Intercultural Humanism: Challenges, Experiences, Visions, Strategies

Christ Church, University of Oxford, 9-12 September 2010 Convened by the Berendel Foundation, with the University of Oxford

Concluding the first of hopefully many future collaborations, we draw your attention to the posting of 18 conference papers delivered at the Berendel Foundation’s first annual conference in Oxford on “Intercultural Humanism” in September. This truly international conference also marked the Berendel Foundation’s launch event, and covered a particularly wide range of topics discussed by renowned experts in their fields.

Link to: Berendel Foundation

Link to: Conference Podcasts

To quote from the conference’s aims and ambitions, the conference aspired to “propose, explore, and promote the principles and practices of intercultural humanism as a more inclusive vision for humanity. […] The old humanism in the West, rooted in the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions, has played and continues to play a significant role in today’s world. Yet the extreme forms of Western modernism, such as communism and fascism, and the more recent, radical forms of postmodernism have attempted to discredit it, thereby weakening it considerably. At the same time, the current processes of globalization have revealed that the old humanistic model, aiming at universalism, ecumenism, and the globalization of various Western Christian and secular systems of values and beliefs--even when pleading for an ever-wider inclusion of other cultural perspectives and for intercultural dialogue--is no longer adequate in dealing with the current global conditions. Although we would be wise to retain a number of its assumptions and practices--which, incidentally, they share with the other major cultural traditions outside the Western world, such as the Jainist, Buddhist, Confucianist, Daoist, Islamic, Byzantine traditions, to give but a few examples--we must now reconsider and remap it in terms of a larger, global reference frame. The conference organizers believe that this new, global and intercultural, humanism must be based on the principles and practices of global intelligence, defined as the ability and willingness to understand, respond to, and work toward what will benefit all human beings and will support and enrich all life on this planet. Indeed, intercultural humanism involves developing and practicing a new, trans-disciplinary, intercultural ‘science’: the science of being human. “


  • Sorin Antohi: Opening Remarks
  • HRH Prince Radu of Romania: Cantemir: Inspired Leadership, followed by the conferral of the first Cantemir Prize to Ștefan Lemny
  • Ștefan Lemny: Acceptance Speech
  • Jörn Rüsen: Intercultural Humanism: A Vision and Its Reality

Conference Papers

  • Alex Goody: Gender, Humanism and Technology
  • Erhard Reckwitz: Otherness? Towards an Intercultural Literary Anthropology
  • Armin Heinen: The 'Instrumentalisation' of the Dead Body? Organ Donation as a Challenge to Human Cultures
  • Kirill Thompson: Lessons from Early Chinese Humanist Impulses
  • Chen Chao-ying: Human Being as Species Being: A Reconsideration of Xunzi's Humanism
  • Ming Xie: Harmony: Concepts, Practices, Intercultural Hermeneutics
  • Chintamani Yogi: Intercultural Humanism and Value-Oriented Education
  • Zhang Xinhua: Globalisation, Human Collective Learning, and the Appeal of Intercultural Humanism: Driving forces and Contemplations (in the 21st Century)
  • Hardy Schloer: Quantum Relations, Global Intelligence, and the Information and Communications Technologies of the Future
  • Umesh Chattopadhyaya: Indian Humanism in an Intercultural Perspective
  • M. Satish Kumar: Buddhism and Intercultural Humanism: An Exploration in Contex
  • Michael Onyebuchi Eze: Ubuntu: Ideology or Promise?
  • Virgil Nemoianu:  Tradition, the Beautiful, and the Uncertainties of Global Humanism
  • Sorin Antohi: Closing Remarks  




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