Weiterbildung, 2 | 2019 pp 28-30

It is a mistake to assume that because someone was once famous, they and their work continue to be known and valued. This, unfortunately, may be so with the Jewish philosopher and educator Martin Buber (1878–1965), at least as regards a general educated readership. Yet, Buber is claimed as one of the twentieth century’s most important scholars of the philosophy of religion and of Jewish life and thought, especially Hasidism (Guilherme/Morgan 2016). He was also a philosopher of education, with most commentaries focusing on formal education and the education of the child (Rosenblat 1971). The historical record of Buber’s contribution to adult education, under the extreme conditions of National Socialist Germany and subsequently in Palestine and Israel, has been considered previously: in German notably by Friedenthal-Haase (1990;1991) and Friedenthal-Haase and Korrenz (2005); and in English by Morgan and Guilherme (2014). Our purpose is to revisit Martin Buber’s contribution to adult education for a readership that may not be familiar with his work and to consider its continuing relevance. By adult education, we mean non-formal education and informal learning at its many levels; and not just basic education.