon my own beliefs for another set of beliefs on the pretext that this new one offers a higher degree of truth is a mere adventure, as one can never be sure of consequences of such a dramatic change. It needs a long time for adaptation and a troublesome process of digesting the new cultural elements. Another argument for the contention that everybody stays in his own religion and perfects himself within its framework is that there is an ideal type or perfect example in any culture and belief system, and there are also a few actual examples of such an ideal human being. What remains is the gap between the ideal type and the real examples, which vary from a system to another. So, if the problem is to be able to become a perfect human being, this is already available in my own culture and religion. Therefore, changing of religion becomes merely an act of adventure the consequence of which is never predictable.
Another important point in retaining one’s own religion and not sacrificing it to the cause of universalism is that a specific well-established religious experience throughout history has already proven its contribution to a certain community and through it to the whole humanity. So there is no point in considering it as an obstacle to a comprehensive project of mutual understanding of world cultures and religions. Particularisation in certain fields is essential to human life and sometimes inevitable. Thus, if we interfere with the form and the content of some of religious orders and practices, they may not be productive any more. Moreover, if we assume that a universal religion replaces all existing religions, in course of time, various communities holding the same religion will develop different trends, appropriate to their capacities and inclinations which in turn may deviate from the main stream under the banner of a sect, to the degree that the discrepancy between the main stream (e.g. orthodoxy) and its new branch (e.g. a heretical sect) can become as great as that may exist between two different religions. Consequently, to insist on implementation of a universal religion is to deny man’s natural tendency for particularisation.
As to the presupposition that the scope of mutual understanding between peoples of different cultures and religions should be enlarged, it has its own intrinsic merits. Many evils may happen - and have already happened in past - due to lack of understanding or misunderstanding. But no evil can occur as a result of intensive communication and reciprocal understanding of thoughts and intentions of parties involved in a certain crisis. If evils are not prevented even after a comprehensive dialogue, then, it means there are problems engendered by human nature that cannot be avoided through mutual understanding.
Communication of religious beliefs and feelings between individuals belonging to different religions calls for a special type of dialogue whereby participants can reveal their convictions that make up their worldviews. Such a dialogue as distinct from dialectical conversation, which basically relies on demonstration of your own beliefs and refutation of those of the opponent, presupposes two conditions that make the interaction possible. a) The participant is ready to listen in earnest to what his counterpart is going to tell, with a view to learning from him certain new things. b) The participant is also sure that he is not inhibited in revealing his convictions on fundamental thoughts since he knows that what he is telling is being taken seriously, and at good will by his counterpart. But before engaging in such a fruitful dialogue there is another stage of intellectual experience that the participants must undergo if a real consensus is to be effected. Leonard Swidler in his work: After the Absolute elaborates on this specific issue and calls this stage intra-religious dialogue.9 At this stage man is in dialogue with himself deepening his consciousness trying to penetrate into the final ends of religiosity. If he succeeds in grasping the ultimate purpose of his religious beliefs and practices, his attitude towards the means leading to that purpose may probably change. Since ultimate ends are the most essential, the means for such ends may differ from religion to religion. Moreover, in intra-religious experience the believer ponders extensively on the inner world of the best examples of his religion. He realizes that those mature men of his religion have become more tolerant and less rigid in their treatment of other people as they go deeper into their religious consciousness. Thus, strict and legalistic manners disappear as the believer gradually intensifies his contemplation on the meanings of the basic claims of his religion, and positive feelings permeate his attitudes and outweigh his antagonistic manners towards alien religions and cultures. Without this intra-religious background, any dialogical process is doomed to failure. For, fanaticism in most cases, is caused by shallow knowledge of religion.
