Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent

Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent

by Paul Mendes-Flohr


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The first major biography in English in over thirty years of the seminal modern Jewish thinker Martin Buber

An authority on the twentieth‑century philosopher Martin Buber (1878–1965), Paul Mendes-Flohr offers the first major biography in English in thirty years of this seminal modern Jewish thinker. The book is organized around several key moments, such as his sudden abandonment by his mother when he was a child of three, a foundational trauma that, Mendes-Flohr shows, left an enduring mark on Buber’s inner life, attuning him to the fragility of human relations and the need to nurture them with what he would call a “dialogical attentiveness.”
Buber’s philosophical and theological writings, most famously I and Thou, made significant contributions to religious and Jewish thought, philosophical anthropology, biblical studies, political theory, and Zionism. In this accessible new biography, Mendes-Flohr situates Buber’s life and legacy in the intellectual and cultural life of German Jewry as well as in the broader European intellectual life of the first half of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300153040
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Series: Jewish Lives Series
Pages: 440
Sales rank: 52,904
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Paul Mendes-Flohr is editor-in-chief of the twenty-two-volume German critical edition of the collected works of Martin Buber and the author of German Jews: A Dual Identity. He is professor emeritus of the Divinity School, University of Chicago, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 A Motherless Child 1

2 Herald of a Jewish Renaissance 15

3 On the Open Seas 41

4 From Publicist to Author 56

5 Prague: Mystical Religiosity and Beyond 80

6 Heir to Landauer's Legacy 110

7 A Reverential Apikoros: Friendship with Rosenzweig 132

8 The Tragic Grace of Everyday Reality 163

9 Professor and Political Activist 202

10 Despite Everything 251

11 Not to Belong 303

Notes 325

Acknowledgments 387

Index 391

Illustrations follow page 131

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