Approaches to Intercivilizational Dialogue: Judaic Perspectives

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This paper will present the outlines of an approach to intercivilizational dialogue informed by Judaic perspectives. Taking Huntington's concern for intercivilizational conflict as a point of reference it will present a number approaches to intercivilizational dialogue that are rooted in empirical fieldwork and research undertaken by this author as part of efforts at Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and Israeli intergroup understading based on religion and culture. Furthermore it will integrate the basic axis of dialogue attempts around the contribution of several modern Jewishly influenced thinkers ---Hans J. Morgethau, Martin Buber and Daniel Elazar for the development of effective tools to navigate such efforts. While Huntington sees the escalation of intercivilizational conflict as the main fault line of the international system today he also emphasizes the importance of civilizations finding commonalities with each other. Empirical work conducted by this author in cooperation with colleagues over the past many years clearly points to the potential for Islamic-Jewish dialogue to moderate perceptions and contribute to improved relationships based on the similarities between Judaism and Islam. Furthermore as intercivilizational dialogue is a multi-level challenge involving political, religious and social dynamics the contribution of several important political and social thinkers who were influenced by the Jewish experience and its normative values will be presented as part of this larger framework.


Keywords: Islam, Judaism, Intercivilizational Conflict, Culture, Dialogue
Stream: Cultural Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Approaches to Intercivilizational Dialogue


Dr. Ben Mollov

Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences
Program in Conflict Management, Bar-Ilan University

Ramat Gan, Israel

Dr. Ben Mollov is on the Faculty of the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences and the Graduate Program in Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in conflict management from an intercultural perspective and aspects of the Jewish political tradition. He is the author of Power and Transcendence: Hans J. Morgenthau and the Jewish Experience (2002) and co-author of "Culture, Dialogue and Perception Change in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" and "Federalism and Multi-Culturalism as a Vehicle for Perception Change in Israeli Jewish Society" both of which appeared in the International Journal of Conflict Management. He has organized several international conferences at Bar-Ilan University in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. In December 2005 he appeared as a speaker at the Perdana Global Peace Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Ref: S08P0104