عنوان مقاله [English]
Societies consist of three sub-systems: political, cultural and economic. If the society was a human being, politics would be the human free will, culture his power of thought, and economy his body and organs. This analogy can be explained as follows: The human will pursues its intentions through thinking, and thinking employs material means to put its initiatives in action. Thinking therefore plays the important role of acting as a medium between the will and the action. Culture plays a similar role in the society: Politics operates through culture, and culture uses material and economic means to operate. In other words, culture operates as a medium operating between social will and social action. In today’s world, two major cultural systems confront each other: the religious and the secular cultural systems. Exploring the dimensions of this confrontation would involve a study of the concept of culture in general and a comparative study of the Islamic and the secular cultures. Acquiring an understanding of the concept of culture and its nature is an essential step before any thinking, judgment and planning can be done. This paper first studies culture in general and its nature and then adopts a comparative approach to studying areas of rivalry between the two cultural systems. To this end, the study employs new epistemological and ontological approaches and suggests a model based on teachings of the Qur’an which state that humans have three means for understanding: the sense, the thought and the heart, and that in order for anything belonging to the reality to be understood all the three means need to get involved. On this basis, the paper suggests that culture, as a fact belonging to the reality, is consisted of three layers, or aspects: sense, thought (or reason), and heart. Accordingly, a three dimensional matrix (consisting of a political, a cultural and an economic cultural dimension) was designed in order for the authors to determine the factors shaping culture. We then searched for instances of each of the 36 cells in both the Islamic and the secular cultural systems. Findings of the study can be a used by scholars in the field as a basis for cultural planning.