Intercultural Reality Apperception and Peace Issues

Project leader: Hayo B.E.D. Krombach

The project investigates how to establish philosophical conditions for peace on the basis of an understanding of the constitutive presuppositions that different cultures make and use to justify their respective apperceptions.

This query lies behind the large-scale book publication project provisionally entitled To Give Origins a Future: Philosophy in East-West Ecumenical Responsibility. The overall objective of this inter-cultural study is to listen to other voices by tracing, elucidating and employing ideas in the fields of axial age- and world philosophy in order to transcend and in this way reconcile the dualism in Western thought and the nonduality in Eastern intellectual traditions, both religious and secular.

Human self-realisation must of necessity manifest itself in international relations and our comprehension of their global consequences for a humanity that strives towards being in harmony with itself. However, it is recognised that the task of interrogating this question is itself perennial and can never be brought to a definitive conclusion – it remains a regulative idea (in Kant’s sense).

This project investigates the all-unity approach towards a philosophia pacis - and therewith also towards a pax philosophiae - which is grounded in the confident consciousness that everything is connected and cosmically related. But this holistic thinking contains a cognitive challenge to the very notion of philosophy. At a minimum, what then underlies and informs intercultural concerns are a world-contextual and first (around 500 BCE) and second (mid-twentieth century) axial-age awareness of the existential fragility of humankind in the nuclear and ecological age. Motivated political peace requires the philosophical transformation of the dogmatic assertiveness of religious and spiritual thinking without giving way to mystical sentiments.

Background of Book Project

While thematically more global and inclusive, the intellectual remit of this research stands, however, in close proximity to earlier articles and the book Hegelian Reflections on the Idea of Nuclear War: Dialectical Thinking and the Dialectic of Mankind (London: Macmillan and New York: St. Martin’s Press: 1991). This book and the shorter writings were all translated and published in Japan. The original English book was republished in 2014 by Palgrave Macmillan. The present research programme also expands more directly on the ruminations in the recently published article: ‘Cultural and Philosophical Conditions of Dialogical Coexistence’. For details, see below under ‘Related Publications’. 

Related Publications

Research Abroad (Japan)

Over the last decade, six two-month Fellowships for academic visits to Japan were co-funded by grants from the LSE Research Division, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Japan Foundation. These were spent at the following institutions: Senshu University (Tokyo), International Christian University (ICU) (Protestant) (Tokyo), Komazawa University (Buddhist) (Tokyo), Sophia University (Catholic/Jesuit) (Tokyo), University of Tokyo, University of Kyoto.

While in Japan during these research periods Krombach gave numerous lectures, seminars and workshops at the above-mentioned universities plus the Nihon University in Tokyo and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto.