Encounter on the Narrow Ridge: A Life of Martin Buber

Overview

Martin Buber's stature as the most significant Jewish religious philosopher of the twentieth century is reinforced by his accomplishments and renown in areas as diverse as Hasidism, psychotherapy, education, folklore, and politics. His classic, I and Thou, is known and studied all over the world.

In this complete and masterful biography, Maurice Friedman traces the interweaving of Buber's wholehearted engagement with world events and crises and the evolution of his unique and ...

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Encounter on the Narrow Ridge: A Life of Martin Buber

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Overview

Martin Buber's stature as the most significant Jewish religious philosopher of the twentieth century is reinforced by his accomplishments and renown in areas as diverse as Hasidism, psychotherapy, education, folklore, and politics. His classic, I and Thou, is known and studied all over the world.

In this complete and masterful biography, Maurice Friedman traces the interweaving of Buber's wholehearted engagement with world events and crises and the evolution of his unique and influential philosophy. We see the impact of World War I on the young thinker; his work in education, community, and politics between the wars; his leadership of the spiritual resistance to the Nazis in Hitler's Germany; and his more than forty years of fighting for Jewish-Arab understanding. In addition, we see Buber interact with Heidegger, Sartre, Jung, Ben Gurion, Hesse, Rosenzweig, and Hammarskjold.

Through his close relationship with Buber and recent access to forty-five thousand unpublished letters, Maurice Friedman recreates Buber's vitality, his philosophy of dialogue, and his spirituality based on a personal relationship with God. Encounter on the Narrow Ridge delivers the essential spontaneity of a great man who saw in every encounter a focal point for human growth.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Buber, the most noted Jewish philosopher of the 20th century, has had a profound influence on contemporary thought through his theory of an inspired and direct dialog between man and God. In this biography, Friedman, a recognized authority on Buber, contributes a clear and lucid analysis largely based on his three-volume Martin Buber's Life and Work ( LJ 4/1/84). He traces Buber's career showing the pivotal events in his life as well as the influences of Judaism, Christianity, general philosophical thought, and linguistics on his writings and lectures. Friedman analyzes succinctly, but with great care, Buber's responses to the important events of the 20th century: the two World Wars, the Holocaust, postwar Germany from 1945-61, and the establishment of Israel and the Jewish-Arab problem. He also deftly explores Buber's differences with Theodor Herzl, David Ben-Gurion, Carl Jung, Jean Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, and Dag Hammarskjold. This is highly recommended to all libraries.--Maurice Tuchman, Hebrew Coll. Lib., Brookline, Mass.
Jonathan Kirsch
It's a book that provides not only a superb introduction to Buber's life and work, but also a short course of instruction in the praxis of "I and Thou" as a philosophical method.
Los Angeles Times
Mary Deely
The definitive biography.
BookQuest
Maurice Tuchman
Highly recommended.
Library Journal
Susan Miron
Buber and his many worlds come to life here with uncanny accuracy and immediacy.
New York Newsday
Benjamin Weininger
Maurice Friedman has written a classic—a great book—inspiring and educational in the true sense of the word. Every psychotherapist, counselor, educator, sociologist, philosopher and political scientist can learn much from this biography of Buber."
The Jerusalem Post - Book Reviewer
"This magnificent, sensible and scholarly work is as much a tribute to Maurice Friedman's 30-year pursuit of Martin Buber as it is to the multifaceted life and work of
Buber."
Nobel Laureate - Elie Wiesel
"An overwhelming contribution to the understanding of Martin Buber and his religious philosophy."
Jewish Philosopher - Emil Fackenheim
"Maurice Friedman has long been recognized as, of all the Buber scholars, the most thorough and comprehensive.... Martin Buber's Life and Work is his crowning achievement and a masterpiece. It will surely be the most authoritative work on Buber in the foreseeable future."
New York Times Book Review - Martin Marty
"All subsequent work on Martin Buber must build on Maurice Friedman's foundation."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557785961
  • Publisher: Paragon House Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/15/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 713,470
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

MAURICE FRIEDMAN, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of religious studies, philosophy, and comparative literature at San Diego State University. He is the author of Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue, which Buber himself called "the classic study of my thought," Martin Buber's Life and Work, which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1985, and many translations and editions of Buber's work. Among Friedman's other books are To Deny Our Nothingness: Contemporary Images of Man and The Healing Dialogue in Psychotherapy.
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