Report on the results of “Diaversity: Life-long Learning for a Spiritually Worthy Life” workshop held at the 11th Rhodes Forum on October 3, 2013
By Victor Nemchinov, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Practicing dialogue on key essential issues in live format where conversation itself is bringing different insights and new knowledge sharing generated by the panel participants became an effective and acclaimed tool at the “Diaversity” workshop. Dialogue university - panel was dedicated to the shaping of life-long learning modes tailored to enhancing the self and embracing the other in the joint quest for a spiritually worthy life.
Report on the results of “Music and our Environments” roundtable held at the 11th Rhodes Forum on October 5, 2013
From its biological origins:
Human beings and animals share perception of sound, and human music is in some ways related to the sounds animals make. What distinguishes human music from animal sounds is the quality of communication and pleasure it may generate. There is also the question of the highly evolved physiology and neurophysiology of human beings which makes them especially reactive both physically and emotionally to sound. This makes sound and music important in human life, and suggests that the understanding of music and opportunities for music education are significant for our world. Scientists should be encouraged to investigate further nature of our sound ecology.
Report on the results of “The Role of Contemporary Christian Practices in Maintaining the Sustainable Social Development” workshop held at the 11th Rhodes Forum on October 5, 2013
The workshop took account of the experience of the three International Public Athonite Conferences, which were held in Salzburg (2011), Weimar (2012) and Belgrade (2013). The workshop participants stressed that the ongoing erosion of moral values in contemporary European civilization could be alleviated, if Christian (Orthodox) ways of confronting the challenges of modernity would be implemented more consistently by the faithful. Contemporary Christian (Orthodox, and in particular Athonite) approaches to problems presented with regard to ecology, social organization and social development, as these approaches are based on Christianity's spiritual and cultural values and traditions, present a promising option for a world-wide community of persons who wish to safeguard sustainable social development. It is important for Orthodox clergy and public representatives, for Orthodox scholars, researchers and all people of good will, who are united by interest, love, and respect for the Holy Mountain, to draw attention to the successful strategies of co-existence and cooperative labor offered by the Athonite monks: On the Holy Mountain, people from different countries and cultures share the principles of common values, mutual assistance, fair dealings among the many diverse monasteries, sketes and kellia. As result of the workshop, a project was devised which seeks to establish a constantly operating public conference, dedicated to the discussions of issues concerned with the Holy Mount Athos.
Report on the results of “Facing the Future: China and the World from Multiple Perspectives” Roundtable held at the 11th Rhodes Forum on October 4, 2013
“Facing the Future: China and the World from Multiple Perspectives” China Roundtable was held at 15:00-19:00, October 4, on the 2013 Rhodes Forum. The head of Chinese delegation, Professor Zhuo Xinping moderated the Roundtable, eleven Chinese scholars gave speeches on four major topics, geopolitics and geoeconomics, Chinese tradition, Chinese religion, and family education. Vladimir Yakunin, Natalia Yakunina and some thirty participants of the Rhodes Forum attended the China Roundtable.
In the first session on geopolitics and geoeconomics, Professor Xing Guangcheng discussed Chinese new ideas toward neighboring countries, especially on China’s successful experience of peacefully solving disputes, promotion of regional economic cooperation, and new policies toward the major powers in the world. Professor Peng Yongjie examined the major difficulties and some failed attempts to form an East Asian union, and look ahead for the hopeful future of such a union. Professor Dong Zhiyong analyzed the unique pattern of Chinese economic development, the critical changes it underwent, and the challenge it faces now. In the free discussion, three speakers answered the questions concerning China’s relation with Singapore, Japan, North Korea, South Asian countries, and China’s economic role in Pacific countries and in the world.
Report on the results of "The Tradition and Future of Asian Civilizations: Politics, Economics and Religion" Roundtable held at the 11th Rhodes Forum on October 5, 2013
By Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University
The roundtable on Asian perspectives on the world was one of the more successful symposia in recent years. The idea behind the symposium was to reverse the routine in which scholars and media pundits have written from the perspective of the West about Russia and the countries and continents of the East and South. In other words to ask: what does the globe and what do Western ideas of civilization, globalization, politics, and economics look like from the perspective of the ideas and interests and civilizations of Russia, India, the Middle East, China, etc.
I cordially welcome participants to another session of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”.
The Forum has earned well-deserved recognition due to its active contribution to awareness of prevailing trends in global development. Such work is of special importance at the current transitional stage in international affairs, when the risks of deepening of intercivilisational, intercultural and interreligious splits grow. All members of the international community feel the consequences of this.
The region of the Middle East and North Africa, which has been caught up in turbulence, remains a priority on the international agenda. Russia supports the legal aspirations of the Arab people to a better life, it advocates implementation through a nation-wide dialogue, allowing the interests of all ethnic, religious and social components of these societies to be taken into consideration.
Dear organizers and participants of the Forum,
dear brothers and sisters!
I wholeheartedly greet all of you who have gathered in Greece to take part in the 11th annual session of the World Pubic Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations.” Once again, representatives of the Orthodox Church and other Christian confessions and traditional religions, the state and pubic figures, diplomats, scholars, and journalists from different countries gathered together to ponder over the problems of inter-cultural cooperation in our diverse world. The necessity of broad international discussion of the problems of relations among civilizations remains topical under conditions of the ongoing globalization and instability in the world.
Report on the results of “Family and Education” Plenary Meeting held at the 11th Rhodes Forum on October 4, 2013
The “Sensate Culture” and the sexual revolution threaten the stability and viability of global civilizations. The two necessary steps to restoring an “idealistic culture” rooted in spiritual truths and sustainable development involves the restoration of the family and the reformation of the social system of education. Pitrim Sorokin, the Russian-American sociologist who has been referred to as the “Prophet of the Culture War of Our Age” described these steps: (1) “Marriage and the family must be restored to their place of dignity among the great values in human life, not to be trifled with. (2) The social system of education needs to escape from the sterile attention to mere job training, “animalistic theories of man,” and “degrading sensate ideologies.” Instead schools should be organized to develop attitudes of duty and altruism in the young, to imbue “true wisdom” and not intellectual fads, and to nurture “creative geniuses,” those necessary few who would guide the building of an “idealistic culture.”