Trialogue in an Interreligious Context: Reinterpreting the Dialogue Model of Martin Buber

In: Culture and Dialogue
Josef Boehle School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham UK

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In this article it is proposed to reflect on the structures of all dialogue by using a Trialogue model: in the encounter between the dialogue partners the presence of a third dimension, Ultimate Reality, as well as the Ultimate Self of each of the dialogue partners are postulated and reflected upon. Trialogue, with this meaning, is a new model and is reinterpreting the core concepts used in the dialogical thinking of Martin Buber: I-It; I-Thou; and the eternal Thou. The concepts used in the Trialogue model are appropriate for an interreligious context: Ultimate Self and Ultimate Reality are concepts not limited to a specific religious tradition. Trialogue, understood as a universal type of encounter between persons, goes beyond the confines of Abrahamic traditions and a Western Enlightenment understanding of selfhood.

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