Traditions of Controversy
Controversies may be particularly prominent in one or another culture. Yet, there is hardly any culture where they do not exist. This book assumes that the practice of controversy, along with its theorization, constitutes – in each of the cultures and disciplines where it develops – a tradition. Whether there are enough shared elements in these traditions to consider them as, fundamentally, universal or not is something that can only be determined on the basis of a rich sample of controversies and theorizations thereof belonging to different traditions. This is what this volume provides to the reader. By presenting side by side controversies from the East and from the West, from the ancient past up to the present, from different domains of scholarship and action, the reader is in a position not only to admire the widespread nature, role, and richness of the phenomenon, but also to begin to evaluate its variety as well as universality. While the editors have purposefully avoided comparative studies of traditions of controversy, in order to focus on each tradition so to speak from its practitioners’ point of view, some of the chapters take a bird’s eye view and exemplify how such studies can be systematically conducted. In a world that is globalizing itself at a fast pace, the awareness of the multiplicity of traditions of controversy is fundamental for ensuring both that the integration of the various perspectives is harmonious and that each one of them is granted its place in a plural universe.