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Through a glass, darkly

Blurred images of cultural tradition and modernity over distance and time

by W. Arts(ed.)
Through a glass, darkly by W. Arts
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The question this text addresses is whether it is possible to get an almost face-to-face intimacy with various forms of cultural tradition and modernity by using our experiences and our powers of imagination - for example, our expectations - in a more fruitful way. The contributors try to give answers to this question by taking as a guideline Erasmus's famous motto "ad fontes" or, always go to the sources - without, however, nursing the illusion that our partial knowledge will ever be complete. Is there, they ask, a real chasm between the "modern" West and the "traditional" East, as so many authors have argued? And if so, how deep is the chasm and how is it to be bridged? How much do people in the West know about their own cultural tradition and the modern times they live in? How much do they know of the traditions and the modernities of the East and how much do they need to know in orde

r to cope with what the future will probably bring? Are our images of cultural tradition and modernity in East and West, in past and present, so blurred that we look at them as through a glass, darkly? What the contributors argue for is the necessity of looking at developments both in East and West, both in past and present, from a wider perspective, of taking a global point of departure. They argue for greater understanding and communication between cultures, for cultural pluralism (as distinct from cultural relativism). They argue for the open, tolerant, non-dogmatic and critical thought that was the most important characteristic of Erasmus's philosophy.

BRILL; January 2000
115 pages; ISBN 9789047400325
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Title: Through a glass, darkly
Author: W. Arts