Re: grace in Buber's conceptual frame work.

[ Martin Buber - Discussions ]

Written by jemar at 20 Feb 2001 03:51:33:

As an answer to: Re: grace in Buber's conceptual frame work. written by K at 12 Feb 2001 17:55:50:

Hi K!
'Wish I had checked your reply ealier. Thanks for pointing out where "grace" is referred to in I and Thou, pp. 7 & 131 of the Charles Scribner's Sons 2nd ed. 1958.
You raised an interesting question about a "balance" ... if I understood you correctly ... between that which is outside human power (supernatural?) and that which is within human power. Your question suggests categories, a dichotomy perhaps, that I am not comfortable with. But perhaps you would like to analyze the text in Between Man and Man, "Silence which is Communication", p. 3 of the Beacon Press 1955 ed. toward bottom, and then p.4 "But even now the man does not speak a word, does not stir a finge. Yet he does something. The lifting of the spell has happened to him -- no matter where -- without his doing...." What is Buber saying here?
'Look forward to your responses...

>Hello jemar,
>Thank-you for your response, it was helpful and got me thinking. I did find several references to Grace in Buber's work, In the I and thou postscript number 5 he says in speaking of mutuality that "it is a grace for which one must always be ready and which one never gains as an assured possesion". On page 5 of I and thou when he is speaking of seeing the tree in an I-thou way he says that "It can also come about , if I have both will and grace that in considering the tree I become bound up in relation to it". I see this grace as the giftness of the experience of I-thou or deep encounter as I like to call it. We cannot make it happen. Something in that "between" place you were talking about exists that makes that connecting a possibility. As far as I know Buber would link this to something spiritual that would lead us to the Eternal thou. However, i agree with you that Buber is not looking for something that will take us out of the world or create "trancendence" because it is only in the world and by being fully present to the world that this I-thou relation is possible. So my question becomes how do you balance this, this outside of humanity gift that seems imperative for that 'betweeness" to occur and our responsibility to stay in the world and not get caught up in that desire for trancendence even though I-thou moment seems trancendent in many ways? If any one has any thoughts they would be deeply appreciated thank-you Jemar for asking me to think about this. K
>Hello, I am trying to discover if Buber uses the word grace in any of his books to describe the natural gift that occurs between people when they meet in a deep way. Buber seems to imply in his work that we cannot will an I thou encounter but only be open to it. Therefore, I am wondering if you have any insight into which words he would use to describe what happens in that betweeness that is not a product of will or of turning. Books and Page numbers would be greatly appreciated. And if you know the word that he would use in german or hebrew it would be of great help. Thank-you for thinking about this. K
>>Dear K
>>I tend to be wary about finding "grace" in Buber's I and Thou. But there is something that comes close to it, and perhaps you already know, when he discusses the "between" toward the last pages of Between Man and Man. There, he says that the between is "still uncomprehended". The "between" as "still uncomprehended" is a point brought up in passing by a certain John Stewart in his introduction to "The Reach of Dialogue" (Anderson, Cissna et al.)
>>Why am I wary about "grace" in I and Thou? Because it seems to suggest a transcendent order beyond the human order. I tend to see Buber as THE humanist, of a way that rivals Nietzsche and Sartre. (If I am blind to the transcendent order, please try to open my eyes.) Thanks


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