The basic ground for rationality
The consequences of dialogical communication can be productive if the content of conversation is evaluated from a perspective wider than the one provided by a participant’s religious worldview. Since, from the latter perspective whatever runs counter the tenets of the belief-system will be repelled as unacceptable. Whereas, if he assesses the account given by his conversant from a perspective wider then the world-view provided by the religion, ostensible contradictory data will not be rejected outright. Instead, they will be well-received for a disinterested evaluation, without necessarily at the expense of his own religious convictions. This wider perspective which contains even worldviews themselves I call ‘the basic ground of rationality’. This is the locus of the reality of a rational human being that accommodates all a priori principles that pertain to the essence of being human. They are permanent and do not change unless human nature itself changes.10 To assume such a basis for rationality has serious implications. First, being prior to a worldview it contains the worldview itself. Second, it allows man to act outside the range of the worldview adopted.
As a matter of fact it is due to this unqualified purely human property that man can shift from one worldview to another, or in other words to abandon certain paradigms in favour of some new ones. It manifests itself both collectively as in the case of change of worldviews at cultural level, comprising generations; and individually as in the case of an intellectual deviating from the main course of a worldview prevalent in a culture shared by whole community.
Another implication is that holding a religion or an ideology to form a framework for thoughts and behaviours, i.e. a worldview, does not exhaust man’s rationality. In other words a worldview is not identical with the ‘basic ground of rationality’. The former may change, but the latter does not. It is again due to the stability of this ground that there is a steady dynamism in the configuration of worldviews. That is how they are amended, modified, and even replaced.
When participants of a dialogue come down to this ground and assess their thoughts and experiences from this perspective, the chance of mutual understanding will be higher and the possibility of learning from each other become greater. To express it in ordinary language: they will talk to each other both as mere human beings and as followers of this or that religion.
However, it is not an easy task for someone to strip himself off all colourings of his specific worldview and reach that ground of pure humanity which is almost neutral to all varieties of worldviews. Only few intellectuals in a culture can accomplish it. That is why these few in a culture are very much similar to the other few in another culture. That is why these transcultural personalities deserve and actually enjoy the respect and the admiration of peoples and believers of all religions.
If this basic ground is not activated in an ideal dialogue, all convictions and thoughts will be censored by the belief system or the worldview. Consequently differences will gain momentum and antithetic discourse will be inevitable. Thus, in a way, in a genuine dialogue, worldviews and belief systems are temporarily suspended, to be restarted again, but only with some new elements in front of it, awaiting integration or assimilation. The probable result may be that the participant modifies some of his beliefs and enriches some others, though total abandonment of some is not impossible.
The basic ground for rationality can also be regarded as the basis of prophetic knowledge. The holy statements found in scriptures as pronouncements articulated by a prophet as words of God which have strong impact on the psychology of the listeners are statements accomplished in a mood of great awareness at this very basis of pure humanity. That is why such divine personalities address all mankind in their pronouncements as the thoughts they convey go beyond cultural limits . And such words are called holy because they are holistic, comprehensive, and divine because they are expressions in language of a priori principles ingrained in the essence of humanity. They are relevant to human existence at all times and all places. It is also the ground of other types of revelations, such as truth obtained through intuition, discursive reasoning and divine instruction. No such knowledge would be possible without an interaction with this ground where there is a relationship between the knowledge obtained and the ingrained basic a priori principles. This way, one comes to claim that every human being is potentially capable of getting revelation, otherwise how can he be the addressee of such knowledge. Therefore, the more the participants in a dialogue on religious or metaphysical matters get closer to this ground, the more successful they become in reaching a consensus.
