Martin Buber

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Buber, Martin

Buber, Martin (bo͞oˈbĕr), 1878–1965, Jewish philosopher, b. Vienna. Educated at German universities, he was active in Zionist affairs, and he taught philosophy and religion at the Univ. of Frankfurt-am-Main (1924–33). From 1938 to 1951 he held a professorship in the sociology of religion at the Hebrew Univ. in Jerusalem. Greatly influenced by the mysticism of the Hasidim, which he interpreted in many of his works, and by the Christian existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard, Buber evolved his own philosophy of religion, especially in his book I and Thou (1923, 2d ed. 1958), which has been called a bridge between Judaism and Christianity. Conceiving the relations between God and humans not as abstract and impersonal, but as an inspired and direct dialogue, Buber has also had a great impact on contemporary Christian thinkers. He worked to permeate political Zionism with ethical and spiritual values and strongly advocated Arab-Israeli understanding.


See his Jewish Mysticism and the Legends of Baalshem (1931), Mamre (tr. 1946, repr. 1970), Moses (1946), The Origin and Meaning of Hasidism (2 vol., tr. 1960), A Believing Humanism: My Testament, 1902–1965 (tr. 1967), and Meetings, ed. by M. S. Friedman (1973); biographies by M. S. Friedman (3 vol., 1981–83; 1 vol., 1991) and P. Mendes-Flohr (2019); M. S. Freidman, Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue (4th ed., 2002).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Buber, Martin


(or Mardochai). Born Feb. 8, 1878, in Vienna; died June 13, 1965, in Jerusalem. Jewish religious philosopher and writer. Exponent of Judaism. Wrote in two languages—German and Hebrew.

From 1924 to 1933, Buber was professor of the philosophy of Judaism and of ethics at the University of Frankfurt am Main. In 1933 he emigrated from Germany, going first to Switzerland and then to Palestine, where he was professor of sociology at the University of Jerusalem. He joined the Zionist movement at the end of the 1890’s, but as early as 1901 he moved away from political Zionism and became an influential ideologist of the Jewish cultural-nationalist movement. After World War II, Buber criticized Arab-Jewish hostility and the inhumane acts against Palestinian Arabs. Buber’s philosophy is close to existentialism; its central idea is of existence as a “dialogue” (between god and man, man and the universe, and so on; I and Thou, 1922). He sought the “dialogical” spirit—which stands opposed to the Greek spirit of “monologism”—in the biblical tradition of the past. He devoted particular attention to the pantheistic tendencies of Hasidism (Tales of Rabbi Nachman, 1906). Buber’s main literary work was the novel-chronicle Gog and Magog (1949), which was based on the life of the Polish Hasidim of the early 19th century. Also widely known are his retellings of the folk legends of the Jews of Eastern Europe about, the wise and just zaddikim. Buber’s sociological views were considerably influenced by anarchism.


Werke, vols. 1-3. Munich, 1962-64.


Diamond, M. L. M. Buber, Jewish Existentialist. New York, 1960.
Gregor, S. R. M. Buber. London, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"The Chrysalis of Sexuality: Reflections on Interpreting the Work of Martin Buber." Encounter 46, no.
,,Perspectiva lui Fundoianu asupra relatei dintre iudaism si crestinism in lumina reflectiilor sale privind gandirea lui Martin Buber".
Buber, Martin, 1996a, "Martin Buber to Dag Hammarskjold, August 23, 1961, letter no.
Es en el periodo entre guerras del siglo XX, posterior a la experiencia humana de su capacidad de destruccion masiva, que se da el surgimiento de filosofias que promueven un repunte de la persona humana; en este caso la filosofia dialogica no desprende la dimension ontologica del ser humano, sino mas bien, la comprende en cuanto el encuentro con el projimo, que es a su vez proximo, una etica que asuma el compromiso con el Otro u Otra o, como indica Martin Buber, a partir del reconocimiento del Tu, que es quien llama al Yo.
Martin Buber notes that "of all the prayers of the first-fruits in the world that I know there is only one in which, in contrast to all the others, God is glorified for His gift of land to the worshipper." That is the simple, contextual, understanding of this verse.
Kenneth Paul Kramer, Learning through Dialogue: The Relevance of Martin Buber's Classroom.
Then he considers her thought in the context of Martin Buber and the life of dialogue, Emmanuel Levinas and the face of the other, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer and God's powerlessness.
He uses an excellent anecdote here, from an occasion when he attended a lecture by Martin Buber, who was talking about humans and their problem with being 'exiled' from God.
Along the way, we meet significant figures in Rabbi Weinberg's life: Martin Buber and Mannes Sperber, the founders of Israel's Marxist-Socialist party, Rabbi Leo Baeck, and Albert Einstein.
I will then deepen my critique of psychoanalysis by delving into Martin Buber's distinction between guilt feelings and existential guilt.