Some Recent Papers On Knowing And Otherness, and Love

Sarah Scott
Knowing Otherness – Martin Buber’s Appropriation of Nicholas of Cusa
Martin Buber wrote his 1904 dissertation on Nicholas of Cusa, but the relationship between the two has been little studied. This article focuses on four ways in which Buber appropriated Cusa’s ideas. (1) Cusa’s theory of participation argues for the absolute worth of the individual, foreshadowing Buber’s ethics of actualization. (2) Buber takes Cusa’s model of how one may know God as other through “learned ignorance” and applies it to how one may know and adequately respond to beings as others in his distinction between “I-Thou” and “I-It” relations. (3) Buber employs Cusa’s term “coincidence of opposites” to describe what happens in dialogue. Seeing the coincidence of opposites moves subjects to adopt intersubjective perspectives and give up unhealthy relations of conflict. (4) Buber’s 1938 criticism of Cusa for maintaining that selves evolve in isolation illuminates Buber’s creation of his own dialogic philosophy.
John F. Crosby
Is Love a Value-Response? Dietrich von Hildebrand in Dialogue with John Zizioulas
Metropolitan John Zizioulas has recently written a probing assessment of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s The Nature of Love. Zizioulas has thereby opened a dialogue between his own theological personalism and von Hildebrand’s phenomenological personalism. In this paper, I am at continuing this dialogue. I formulate three objections that I see Zizioulas raising to von Hildebrand’s claim that love exists as a value-response. In considering them, I try to eliminate misunderstandings, to identify areas of agreement and disagreement, and to show where each of these thinkers has something to gain from the encounter with the other. Most of all, I aim at working towards an understanding of love that incorporates the insights of both von Hildebrand and Zizioulas.

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