Special Spotlight Insert
couple heals cultural divides
of Anthony Mansuetos professional life as a writer and
professor has been devoted to understanding the tensions that
result when different cultures meet, as well as the questions
about values that are a product of those interactions.
the last decade, his interests have evolved beyond his work
as an assistant professor of philosophy, religious studies and
history at UNM-Gallup, into several international projects designed
to combat the nihilism, despair and injustice of our times,
organized through an independent nonprofit research, education
and organizing institute called Seeking Wisdom, have led Mansueto
and his wife and colleague Maggie to build a network of like-minded
individuals from around the world.
at what the Mansuetos call the human civilization index
rather than World Bank or United Nations criteria such as GNP,
literacy or basic health care. They assess political participation
and pluralism, the integrity of the social fabric as reflected
in crime rates, divorce rates and cultural creativitywhich
includes enrollment in higher education, research and development
spending, scientists and engineers per capita, percentage of
people in humanities programsin an effort to assess how
a society is developing. The index helps determine the impact
of capitalist globalization on human development.
Wisdom provides research support to the Brussels-based World
Forum for Alternatives, an alliance of research institutes and
social movements worldwide seeking alternatives to capitalist
globalization, particularly in the Third World.
surprise some to learn that he considers Gallup a perfectly
appropriate base for their international work.
Diné (Navajo) and Zuni are by right independent nations,
and this college is an international campus. Ideally, it should
be a place where dialogue among civilizations can occur, and
where religious leaders come together from around the world
to hammer out the destiny of humanity, he said.
of Gallups position on an interstate highway, and its
location as a place where many different cultures intersect
Arab traders and Slavic and Italian immigrants as well
as The Diné, the Zuni, and Mexican Americans the
Mansuetos view it as a natural meeting ground for international
dialogue. They established the Gallup Inter-Religious Dialogue
Project, which has presented representatives of various religious
traditions, discussing meaning and value.
come to Gallup to make money, but the complex cultural interactions
which result create a unique opportunity for dialogue regarding
fundamental questions, Mansueto said. Because of the participation
of Diné and Zuni leaders, this project is also beginning
to attract some international attention.
holds a Ph.D. in religion and society from Graduate Theological
Union in Berkeley. He is the author of Knowing God: Restoring
Reason in an Age of Doubt, which was published last year
by Ashgate, and other books.
Mansueto, an adjunct at UNM-G, holds a bachelor's in history
from the University of Dallas, and has done graduate work in
theology, canon law and human development at the University
of Dallas, the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome,
and Northwestern Univ.
also publish a journal, Seeking Wisdom, which can
be viewed at www.geocities.com/diacosmos.