Dialogue thinking in Protestant tradition

Bogusław Milerski

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/PCh.2010.003


The genesis of the philosophy of dialogue is associated with the work of Jewish philosophers as Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber and also with Ferdinand Ebner from the catholic side. This paper focuses on the protestant tradition of dialogue thinking in philosophy, theology and at least in pedagogy. The Karl Barth’s monograph Der Römerbrief (1919, the second edition 1922), which was the programme manifest of dialectical theology, had been published before I and Thou (1923) and the some other standard books. The author reconstructed two types of dialogue thinking patterns – the vertical and the horizontal dialogic. The first type led to the development of so called protestant church pedagogy. From the perspective of educational theory it was the kind of anti-pedagogical movement. Another type of dialogic based on the category of the ethical transcendence and described the “I and Thou” relationship in horizontal dimension. It concentrated on the phenomenology of “Thou-presence”. The experience of this presence is not to be seen in the direct way. The “Thou-experience” appears as double meaning and involves continues afford of interpretation. The horizontal dialogic supplies the basis of the modern pedagogy of dialogue. This pedagogy builds the aspects of the general theory of religious and also of humanistic education. It can be used as a philosophical legitimisation of multicultural and ecumenical learning.

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