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From Jami'ah to University Multiculturalism and Christian-Muslim Dialogue

Alatas, Syed Farid

Sociology has a role to play in the development of multiculturalism and, therefore, the facilitation of interreligious dialogue. Multiculturalism does not merely refer to the coexistence of a plurality of cultures but is a social context that encourages the possibilities for harmonious interactions of different cultures. Soci- ology may contribute in meaningful ways to multiculturalism by the thematic development of a number of areas concerning the study of societies and civiliza- tions. This article focuses on three such themes, that is: the multicultural origins of modem civilization, intercivilizational encounters and the point of view of the other. The author argues that these themes are essential for the facilitation of dialogue and the development of the multicultural outlook. Dialogue here is not restricted to the literal sense of the term, that is a conversation between two sides, but rather is a metaphor for peaceful and harmonious relationships founded on mutual trust and admiration and informed by the spirit and substance of multi-culturalism.
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  • Alatas, S. F. (2006). From Jami'ah to University Multiculturalism and Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Current Sociology, 54, 112-132. doi: 10.1177/0011392106058837

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