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Keywords:

  • Martin Buber;
  • philosophy;
  • dialogue;
  • education;
  • conflict resolution

Abstract

Most of what has been written about Buber and education tend to be studies of two kinds: theoretical studies of his philosophical views on education, and specific case studies that aim at putting theory into practice. The perspective taken has always been to hold a dialogue with Buber's works in order to identify and analyse critically Buber's views and, in some cases, to put them into practice; that is, commentators dialogue with the text. In this article our aims are of a different kind. First and fundamentally, we demonstrate the political and social ontological basis of Buber's thought; that is, we show that Buber, the philosopher of dialogue, held an authentic dialogue with his time, and demonstrate that Buber's work, in this case I and Thou, holds a dialogue with its Zeitgeist; that is the text dialogues with its Zeitgeist. This approach leads us to our second aim, which is to demonstrate that Buber's thought remains relevant to our times, particularly when it serves as a dialogical educational tool with which to resolve conflict of all types and to aid dialogue towards peace in inter-community relations.