The theme for this summer’s AEPL Conference is “The Art of Encounter in Teaching and Learning.” The conference call references a sentence from Buber’s I and Thou: “All real living [and thus all real education] is meeting.” Buber wanted us to see encounters as a generative and generous connection between mutual, receptive, endlessly becoming, alive selves.
I was first introduced to Martin Buber’s seminal work I and Thou (1923) in college, but, as you can easily imagine, I only understood it at a basic, post-adolescent level. I’ve been sent back to Buber’s ideas a few times over the years, and I and Thou remained in my library despite many book-cullings over the years as I moved around the country.
So it’s been wonderful to get back to thinking about I/Thou and I/It relationships again. For those of you who want a quick dip into Buber’s thought, here are a few places to start:
Kirsch, Adam. “Divine Guidance: Modernity, Faith, and Martin Buber.” New Yorker, Vol. XCV, Iss. 6 (May 6, 2019).
–A nice overview of Buber’s life and thought in a New Yorker article, prompted by the publication of Mendes-Flohr’s new biography of Buber, Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent (Yale University Press, 2019).
Zank, Michael and Braiterman, Zachary, “Martin Buber,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2014/entries/buber/
–A standard overview of Buber’s philosophies with an extensive bibliography
Buber’s poem “Power and Love”
–Google Books has posted excerpts of Maurice S. Friedman’s 3-volume biography Martin Buber’s Life and Work (1981) which includes
A “Brainpickings” post by Maria Popova on Buber connects (more or less successfully) Buber’s thought to other current trends in thinking.
–Ruth Mirtz, Kansas State University Polytechnic