EAST-WEST DIALOGUE Individual and Society through Ages
2668 – 3938, 978-606-28-0910-2, 978-606-9062-07-4
Proceedings of the First International Interdisciplinary Conference of the History Specialization, Department of Social and Natural Sciences, Hyperion University of Bucharest, 01-02 June 2018
Since 2018, Hyperion University of Bucharest, through its History Specialization (and this year, through its Faculty of Social, Humanistic and Natural Sciences), has proposed itself to annually hosts the international conference East-West Dialogue on interdisciplinary topics. To me, this was a real challenge for the members of the History Specialization taking into account that currently there are hot international unfinished debates on the role and importance of each part of the world in assuming the building of future based on the experiences of the past (history).
Although Romania, as EU member, cannot represent the whole of the West, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you how my country, which is in its first year of EU Presidency, looks the dialogue between the East and the West.
Marco Polo, who went to China in 1275 AD, was probably the first famous Medieval travelers officially known to undertake the mission of the dialogue between the East and the West. For the first time ever, his travelogue told Europeans in details civilization, both material and cultural, in China. European civilization, on the other hand, was brought to China by Christian missionaries in the seventeenth century, who, in the words of Dr. Joseph Needham, were both full of religious zeal and well learnt in sciences that developed with Renaissance and the rise of capitalism. Bu this is just an example of how East and West attempted to develop mutual connections.
The 21st century is interested in cooperation of the East and West different kinds of methods for solution of the global modern life problems. Many western thinkers showed strong interest in cultures and mindsets of the Eastern civilizations. This interest has not lost its urgency nowadays. A lot of researchers say about this (E. Trelch, K.G. Yung, E. Fromm, M. Heidegger and others).
We know that the development of mankind in 20th – 21st centuries “has demonstrated” active longing to syntheses of philosophy, historical experiences, and culture, to their dialogue and communication, to clarification of the contribution of each of them in the formation of the world culture, to integration of the common efforts of the different cultures for the solution of the global modern life problems. Really, the same problems are urgent for both the ways and means to solve them are different. It is because Western and Eastern people were being formed in different historical and cultural conditions for many centuries and generations. Both of them have specific thinking which has been worked out with times and according to which we perceive the same phenomena in different ways. Maybe it will be more effective to cope with a number of modern life problems, which in the past the East and West were solving independently due to strengthening joint efforts of different civilizations.
As Rector of Hyperion University of Bucharest, I think that the mere fact of organizing an international academic event and inviting leading scholars from Eastern and Western countries to share their interdisciplinary views and civilization values on the past as well on the present global issues is signifcant for building this type of dialogue. On the other hand, as a Physicist I am aware of the power of scientific mind to dissolve and overcome physical borders and potential barriers, and to connect minds, peoples, lands and conuntries by the language of creativity and innovation.
The curent mode of thinking with its humane, universal criteria and values is penetrating diverse strata. Its strength lies in the fact that it accords with people’s common sense. Considering that world public opinion and the peoples of the world are very concerned about the situation in the world, we invitate the international academic community to dialogue, to a search, to a better world, to the attempt of normalization the international relations through the dialogue of sciences between East and West. The substantive and frank East-West dialogue, far from proving fruitless for both sides, has become a distinguishing feature of contemporary world.
In any case, for the last decades the process of the East and West meeting is obvious. It is important for a globalization tendency not to entail the destruction of cultural originality but to give the additional impulse for its further development and self-improvement.
Also, it is important to say that by continuing this kind of international academic events here in Hyperion University of Bucharest we do not try to offer transient solutions at all; rather to meet and know each other, to express and understand each other’s views and values, each other’s cultural and historical experiences, and finally to overcome each other’s potential barrier.
Bucharest, June 1st 2018
Professor dr. Sever SPANULESCU
Rector of Hyperion University of Bucharest, ROMANIA