Manusya, Journal of Humanities


Hendrich Beck

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In this paper Heinrich Beck outlines his theory about the relations among the world cultures and their contribution toward what he calls 'creative peace'. Three of the world's cultures, namely that of Europe, Africa and Asia, are seen as much as members of a living organism, which is taken to be a 'Heuristic principle of possible understanding' whereby the integration and mutual reception of these three world cultures can be effected. The European tendency toward rationality and analysis is complemented by the Afro-Asiatic tendency toward holism and synthesis. And there is still further division between the African and the Asian mind. Though both emphasize unity and harmony, the African mind is predicated upon the immediately unity of nature and spirit, whereas the Asian one is characterized by tranquility of consciousness. This, in turn, is contrasted by the European mind which is based upon the separation between mind and matter. These contrasts present themselves, according to Beck, as an occasion for a triadic and dialectical ontological structure, from which emerges a dynamic unity out of the contrasting unites. Thus a way is shown for world peace, which is not a static kind, but a dynamic and creative one.

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