chapter  2
21 Pages

Global conflict in cosmocentric perspective: A Balinese approach to reconciliation


Global conflict and the demand for a universal ethics: basic remarks The economic entanglement between different parts of the world not only creates a new situation of inter-cultural contact but of conflict as well. As a consequence of this process many Western politicians as well as philosophers such as Habermas (2005) have contended that only a common ethos, or universally accepted ethical norms, can adequately respond to the present challenges of globalization and guarantee peace and reconciliation in a multicultural world.1 The appeal to preserve ‘Western values’ formed on the basic principles of humanistic enlightenment ethics and its corresponding worldview has been intensified in the wake of Islamist terror and its threat to the modern ideal of a global civil society. In what follows, I would like to examine this claim from an anthropological point of view, that is to say, from a Balinese perspective. I will focus particularly on the Balinese interpretation (and practical management) of the global conflict between Western liberalism and Islamist terror which were retraced to local concepts of reality and responsibility.