What is a Relationship?—Andrew Fellows

These days, we stretch the word “relationship” to fit every sphere of life. We easily speak of work and family relationships, but this is different from saying that two people are “in a relationship”, a phrase always tinged with romance. "Relationship” is even used to describe what we should have with God. But how does this relationship differ from other kinds of relationship?

In this lecture, Andrew Fellows seeks to inject meaning into this commonly used word by unpacking the Jewish thinker Martin Buber’s short book I and Thou. Buber proposed that relationships have two forms: the "It" and the "You." In the former, we relate to an object or a person to either experience or use it. In the latter, we encounter others as persons in themselves. Both forms are necessary and Fellows provides practical wisdom for moving between them.

Listen to “What is a Relationship?” (L’Abri Ideas Library). For a deeper dive, follow up with Andrew's more recent talk called "Eating People is Wrong: A Description of Other-centered Love".

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