Skip to main content

Jacob Levy Moreno’s encounter term: a part of a social drama

Jacob Levy Morenos Begegnungsbegriff – ein Teil eines sozialen Dramas

Abstract

This article looks closer at the connection between Moreno’s early professional art work and the formation of his encounter term, and how these in turn enter into a social drama that took place in the double monarchy Austria-Hungary before World War I. Of particular importance is the activity in and around the House of Encounter in 1909. The social upheavals in the capital of the double monarchy, Vienna, the formation of the encounter term and sociodrama as expressionist term are linked. The question that accompanies this text is: How can we see, today, the formation of Jacob Levy Moreno’s encounter practice both as a part of expressionist art work and as social reform work?

Zusammenfassung

Dieser Artikel beleuchtet die Verbindung zwischen Morenos früher professioneller Kunst und der Herausbildung seines Begegnungsbegriffs und wie diese in ein soziales Drama münden, das sich in der Doppelmonarchie Österreich-Ungarn vor dem I. Weltkrieg ereignete. Von besonderer Bedeutung ist dabei das Geschehen in und um das Haus der Begegnung in 1909. Die sozialen Unruhen in Wien, der Hauptstadt der Doppelmonarchie, die Herausbildung des Begegnungsbegriffs und der expressionistische Begriff Soziodrama werden miteinander in Beziehung gesetzt. Die Frage, die sich durch den Text zieht, lautet: Wie können wir aus heutiger Sicht die Herausbildung von Jacob Levy Morenos Praxis der Begegnung als Teil eines expressionistischen Kunstschaffens und als sozialreformatorischen Impuls sehen?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. To Dream Again” is the title of Zerka T. Moreno’s autobiography. The title is most likely taken from a conversation Moreno had with Freud around 1912. This conversation indicates the difference between their life projects. “To Dream Again” may in many ways be looked upon as Moreno’s credo.

  2. Waldl, Robert. 2012. On October 12th 2012, Bjørn Rasmussen and the author had the opportunity to interview Waldl at Schottenfeldgasse 41 in Vienna, study various kinds of material concerning the contact between Moreno and Buber, including a copy of a letter from Moreno to Buber dated September 26th 1918. Waldl has Moreno’s influence on Buber’s encounter term as theme for his doctoral thesis: Begegnung- J. L. Morenos Beitrag zu Martin Bubers dialogischer Philosophie. Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades der Philosophie an der Fakultät für Philosophie und Bildungswissenschaften der Universität Wien eingereicht von Mag. Robert Waldl. Wien, Jänner 2006.

  3. Buber never published this motto. Waldl found it in an unpublished preface to the book.

  4. Moreno, J.L. (1993). Who Shall Survive? The title of the book is a question put to Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest, on the natural selection of the species. In the book, Moreno answers that the survival of the self is dependent on being met. Health in the spiritual sense is also dependent on the encounter.

References

  • Berglind, H. (ed.). (1998). Skapande ögonblick. Stockholm: Cura.

    Google Scholar 

  • Briburg, A. T. (2011). Jakob Levy Moreno—Die Wiener Zeit. Unpublished diploma thesis Alpen-Adria-Universität, Klagenfurt.

  • Eriksen, T. B. (1991). Freuds retorikk. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haffner, S. (1978). Adolf Hitler—et politisk portræt. København: Høst & søn.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kellermann, P. (2007). Sociodrama and Collective Trauma. London: Kingsley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Knausgård, K. O. (2012). Avstanden midt i blant oss. Nasjonal minnekonsert 22.7.12. NRK 1.

  • Kristoffersen, B. (1993). Fokus på Sosiatri, Drama, Film og Teater. Trondheim: UNIT/AVH.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kristoffersen, B. (2008). Handling og forbundethet—Jacob Levy Moreno i Wien. Nordisk dramapedagogisk tidsskrift, 3 & 4, 33–40.

  • Marineau, R. F. (1989). Jacob Levy Moreno, 1889–1974. Father of Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy. London: Tavistock.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marineau, R. (1994). The cradles of Morenos contributions. In P. Holms et al. (eds.), Psychodrama since Moreno. Innovations in theory and practice (pp. 81–94). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • McGovern, C. B. (1983). Psychodrama: Its theatrical origins [mikroform]. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moreno, J. L. (1955). Preludes to my autobiography. Beacon: Beacon House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moreno, J. L. (1959). Psychodrama (Vol. II). Beacon: Beacon House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moreno, J. L. (1983). The theatre of spontaneity. Ambler: Beacon House. (first published 1924).

    Google Scholar 

  • Moreno, J. L. (1993). Who shall survive? Foundations of sociometry, group psychotherapy and sociodrama. McLean: American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama. (first published 1934).

    Google Scholar 

  • Moreno, Z. (2012). To dream again. A memoir. New York: Mental Health Resources.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scherr, F. (2011). Jakob Levy Moreno im Flüchtlingslager Mitterndorf a. d. Fischa—eine Spurensuche. Unpublished diploma thesis Alpen-Adria-Universität, Klagenfurt.

  • Shahar, G. (2004). The Jewish Actor and the Theatre of Modernism. Theatre Research International, 29(3), 216–231.

  • Rasmussen, B., & Kristoffersen, B. (2011). Handling og forestilling—forestilling om handling. Jacob Levy Morenos teaterekspresjonisme og sosiatri. Trondheim: Tapir.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rüegsegger, B. (2000). Persönlichkeiten und das Schachspiel. Huttwil: B. Rüegsegger. (Also on internet: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/6130672/Pictured-Hitler-playing-chess-with-Lenin.html).

  • Rubin, E. (1930). Lenin in Wien. Wien: Wiener Volksschriften-Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Waldl, R. (2005). J. L. Morenos Einfluss auf Martin Bubers Ich und Du. Zeitschrift für Psychodrama und Soziometrie, 1, 175–191. (Retrieved from http://www.waldl.com/downloads/Waldl_Morenos_Einfluss_auf_Bubers_Ich_und_Du.pdf)

  • Zweig, S. (1993). Verden av i går. Oslo: Aschehoug.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Børge Kristoffersen.

Additional information

Another version of this article is published in DRAMA. Nordisk dramapedagogisk tidskrift nr. 3/2013 (Nordic Journal for Pedagogy of Drama) as the title: Isolasjon er lidelse (Isolation is suffering). Retrieved from http://dramaiskolen.no/dramaiskolen/media/Drama_03_2013_oppslag_highres.pdf

The article is translated by Albert Collett and Børge Kristoffersen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kristoffersen, B. Jacob Levy Moreno’s encounter term: a part of a social drama. Z Psychodrama Soziom 13, 59–71 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11620-014-0222-4

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11620-014-0222-4

Keywords

  • “The art of living”
  • Expressionism
  • Social reform work
  • Vienna before World War 1
  • House of encounter
  • Encounter
  • Moreno’s influence on Martin Buber

Schlüsselwörter

  • „Die Kunst zu leben“
  • Expressionismus
  • soziale Reformen
  • Wien vor dem 1. Weltkrieg
  • Haus der Begegnung
  • Begegnung
  • Morenos Einfluss auf Martin Buber