Misroslav Bachev – Martin Buber’s Philosophy of Dialogue as a Theology of Dialogue

Abstract: Martin Buber was a Jewish philosopher, best known for his philosophy of dialogue, which is defined mainly as a form of religious existentialism focused on the distinction between relations: I-Thou and I-It. The first of them is the relationship between two personalities, the second – between a personality and everything outside it – world, things, etc. In this sense the world is dual to a man, and dual human I. Buber criticizes the notion of “pure I” as unapproachable and closed monad in itself, the self is always involved in relationships. In I-It relationship the man as a subject of thought and action perceives objects and other people as lacking individuality, as intended for use, exploitation and control. Genuine relationships between people are based on the ratio I-Thou: they are soulful, meaningful and sterling. I-Thou- relationship is unique and has a priori character. A priori of this relationship is the realization of the inherent Thou when meeting with the real Thou. At a higher level of a relationship Buber identifies I-Thou-relation, to what can exist between a man and God, the idea of I-Thou relationship transcends relationship with God – an eternal Thou. Thus the philosophy of the  dialogue passes to the theology of the dialogue. In the “Thou”, the Other one shall be seen as God. This God is the eternal Thou as a priori sacred.

Keywords: I-Thou, relationship, dialogic, religious existentialism, dialectics.

Rhetoric and Communications E-journal, Issue 5, September 2012,  http://rhetoric.bg/, ISSN 1314-4464

Read the original of the article (in Bulgarian)