Another important aspect of a dialogue is the ethical dimension of the arguments if they tend towards a dialectical overtone. The participants then should feel the responsibility towards the rules of the argumentation they have engaged in. Insincerity and opportunism exhibited by a participant during a discourse with a view to winning the day, is against the spirit of mutual understanding and the cause of reaching a viable consensus.11
A Muslim in dialogue
There are many views in the Qur’an (2.21, 2.187, 4.170, 31.20, 10.107, 23.49) implying that Islam is a universal religion for whole the mankind and that the prophet Muhammad was sent by God to propagate the truth of Islam to every part of the world. An important characteristic of Islam with regard to Islamisation of non-Muslims is that it considers communities already practising a monotheistic religion like Christianity and Judaism as peoples of acknowledged religions (ashab al-Kitab) who are not to be forced to accept Islam except by their own consent. Whereas, other communities having beliefs and traditions other than heavenly religions, such as pagans or animists or shamans were regarded as peoples lacking true religion and therefore in need of adopting Islam. There was a controversy among jurist-scholars in early centuries of Islamic expansion as to whether some other communities such as .al-Sabia (the Star-Worshippers) should also be included among the ‘peoples of the book’. A special type of jurisprudence developed in Muslim polity as to the rights of ‘peoples of the book’ under Muslim sovereignty. The name given to this chapter in the books of Islamic Law is ‘huquq ahl al-dhim mah’ (‘the legal rights of the protected people’).
The importance of this historic phenomenon is, that the Muslims fourteen centuries ago acknowledged the existence of certain communities which were not Muslims, to live among them and practice their own religions. Not only were they allowed to survive in a Muslim population in principle, they were also given a special legal status recognized by all Muslim states throughout history. This may not look so striking, judging on the criteria of contemporary world politics, but when this incident is evaluated in the context of medieval values and practices it will be realized that it was not a simple event. To say that ‘your religion is different from mine but yet you have the right to live beside me’ is a principle of tolerance that the Muslims believed and practised from the very beginning. Therefore, they must have been ahead of the followers of other religions who nowadays are holding conferences and symposia on inter-religious dialogue or inter-cultural communication. However, it is also an undeniable fact that presently Muslim communities are rapidly growing within Christian population in the Western countries and are almost enjoying the same rights and privileges given to the original inhabitants.
The attitude toward a person of different religion with whom I should engage in a dialogue, without the purpose of converting him to my religion is a new cultural phenomenon being discussed extensively by theologians and academicians. What is new for a Muslim in this novel development is that the historical tolerant attitude, that their ancestors adopted toward the Christians and the Jews as minorities in their societies, should also be extended to the peoples of other religions, not necessarily heavenly ones, or cultures that are not Christian or Jewish. This enlarged tolerant attitude can be accommodated on the basis of earlier examples of the inclusion of non-Christian and non-Jewish groups into the concept of ‘people of the book’. Moreover, if by ‘the book’ a holy scripture or a constitutional document whereby the lives of their believers are systematised or ordained, is meant, it then, will cover those peoples of definite cultures whose lives and practices are not based on sheer paganism but rather on uniform traditions that give homogeneity and order aimed at good and virtue.
With this small adjustment the Muslim is firmly prepared to communicate with anybody of any religious background on religious and metaphysical matters telling his counterpart about Islam and its special tenets, and exhibiting ample patience to listen to the other part and learn from him. As to the second function of the dialogue, again, Muslim scholars in the past realized the best example of receiving knowledge from different sources and sanctioning them within an Islamic framework. This is how they dealt with the Hellenistic and Hindu-Iranian culture when they encountered them in the lands they conquered. That is how Greek philosophy, medicine, natural sciences were absorbed into Islamic culture and preserved from oblivion. So, Muslims already know how to learn from other cultures. What is left to the modern Muslim is to update this old Muslim practice and apply it to modern circumstances. There are hopefully now, certain intellectual movements in universities and other scholarly circles that aim at borrowing cultural elements from alien civilizations and harmonizing them with the Islamic world-view. There have appeared some new expressions denoting this intellectual process, such as: Islamization of knowledge, Islamic science, Islamic ethnology, etc.12
A feature of modern forms of communicative action is the ever-growing fact that worldviews representing separate cultures are in a rigorous process of interaction with each other, exchanging values and amending their stagnant elements; a phenomenon that put the integrity of the prime values of any worldview in a volatile position. An evidence of this is the change of the attitude performed by the dominant Western cultures towards other living cultures of the world. The old colonial spirit of supremacy of the European culture is gradually losing strength. This process began when Western intellectuals and academics finally realized that lack of advanced science and technology in a culture is not the only condition to regard it as inadequate or obsolete, and that a culture enjoying this privilege is not entitled to supremacy, especially when man is treated as a whole and his happiness is an ultimate goal.
