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310 Pages

ISBN: 9781874774235

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Bookseller Code (06)

Buber on God and the Perfect Man

Pamela Vermes

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization in association with Liverpool University Press

Pamela Vermes has written a thought-provoking, enlightening, and moving work that reaffirms Buber's remarkable breadth of intellect and shows how he has drawn on Jewish culture and ideas to point the way to a 'life lived religiously' by both secularists and the religious. Unlike the many commentators who have relegated Buber's Judaism to a mere question of biography, she demonstrates how he drew not only on the Bible but on Targum and Midrash, as well as on the wisdom of the hasidic masters of eastern Europe. Buber himself was well aware of these influences and recognized that his thought and the culture he drew it from were indivisible. But he was also dissatisfied with institutionalized religion, and Pamela Vermes emphasizes the important distinction he made between religiosity (the devout personal response) and religion (institutionalized forms). It is perhaps because of this distinction that Buber's ideas have been so powerful beyond the world of Judaism. His seminal work Ich und Du has profoundly influenced Christian as well as Jewish theology. Pamela Vermes's account of Buber's career and his principal writings, first published in 1980, is lucid and fresh.


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