Martin Buber portrait.
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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) December 13, 2021: My favorite scholar is the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955). Over the years from the fall semester of 1964 onward, I took five courses from Father Ong at Saint Louis University, the Jesuit university in St. Louis, Missouri.
Later in my life, when I taught at the University of Minnesota Duluth (1987-2009), I regularly taught an introductory survey course on the Bible as Literature.
Ong characterized his mature thought from the early 1950s onward as phenomenological and personalist in cast. In his mature work, he never tired of invoking Martin Buber's famous book I am Thou (1923). By invoking Buber's 1923 classic, Ong signaled the personalist cast of his thought. In addition, Ong discusses Buber's 1957 book Eclipse of God: Studies in the Relation Between Religion and Philosophy in his 1967 book The Presence of the Word: Some Prolegomena for Cultural and Religious History (Yale University Press, pages 16 and 288-289), the expanded version of Ong's 1964 Terry Lectures at Yale University.
I honored Ong's frequent invocation of Buber's 1923 classic in the subtitle of my introductory survey of Ong's life and eleven of his books and selected articles, Walter Ong's Contributions to Cultural Studies: The Phenomenology of the Word and I-Thou Communication, revised and expanded second edition (New York: Hampton Press, 2015; first edition, 2000).
My Buber-Related OEN Articles
Now, Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, frequently invokes Buber's terminology about encounter and dialogue, as I discussed in my OEN article "Pope Francis Urges Encounter and Dialogue" (dated October 29, 2014):
In addition, I have discussed Buber's thought in the following four OEN articles (in chronological order):
(1) "Celebrating Martin Buber's Life and Thought" (dated May 18, 2019):
(2) "Martin Buber's Legacy for Americans Today" (dated May 31, 2019):
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).