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[Xmca-l] Re: bildung and obuchenie

Here is a link to a paper on the German Bildung Tradition:


The introduction to this paper  traces the historical development of the
concept of *bildung*
The article explores the origin of the *root metaphor* dating to the 16th
century within Pietistic Theology according to which devout Christians
SHOULD  seek to cultivate (Bildung) within dispositions according to the
image of God, which was innate in his soul.

This *source* has also been explored by Suzanne Kirschner, in her tracing
the *root metaphor* of Psychoanalytic Theory back to these same sources
[see her book "The Religious and Romantic Origins of Psychoanalytic Theory:
Individuation and Integration"

Jakob Bohme [1575 - 1624] [referenced in the article on German Bildung and
by Suzanne Krschner] transformed the root metaphor from the *image of God*
to its use within *natural philosophy*.
"the development or unfolding of certain potentialities within an organism"
is the root metaphor as figured within the  *developmental spiral* which
ascends *higher* or *deeper*. God has been transformed to a natural
phenomena as the source of potentiality.

By the end of the 1700's *Bildung* was becoming a term with not only
spiritual, but also philosophical and political connotations.

Increasing the concept of *bildung* was becoming associated with
"liberation of the mind" from tradition and superstition.

Johann Gottfried von Herder [1744 - 1803] went BEYOND the sense
of individual  formation to the totality of a people. Bildung was the
totality of experience that provides a coherent identity.

Herder had a profound influence on Goethe as friends.
Herder also developed the methodological foundations of hermeneutics that
Schleimacher built on.
For Herder, philosophy properly understood is the theory of how the
individual will deveop into the kind of organic unity that will drive
social progress or social *bildung* THIS conception of philosophy carried
forward from Herder to Humboldt, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Dilthey: the
tradition of hermeneutics and historicism.

At the same time Schiller, inaugurated the pre-Romantic Strum and Drang
movement in literature. Goethe and Schiller launched a literary movement
known as *Weimar Classicism* to recover ancient aesthetic values. The value
was the liberation of man THROUGH organic unity, harmonizing thought and
feeling, mind and body. Unlike the Romantics, Weimer Classicism  sought to
harmonize vivid emotions with the clarity of the Enlightenment which
rejected the Romantic notion of *transcendent truth* and the Enlightenment
notion of *transcendent pure reason* .

Goethe initiated the genre of the Bildungsroman novel of formation THROUGH
serving a *higher social good* This genre expresses the ideal
which develops the formation of individuals whose conduct is molded of
dispositions THROUGH wise education and life experience.

This genre and tradition develops THROUGH Goethe nto what is called
German *neo-humanism* Satisfaction is not found in Romantic transcendence
OF social bonds but in the activities of concrete social life. One grows
humanely and naturally "out of the other".

This is a quick summary of the article I have supplied a link to.
Greg, your question or inquiry may partially be answered THROUGH this brief
history of a *root metaphor*
Moving from *the image of god* [supernatural] TO the natural but expressing
the same developmental *spiral* or *helix*.

This root metaphor seems to be continuing to *run through* developmental
theories in our current dia-logue

Michael Eldridge and James Garrison have shown how the Bildung genre also
*runs through* Dewey's pragmatism.


On Sun, Jun 15, 2014 at 10:24 PM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>

> In reading the article I just mentioned (in Anthropology and Education
> Quarterly), I got to thinking that bildung seems very similar to obuchenie.
> I asked a Russian professor who happened to be in a classroom before a
> class I was teaching and she described a concept that seemed very similar
> to bildung. From what I could gather, obuchenie has the same sense of
> "cultivation" that seems to be at the heart of bildung. And of course I
> don't mean "cultivation" in the high cultural sense of being a "cultivated"
> person (although this might have been part of what the early authors
> writing about "bildung" had in mind) rather I mean the idea of a full
> development of the human, not merely the dumping of information into the
> individual.
> Anyone have any sense about overlap between these concepts?
> Are they as similar as they seem to me?
> If different, then how so?
> And I wonder how people would feel about the term "character education" as
> an English analogue to the German bildung and the Russian obuchenie?
> Yes, yes, yes, I know that this aligns with politics that make many people
> sick to their stomach, but frankly, I'm interested in imagining a politics
> that isn't so provincial as the American Left and Right so I'm always
> looking for politically polyvalent concepts. What do you think? Could this
> be a concept that can work in politically polar opposite communities?
> -greg
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson