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dogmatism, their search for wisdom, their sensitivity for the religious paradox, i.e., the dialectic of disproportion between the ineffable nature of the ‘source of life’, and the historically culturally contingent nature of human finite responses to this source of life. They agree that Ricoeur’s philosophy of religion points them in the direction of mature faith – a post-religious faith – that offers a perspective beyond religious violence and paves the way for dialogical openness. The situation is completely different for my reformed Protestant students, the Eastern

gauge whether there are indeed democratic elements within the Vietnamese system, Duong (2004) looked at the Marxist–Leninist principle of democratic centralism – which means the people and party members can discuss issues at all levels but the central authority represents the individuals collectively and gets to make the final decisions. Zingerli (2004) highlighted the constraints in the government’s decree no. 29, which was issued in 2000, on theoretically increasing public participation in decision-making, monitoring, and supervision at the communal level

should be emphasized that pluralism and conflict constitute the very keynote of Russian history. To use Norbert Elias’ terms, the civilizing process did not take place in Russia the way it did in Europe. Let us remind that according to the prominent sociologist Norbert Elias, the process of civilization in Europe was conducive to the formation of the social stratum of courtiers, within which new demands of self-control and constraining one’s emotions were imposed, while the thresholds of shame were raised ( Elias 1994 , 493). External restraints were interiorized and