Study and Dialogue: Buber and Rosenzweig – Manuscript Workshop

As part of his SSHRC-funded project “Study and Dialogue: Buber and Rosenzweig”, Professor Robert Gibbs hosted a four-day manuscript workshop at the DSR, February 19-22, 2023, attended by some 14 scholars from Germany, Israel, and the USA.

Gibbs is exploring the concept of study, framing it as a network of practices, disciplines and people, and focusing on a paradigmatic project of study: the translation by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig of the Hebrew Scriptures into German. These two leading Jewish thinkers of their time engaged in almost five years of weekly meetings and vast correspondence to create their new Jewish translation. This collaboration has long been regarded as one of the great moments of 20th-century thinking—and it combines practices of translation, commentary, scholarship, theology, philosophy, and literary theory.

This February workshop is part of the thread of Gibbs’ project that scrutinizes Buber and Rosenzweig’s practice of translation. There are accounts by Buber of how drafts and questions circulated, but the practical dynamics also depended on Rosenzweig’s wife, Edith. What interests Gibbs is the complexity of their dialogue (which was mostly mediated both by writing and by a third person). Is this practical mediation itself a reflection on what study is, as well as necessarily a reflection on the work of translation between languages?

A workshop was also held in Jerusalem in May 2022, with another scheduled to take place in Frankfurt in summer 2023.

manuscript detail