On the other hand, there has been an intensive work of readjustment in the last two centuries by the cultures exposed to the advancement of the West. Muslim scholars for example, under various epithets such as ‘modernist’, ‘secularist’ or ‘reformist’ have been trying hard to reconsider Muslim’s position vis à vis Western cultural values and reconcile those meanings and objects that they inevitably received from the West with the tenets of Islamic worldview.
The inference is that while conducting a dialogue with a person from another culture or religion it will be useless to discuss values that are not relevant to the prevailing inter-cultural context. Participants should be aware of the virtues that their counterparts already possess, as it will be inappropriate to sell commodities to someone who already possesses the like of them or even those with higher quality. So, the question is: How can I contribute to the happiness of mankind? Is there something in my possession that other human beings do miss, with the conviction that if they share it with me they will also prosper and become happier.
However, there is one universal value that has resisted the vicissitude of all times and places: morality in practice. One can always contribute to the well being of other human beings by his moral conduct. There is no end to moral perfection, man is always in a position of contributing a new element as he can excel himself in performing a higher degree of moral disposition.
Thus, religious enthusiasts who are anxious to enlighten others about their inner world and the true convictions that they cherish, should be alert to the fact that no theoretical truth has a value without having a bearing on man’s practical life. Practice itself is the most reliable testimony of the truth. Since arguments for the validity of the highest claims to the theoretical truth have never become conclusive. They have always been countered by arguments of equal strength and persuasion. Works written on dialectical theology in many religions are a good example of this abortive method. The evidence of a metaphysical statement which contains assertions about man’s fate and ultimate ends cannot be proven by other metaphysical statements. The realm of justification for such propositions is the practical life. Thus, in these matters the methodology is to begin with the practice towards beliefs, precepts and maxims that prompted a specific action, but not vice versa. For, we do not have the means of judging the validity-claim of such statements other than practice, and this cannot be traced from conviction to action but rather from action to conviction.
Communicative action and intersubjectivity
The dialogical method initiated and elaborated by scholars like Leonard Swidler, Hans Küng and Raimanda Pannikar has some resemblance to a contemporary movement in philosophy. It is called communicative action. The champion of this new philosophy is Jürgen Habermas. It is a social theory based on linguistic analysis. The main theme of this theory is that reason besides its purposive or instrumental function has a distinct function that manifests itself in communication. The purpose of such a communicative process is not other than reaching an agreement. In the atmosphere of such a mutual understanding the actors are free from the normative presuppositions of systems and subsystems which as a matter of fact, are enriched by the achievements of the consensus effected.13 The area where actors engage in communication with only disinterested aim of mutual understanding is called lifeworld which is distinct from the institutionalized system-world of the society and is dynamic in that it is always susceptible to the unique logic of communicative action.14 The other term used for this kind of employment of language and function of reason in communication is intersubjectivity. In inter-subjective communication the individual uses language and reason to acquire the best information about each other whether it be belief, intention or an idea to soothe their differences without resorting to other means.15
Whereas communication with a purpose of achieving an end is called ‘the instrumental use of reason’ by Habermas who criticises Max Weber for confining the use of reason only to this function, this same kind of communication is named as ‘dialectical’ by Leonard Swidler as opposed to the dialogical. Both regard this type of communication as detrimental to the cause of consensus and mutual understanding, since dialectical or instrumental use of reason causes conflict and competition among the participants of communicative action.16
It can be inferred from the above-mentioned comparison of two theories - one theological, the other philosophical - that mere communication has its own intrinsic value. This value is explicit in the process of communication itself. In other words, communication or dialogue has its own merits which can be defined as consensus or mutual understanding without being applied as means for achieving a purpose.
