Martin Buber

Martin Buber (bōō´bĕr), 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). Conceiving the relations between God and man 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. Among his writings are Jewish Mysticism and the Legends of Baalshem (1931), Mamre (tr. 1946, repr. 1970), Moses (1946), and The Origin and Meaning of Hasidism (2 vol., tr. 1960).

See his A Believing Humanism: My Testament, 1902–1965 (tr. 1967), and his Meetings, ed. by M. S. Friedman (1973); biographies by M. S. Friedman (3 vol., 1981–3, and 1 vol., 1991); M. S. Freidman, Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue (4th ed., 2002).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Encounter on the Narrow Ridge: A Life of Martin Buber
Maurice Friedman.
Paragon Press, 1991
Martin Buber's Formative Years: From German Culture to Jewish Renewal, 1897-1909
Gerda Gilya Schmidt.
University of Alabama Press, 1995
The Origin and Meaning of Hasidism
Martin Buber; Maurice Friedman; Maurice Friedman.
Horizon Press, 1960
Moses
Martin Buber.
East and West Library, 1946
The Writings of Martin Buber
Will Herberg; Martin Buber.
Meridian Books, 1956
Librarian’s tip: "I and Thou" begins on p. 43
Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue
Maurice S. Friedman.
Routledge, 2002 (4th edition)
Communication and Community: Implications of Martin Buber's Dialogue
Ronald C. Arnett.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1986
Martin Buber: Prophet of Religious Secularism
Donald J. Moore.
Fordham University Press, 1996 (2nd edition)
The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel's Soul
Yoram Hazony.
Basic Books, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Martin Buber and the Rejection of the Jewish State"
Toward a Jewish (M)orality: Speaking of a Postmodern Jewish Ethics
S. Daniel Breslauer.
Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Martin Buber's Hasidic Ethics of Moving On"
Autonomy in Jewish Philosophy
Kenneth Seeskin.
Cambridge University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Modernity under Fire: Buber and Levinas"
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