Moments of Meeting

Buber, Rogers, and the Potential for Public Dialogue

By Kenneth N. Cissna & Rob Anderson

Subjects: Communication
Series: SUNY series in Communication Studies
Paperback : 9780791452844, 350 pages, March 2002
Hardcover : 9780791452837, 350 pages, March 2002

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Table of contents

Barnett Pearce


1. Dialogue in Public Space

2. A Rhetorical Approach to Dialogue

3. Buber and the Philosophy of Dialogue

4. Rogers and the Praxis of Dialogue

5. Historical Context and the Buber–Rogers Meeting

6. Interhuman Meeting

7. Theorizing Dialogic Moments

8. Conversations of Democracy

9. The Next Voices

About the Authors
Author Index
Subject Index

Tells the story of the relationship between two of the last century's foremost scholars of dialogue, philosopher Martin Buber and psychotherapist Carl Rogers.


Moments of Meeting tells the story of a uniquely important event in twentieth-century intellectual history, the 1957 public dialogue of philosopher Martin Buber and psychotherapist Carl Rogers, and explores the practical implications of that event for contemporary social and cultural theory. Supported by original historical research, close textual analysis, and a variety of interviews, the book illuminates the careers, theories, and practices of two of the last century's foremost scholars of dialogue, while it clarifies what they shared in common. Following a careful case study of the Buber-Rogers public conversation about the dynamics of dialogue itself, the authors conclude that public dialogue cannot be built primarily upon skillful technique. Instead, we must support settings and attitudes that enable unique "moments of meeting."

Kenneth N. Cissna is Professor of Communication at the University of South Florida, and Rob Anderson is Professor of Communication at Saint Louis University. Their collaborative work in the philosophy and practice of dialogue includes two previous books, The Martin Buber–Carl Rogers Dialogue: A New Transcript with Commentary, a companion volume to Moments of Meeting, and the anthology The Reach of Dialogue: Confirmation, Voice, and Community (with Ronald C. Arnett).


"In his novel, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke envisioned a world challenged by the discovery of an alien 'other.' As we reach the actual year 2001, it is clear that we are in constant contact with an even more difficult 'other'—those people with whom we share an increasingly small and interdependent planet who are not only not us but also not like us. To a very large extent, the quality of our lives depends on our willingness and ability to communicate dialogically with them.…What is needed, and what [this book] provides, are guides for moving forward together." — from the Foreword by Barnett Pearce