“Twelve Wolf-Encounter-Pictures ( 十二遇狼図)

To illustrate the origin of hegemonic thinking and identity politics that disrupt dialogues and multilogues and, I would like to propose a fable that is told by a series of twelve pictures, the “Twelve Wolf-Encounter-Pictures” (十二遇狼図), which are accompanied by as many descriptive poems. It is the story of a monkey that grows up in a monkey clan and sees the world through monkey eyes until its world is threatened by an ominous encounter with a wolf.

The idea, story, and poems are created by Gereon Kopf. The poems were illustrated by Amber Takano. I thank Qianran Yang and Irene Lok for checking my Chinese.

The full sequence of twelve images is introduced in the twelve pics are introduced in Gereon Kopf’s article, “Envisioning Multi-Cultural and Multi-Disciplinary Engagement: Lessons from the Twelve Wolf Encounter Pictures,” Culture and Dialogue Vol. 10, No. 1 (July 2022), 60-94 (see PhilPapers). He originally used only 10 images to elaborate the multi-entry approach in “Talking Across the Divide – Discovering our Common Humanity,” and in a chapter of Diversifying Philosophy of Religion: Critiques, Methods, and Case Studies (eds. Nathan Loewen and Agnieszka Rostalska, Bloomsbury 2023).

Figure 1: 猴子嬉树 monkeys playing in the trees

猴在树顶                    high up in the trees

相互嬉戲                    the monkeys’ play is unencumbered

全無干擾                    there is no present danger

這是猿界                    it is the monkey world

Figure 2: 練習独立 practicing independence


从树到树                    From tree to tree

小猴跳跃                    the little monkey jumps

脱离父母                    leaving the parents

練習独立                    practicing independence

Figure 3: 從樹看狼 seeing the wolf from the safety of the trees


身处树上                    the top of the trees

感到安全                    feels peaceful and safe

虽闻狼嚎                    even though wolves howl in the distance

猴是树王                    monkey is the king of the trees

Figure 4: 猴遇見狼 monkey encounters a wolf


为探新界                    to explore new worlds

猴子离树                    monkey leaves the trees

忽然之间                    when, all of a sudden,

猴遇見狼                    a wolf shows up

Figure 5: 狼狩獵猴 wolf chases the monkey


凶残狠狼                    the ferocious wolf

追杀小猴                    chases the monkey

猴试逃脱                    who escapes into the trees

谁又称王                    who is the king now?

Figure 6: 舉案齊眉 mutual respect


休戰達成                    a truce is reached

各有領域                    each has their territory

狼统地面                    wolf roams the land

猴统树林                    monkey rules the trees

Figure 7: 狼崽出現    enter the wolf cub

狼崽玩耍                   the cub plays on the river

試捕倒影                    trying to catch his reflection

猴觀而思                    monkey watches and wonders

有何不同                    are they that different?

Figure 8: 營救狼崽 rescuing the wolf cub


然有一天                    then, one day,

河变洪流                    the river becomes a torrent

猴来營救                    monkey comes to the rescue

共同强大                    together they are stronger

Poem 9: 形成共生   monkey and wolf form a symbiosis

狼甚感激                    the wolf is grateful

猴也放心                    the monkey relieved

雖各有異                    though different in species

有共經驗                    they share an experience

Figure 10: 一起旅行 travelling together

共同合作                    they now work together

互相学習                    and learn from each other

拜访狼家                    visiting the home of the wolf

猴明狼世                    monkey understands the wolf’s world

Figure 11: 看水見狼   looking in the water – seeing the wolf

返回家後                    upon returning home

猴飲甘泉                    monkey drinks from the spring

猴望水时                    in the water, however,

狼脸映出                    wolf’s face is reflected

Figure 12: 衆生共存 the co-existence of all beings

在湖底部                    at the bottom of the lake

無數面現                    numerous beings appear

有帝釋網                    it is Indra’s Net

衆生共存                    the co-existence of all beings