In this contribution to our forum, “Communicating Critical Qualitative Research Departures,” Boris H. J. M. Brummans offers a compelling meditation on the elusive achievement, humanizing potentials, and ethical demands of dialogue entitled “Dialoguing with the Unborn, the Unconscious, and the Dead.” Brummans is concerned with “sustaining a sense of dialogue” under conditions wherein its possibility is muted. How might we aspire to edifying connections with others when the mutuality of responsiveness necessary for dialogue is tenuous, threatened, doubtful, or missing?

Brummans opens with three poignant vignettes from his own life in which he attempts to address cherished family members, each of whom is “bodied over against”1 yet removed from him as a conscious being...

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