Multipolarity as a concept and lived reality is not merely a geopolitical affair. Multipolarity can extend into epistemic and spiritual spheres. Geopolitical multipolarity means the emergence and sustenance of a multipolar world order where there are several centres of power. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has emerged to become the sole superpower in the world in an era of unipolarity. But that era is now eroded and dissipated to give rise to a new era of multipolarity where China and Russia have emerged as new centres of great power. The recent expansion of the BRICS alliance has given a concrete boost to this new multipolarity.
Epistemically, it is timely and urgent to steer away from hegemonic discourses, traditionally western, that dictate what is good, true, beautiful, valuable, and useful. For too long, the world has witnessed the production and consumption of knowledge dominated largely by Eurocentric and Americocentric voices. Intellectual and scientific knowledge across disciplines have been defined by and evaluated on the basis of western epistemic frameworks and values. The rise of the subaltern, postcolonialism, and multiculturalism has provoked a rise in global consciousness that sees beyond the limited confines of Euro-American paradigms of thought and action.
Spiritually, there is a necessity for alternative discourses and praxes for cultivating the good and moral life, and what constitutes the summum bonum of human existence in terms of spiritual good. Hence, it is time to reverse the hijacking and colonization of the Asian mind by the “churchianity” of Anglo-Americanism that has conflated Christ with Caesar, Galilee with Rome, Kingdom with Empire, gospel with culture, truth with prejudice, fraternity with ethnocentrism, ekklesia with tribalism, and spirituality with capitalism. A radical awakening and transformation awaits us.
A multipolar epistemic and spiritual world is ripe for the taking. Obstacles and undulations along the journey are bound to exist. But this is a historic moment for humanity. Are we up for seizing this moment?