The attempt to make democratic processes more inclusive has led to the problematic notion of "multiculturalism." It is based on a new principle that 'all voices should be heard' and 'equal respect' has become the irreducible core of the liberal state. However mere dialogue is not enough. First, it tends to privilege those who are already privileged. To change this needs active, exploratory listening that is allowed to challenge everyone's picture of the world. Second, since the tensions and ambiguities are here to stay, practical ways to cope and negotiate have to be found, although it's not at all clear what is involved. The contributors to this volume explore both dimensions and in particular point to what it means when the language game of dialogicality meets its limit. However, as they point out, the limits are not absolute, but can be the entry to more complex language-games. The authors in this volume, from Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium and Britain bring a vast repertoire of resources and interpretative frames to bear on the task of opening up what might be understood by the political-ethical-aesthetic notion of 'multiculturalism'. In these contributions one can hear a plea for an enhanced conception of democratic dialogue, for the need to embrace different ontological aesthetic-moral assumptions, and for an ethics and politics which are more generous and receptive.
In today¿s world, the boundaries within which Christian theologians operate are becoming ever more permeable, and Christian theology is increasingly influenced and challenged by multiple ¿outside¿ factors. In Western Europe, two such factors stand out in particular: the so-called ¿turn to religion¿ in continental philosophy and religious diversity. Theologians working with contemporary continental philosophers and theologians engaging the multireligious world tend to work quite separately from one another. The aim of the present book is therefore to initiate a conversation between these two groups of theologians. The question of truth was chosen because it is both a key issue in contemporary-philosophical debates (in the continental and analytic traditions) and one that arises in complex and problematic ways in the praxis of, and theoretical reflection on, interreligious dialogue. Some of the pressing questions that are addressed by the contributors to this volume are: What is truth? What is theological truth? How does the issue of truth arise from interreligious encounter? To what extent can or should the nature of truth be discussed explicitly during interreligious dialogue? Or should the question of truth be rather postponed in the interest of successful interreligious encounter? Is there a hermeneutical concept of truth and, if so, how can it be of help for theological reflection on the question of truth and on the role and place of truth in the context of dialogue between religions?
Are self-interested elites the curse of liberal democracy in Africa? Is there hope against the politics of the belly, kleptocracies, vampire states, failed states, and Afro-pessimism? In Reasonable Radicals and Citizenship in Botswana, Richard Werbner examines a rare breed of powerful political elites who are not tyrants, torturers, or thieves. Werbner's focus is on the Kalanga, a minority ethnic group that has served Botswana in business and government since independence. Kalanga elites have expanded public services, advocated causes for the public good, founded organizations to build the public sphere and civil society, and forged partnerships and alliances with other ethnic groups in Botswana. Gathering evidence from presidential commissions, land tribunals, landmark court cases, and his lifetime relationship with key Kalanga elites, Werbner shows how a critical press, cosmopolitanism, entrepreneurship, accountability, and the values of patriarchy and elderhood make for an open society with strong, capable government. Werbner's work provides a refreshing alternative to those who envision no future for Africa beyond persistent agony and lack of development.