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Martin Buber, Hasidism, and Jewish spirituality: the implications for education and for pastoral care

Guilherme, Alex and Morgan, W. John 2016. Martin Buber, Hasidism, and Jewish spirituality: the implications for education and for pastoral care. Pastoral Care in Education 34 (3) , pp. 133-143. 10.1080/02643944.2016.1167233

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There is a legal requirement that schools engage with the spiritual aspects of education, which encompasses pastoral care. This reflects the ethical sensibility that is present in individuals and underlies interactions with Others; and which should be part of the ethos of all educational institutions and especially schools. This is because spirituality is important to leading a moral life and to understanding the Other. The article considers specifically the potential of Jewish spirituality, and uses Martin Buber’s thought, to gain a better understanding of its contribution to education and to pastoral care. In the first part, we comment on the ‘basic words’, I-Thou and I-It, which are connected with Hasidism, the Jewish spiritual movement which had a great influence on Martin Buber. Hasidism understands that it is our duty to find and connect with the ‘divine sparks’, as genuine relations merge with the Divine, and when humans relate genuinely to one another, they relate to God. This is crucial for understanding the superiority of I-Thou relations over I-It relations. In the second and third parts of the article, we consider the implications of this understanding of Jewish spirituality for education and for pastoral care. This is done through highlighting the importance of I-Thou relations if the spiritual aspects of education and of pastoral care are to be encouraged and fulfilled.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0264-3944
Date of Acceptance: 16 February 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2021 17:00

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