Can we survive modernity? Walking toward a new era with China

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)

No.2, 2020


Can we survive modernity? Walking toward a new era with China



Stephen C. Rowe


If we are to survive into the future, it is imperative that we develop symbiotic relationships with China and other parts of the world with which we are – and will be ever more – deeply interdependent. And we need to understand that relationships of the dialogical sort require our having a clear and centered awareness of not only what others perceive to be the good life, but also the values for which we ourselves most fundamentally stand, our ideals and aspirations. Access to the energy of our being present on the Earth in our commonly shared humanity only becomes accessible as we both penetrate to the depth of our particular traditions and somehow step beyond them at the same time – into creative engagement with the other in that space of “paradoxical plurality” to which Arendt refers. We discover through the experience of genuine relationship with others in the world that the universal is only available in and through the depth of the particular, and the particular is only authentic and vitalising when it is in dialogue with the universality of life as it is presented through the other.