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Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean$
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Franco Cassano, Norma Bouchard, and Valerio Ferme

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233649

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233649.001.0001

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Thinking the Mediterranean

Thinking the Mediterranean

(p.142) Chapter 10 Thinking the Mediterranean
Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean

Franco Cassano

Fordham University Press

Fundamentalism appears to be a phenomenon that goes well beyond religion. It constitutes an activist version of ethnocentrism, the belief that leads every group to see itself as the center of the world, as an exemplary and privileged form of humanity, and to look down upon others. This chapter explores points of contact and dialogue between cardinal points, and the conditions that are necessary to deconstruct absolutizing perspectives and the clashes of civilization which they engender. With pointed references to the West and the Arab-Islamic world, it argues that the exchange of meaning between two cultures must take place in both directions, aimed both at teaching and learning, and also discusses essentialism and the Mediterranean in contemporary theory. The chapter concludes by reaffirming the importance of the Mediterranean as a pluriversum resisting all reductions ad unum and summing up the book's entire reflection on Southern thought.

Keywords:   fundamentalism, Southern thought, West, essentialism, Mediterranean, civilization, dialogue, Arab-Islamic world

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