As communication is an essential part of the globalization process that the world community is now experiencing, it would be unwise to avoid it. Keeping religious beliefs to oneself and not revealing them to others is contrary to the very idea of world religions like Christianity and Islam. Thus, if it is necessary that we should participate in communication, then the first condition of a meaningful dialogue is to observe the ethics of conversation, which can be put briefly as sincerity and desire for learning from the other part. Another condition is to renounce any intention of wining the counter-part over and converting him to your own religion. Therefore, regarding dialogue as an end in itself, not to be used for other purposes is the most important rule of discourse ethics; non-observance of this rule will lead to the instrumental or pragmatic use of communication. The latter is the dialectical communication that is itself a major hindrance to mutual understanding. After exchange of values and consequent statements pertaining to worldviews during a dialogical discourse the knowledge of participants about each other will inevitably increase. This may cause some reassessments by the actors concerning their own beliefs, or their attitude toward another person’s beliefs and ideas. Although this is not the end sought in the dialogue, yet it can be a natural development after a worthwhile communication. Therefore, the freedom of the participant is still there. He is free to re-evaluate his convictions and his attitudes. Thus, although revision of beliefs and predispositions is not aimed at, it is also not discouraged.
Furthermore, a best element of any discourse are unspoken moral manners, the exchange of which will benefit the participants more than the abstract metaphysical speculations that have little relevance to the human case.
Finally, here is a duty to be fulfilled by everybody that is conscious of his humanity. A duty that man by nature is inclined to do, but yet if he fails to perform it, he has to prepare himself for many misfortunes that may befall him.
1. H. Küng: ‘Dialogue With Islam’, in: Toward a Universal Theology of Religion, ed. L. Swidler, Maryknoll 1988, p. 209.
2. W.C. Smith: ‘Theology and the World of Religious History’, in: Toward a Universal.Theology of Religion, loc.cit, p. 68.
3. See A.S. Ahmad and H. Donnans (eds): Islam, Globalization and Postmodernity. London 1994, p. 1-21; see also the ‘Forward’ by E. Gellner, p. IX-X.
4. R.W. Rousseau (ed), Christianity and Islam, Scranton 1985, p. 53-62.
5. See L. Swidler: After the Absolute, Minneapolis 1990, p. 7-21, where he presents a profound critique of absolutism.
6. See S. M. Naquib al-Attas: Islam and Secularism, Kuala Lumpur 1978.
7. See for an elaborate discussion of universalism: ‘The Invisible Harmony: A Universal Theory of Religion or a Cosmic Confidence in Reality’, in: Toward a Universal Theology of Religion, loc. cit. (note 1), p. 118-149.
9. Swidler, After the Absolute , loc. cit. (note 5), p. 25-37.
10. Cf. A. Acikgenc: Islamic Science, Towards a Definition, Kuala Lumpur 1996, p. 9-31.
11. See Swidler After the Absolute, loc. cit. (note 5); W. Outhwaite: Habermas. A Critical Introduction. Oxford 1994, p.38-57.
12. Acikgenc: Islamic Science, loc. cit. (note 10), p.93-106.
13. G. Dux: ‘Communicative Reason and Interest. On the Reconstruction of the Normative Order in Societies Structured by Egalitarianism or Domination’. In: Communicative Action, ed. A. Honneth and H. Joas. Cambridge 1991, p. 74-90.
14. Outhwaite: Habermas, loc. cit. (note 11), p. 86-98.
15. J. Habermas: ‘A Reply’, in: Communicative Action, loc. cit. (note 13), p. 217-218.
16. J. Alexander: ‘Habermas and Critical Theory’, in: Communicative Action, loc. cit. (note 13), p. 63; cf. Swidler: After the Absolute, loc. cit. (note 5), p. 42-46.
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