Martin Buber's Religious Socialism and Education

부버의 종교적 사회주의와 교육

  • Published : 2016.09.30


The purpose of this study is to investigate the relations between religious socialism and education of Martin Buber(1878~1965), a theistic existentialist. Buber suggested religious socialism as an alternative to modern capitalist society which has many problems. Buber's religious socialism is based on the communitarianism of Hasidism. Buber considered 'true' socialism must be based on decentralized associations, not based on centralized state apparatuses. For establishing this kind of socialism, human will and mind are the most important. Thus, education takes a very important role in the process of social transformation. According to Buber, education and pedagogy should contribute to overcoming modern society's problems by pursuing the construction of community(true socialist society). For Buber, education for individuals' character and education for building community are not separated but combined. That is, although education takes a main role in the social transformation, it should not be considered just as an instrument for the social transformation. This is the main distinction between Buber's thought and other key socialists' thoughts on social transformation and education, because many of socialists who stress the role of education in the process of social transformation, tend to regard education as an instrument for the social transformation. According to Buber, education can contribute to social transformation without being an instrument for the social transformation. These ideas of Buber on religious socialism and education have important implications for educators and educationalists who hope education contributes to solving problems of modern society.