|Faouzi Skali, Director General of the Spirit of Fes Foundation, with academic Tariq Ramadan|
Much like yesterday's Forum discussion on the contradictory yet complementary relationship between business and spirituality, today's Forum topic Financial crisis or civilizational crisis? focused on the fundamental nature of today's crises (and indeed there are many). The inherently oppositional relationship of capitalism and markets, on the one hand, and spirituality and what is best in humankind on the other, is what the crisis in civilization is about, reports Vivian Nguyen.
Tariq Ramadan, Swiss academic and professor at Oxford University, launched into this debate by urging the crowd to consider the inherent relationship that exists between the two concepts.
"When we talk about the financial and the economical concerns...we are faced with the fact that we must deal with humans and the philosophy of life," said Ramadan.
For Ramadan, to understand the root of a financial crisis, we must first focus on analyzing man's daily practices, as well as his intellectual and social involvements. This will help provide a proper framework for recognizing the different ways and forms from which a crisis is born.
Ramadan was also critical of the Muslim world, which he claims is not currently producing thinkers who have considered financial, social, or human alternatives to address financial and civilization crises.
A reform, or an alternative to consider these issues, must be adopted, he says. One alternative Ramadan posed was the teaching and reflection of the humanism of faith as a core part of all educational curricula.
"I think we should integrate religion, not ritual, into the philosophy of man," said Ramadan. "Religion doesn't mean we pray at certain times of the day as we do in Islam, but defining man — who he is. Man should know who he is".
Today's other panelists, Assia Alaoui Bensalah, Bensalem Himmich, Pierre Laffitte, Katherine Marshall, and Patrick Viveret, provided an additional framework to consider the issues that Ramadan posed, as well as offering their own indicators to evaluate financial and civilizational crises, such as through new technology or one's own happiness.
While today marks the final day of the Forum, there will be a lecture from Michael Barry and Leila Anvar, as presented by Saad Khiari, at Palais Jamaï tomorrow afternoon at 15h00. For more information, please visit www.fesfestival.com.
See also: Vivian's reports
Fes Forums Day One
Fes Forums Day Two
Fes Forums Day Three
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Festival in the City
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Art during the Festival #1
Art during the Festival #2
The Enchanted Gardens of Fez
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