Martin Buber – Timely Words on the Virtue of Conversation

February 10, 2017 — Leave a comment

 

This week marked the birthday of theologian Martin Buber… 

In the fragmented world driven by social media, Martin Buber’s words give us the compelling hope of being in conversation and being present with others. They orient us toward the shalom that God intends for creation.

Here are 5 important passages that illuminate the virtues of conversation in the present age…

 

A Theophany in the
Place Called Community

 

Two believers in conflict about their doctrines are concerned with the execution of divine will, not with a fleeting personal agreement. For the man who is so related to his faith that he is able to die or slay for it there can be no realm where the law of the faith ceases to hold. It is laid on him to help truth to victory, he does not let himself be misled by sentiments. The man holding a different, that is false, belief must be converted, or at least instructed … The thesis of religious disputation cannot be allowed to “go.”

[In contrast, I have only this confession] We expect a theophany of which we know nothing but the place, and the place is called community. In the public catacombs of this expectation there is no single God’s word which can be clearly known and advocated, but the words delivered are clarified for us in our human situation of being turned toward one another. There is no obedience to the coming one without loyalty to his creature. To have experienced this is our way.

 

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