ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM The term "Civilization" plays a significant role in today's world. It has been and is currently being discussed by those who consider themselves civilized and also by those who reject the term. This term is used today in a broad context and on many different levels: from the social sciences to international relations, from interreligious dialogue to cultural research, and from art history to social projects like "the union of civilizations."

Most of the time, the concept of civilization is understood to have a positive connotation. Among these connotations, it is used to describe (1) the entirety of collective values, (2) as an expression of a humanitarian-legal-moral attitude and consequential behaviors against barbarianism and therefore as a word view which then results from being civilized, and (3) as a vision of the existence and conception of order. On the other hand, the conception of "civilization" is also viewed as being a functionless abstraction and as a secular religion. In any case, it has become an obscure historical term used in a national, cultural, and political context.

Read more...