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March 13 lecture to explore 20th-century Jewish philosopher Martin Buber's vision of Arab-Jewish rapprochement

March 1, 2005

Paul Mendes-Flohr MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Paul Mendes-Flohr of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Chicago Divinity School, will give a lecture titled "A Land of Two Peoples:  Martin Buber's Vision of Arab-Jewish Rapprochement" at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 13, at Middlebury College.  The talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Conference Room of the Robert A. Jones House on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125).  Mendes-Flohr's lecture is the 18th annual Hannah A. Quint Lecture in Jewish Studies.

In a piece titled "It Is Time to Invite Martin Buber to the Peace Talks," published on a nonprofit Web page devoted to Buber,, Peter F. Spaulding, a retired foreign service officer, wrote, "Martin Buber-who with his flowing white beard and piercing eyes so looked the wise philosopher-is best known as the author of 'I and Thou,' which contains the essence of his Philosophy of Dialogue. He is less well known as an articulate voice for reconciliation and accommodation. No Jewish thinker has felt more passionately about the moral necessity for reconciliation between Jew and Arab than Martin Buber."

Together with Peter Schäfer, Mendes-Flohr serves as editor in chief of the 22-volume German edition of the collected works of Martin Buber, sponsored by the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.  Mendes-Flohr is the author of a number of books, including "From Mysticism to Dialogue: Martin Buber and the Transformation of German Social Thought" (Wayne State University Press, 1989).

Since 1973, Mendes-Flohr has taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has served as director of the Franz Rosenzweig Centre since 1999.  Since 2000 he has served on the faculty of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, where he is a professor of modern Jewish thought.  Mendes-Flohr has also held the position of visiting professor at several universities, including Harvard, Brandeis and the University of Virginia.

He is the recipient of a number of prizes and fellowships.  In 1986 Mendes-Flohr was awarded a Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and in 1997 he received the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Prize.

He is on the editorial board of numerous professional journals in Israel, the United States and Europe, including The Journal of Jewish Philosophy and Thought, where he is a co-editor.

Mendes-Flohr's research interests include modern Jewish intellectual history, modern Jewish philosophy and religious thought, philosophy of religion, German intellectual history, and the history and sociology of intellectuals.

He received his doctorate from Brandeis University.

The Hannah A. Quint Lecture in Jewish Studies was established in 1987 by Hannah A. Quint and her son Eliot Levinson of the Middlebury class of 1964.  The mandate of the lectureship is to provoke thought in the college, the Middlebury community and the region on issues of moment in Jewish history, religion and culture.  The event is sponsored by the Middlebury College Religion Department and Program in Jewish Studies.  

For more information, contact Charlene Barrett in the Middlebury College Religion Department at or 802-443-5289.

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