Gearing Up for the June AEPL Conference: Some Resources on Buber’s Encounters

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.),
–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


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