I and Thou

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A&C Black, Dec 9, 2004 - Philosophy - 112 pages
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'The publication of Martin Buber's I and Thou was a great event in the religious life of the West.' Reinhold Niebuhr

Martin Buber (1897-19) was a prolific and influential teacher and writer, who taught philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from 1939 to 1951. Having studied philosophy and art at the universities of Vienna, Zurich and Berlin, he became an active Zionist and was closely involved in the revival of Hasidism.

Recognised as a landmark of twentieth century intellectual history, I and Thou is Buber's masterpiece. In this book, his enormous learning and wisdom are distilled into a simple, but compelling vision. It proposes nothing less than a new form of the Deity for today, a new form of human being and of a good life. In so doing, it addresses all religious and social dimensions of the human personality.

Translated by Ronald Gregor Smith>

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After some thinking, and after too many years of reading somewhat useless books per their inconsequential relation to the stream of culture-all evolution... and more reading, and reviewing... I would like to propose that Martin Buber's text, 'I and Thou,' might very well be the most anthropologically impactful and existentially descriptively essential analysis and work of the 20th Century. That work is akin to a work which in another three (3000) years will be read...if it still exists....exists?.... if it does, it will be read with intrigue. Some of these notions of "being read", or "to exist" or even the notions of the "I" and the "You" are seemingly absent from today's world I fear and thus this one work should stand out to any 2546 CE reader who understands the horror of the next thousands of years to come. With that dismal recompense which all Thous shall pay, the apocalytic aftermath will view our times as the worse of times; this is so Odd as most of us woudl think the opposite, but alas every age, group, culture, and Peoples who have been enshrined into essential categories think the same. Nevertheless, as short a read as Buber's book is, read it -- its a good book grasshopper. I hope to convince you Why in this review. If you read, read a good english trans of I and Thou. Then tell us you are ready to talk the meaning of things. That is how important that work was and remains for the futures of thigns to become or Not.If you read german, then read it in original language and script. Makes no huge difference. And don't forget what historical time Buber lived from.
I and Thou is about that entity humans attempt to elucidate as the super-human of Being of beings and beyond beings, the I am of the nothingness from which It did not arise as we have and did. It's about God. That is rule one for reading Buber 'I and Thou'. Its a theological text folks, like it or not. It is about Theology.
But fear not, any allegiance to any "truth" of established historical religion/s is not necessary for one to appreciate and one to grasp the relevance of this work's result. Buber may be an enigma as historical figure of jewish thinking, theology and existentalism which I believe he rightly can be brought into that fold, but his work of 'I and Thou' was an lucent illumination of the structure of the answer to Neitzsche's firming of the Idea that God Is Dead, is and 'was' being up to debate. And in this sense I do not assume Neitzsche himself would render his words in this fashion, its been rendered onto Fredrick by semiotics and hermenutical exegesis by countless speakers and thinkers who invoke his texts as read instruments of their own logic. Be that as it May, all he said has been tied correctly or not ot the notion God Is Dead. I'm not sure most read Buber in this fashion, at least not this gem and I make no claim to overall notion of buber's collective vision in all his texts combined arbitrarily into some "buber-ian-nism".... as read 'i and thou' and this is what it speaks to me. I'm sure the Lotus Sutra speaks to me and to others as well. the point being,
Rule #2 in reading Buber's "I and Thou": it is NOT apolegtic theological defense, it is theology as Rule #1 told us, but it is not what someone could mistake it for once you accept Rule #1 above near monkey with reading ability. Within Theology proper to term Buber as part of any apolegtic tradition is dead wrong; one would have erase "I and Thou" from the holdings of his library to get away with this.
Buber is questioning and addressing the most fundamental experiences of being human but in western-euro language not too distant in tone and style of the Tao Te Ching, imho. But this i-ching of existential mantra is that of an entirely different species of the mamal which wrote the Chuang Tzu and such early Taoist works. But simply reading Buber's opening words and first small chapter on World and

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According to the back of this book it is recognised as a landmark of twentieth century intellectual history. Well I beg to differ. I found it pretentious and superficial mumbo jumbo. As you can tell from these comments this was not my book of the year.

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About the author (2004)

Martin Buber was born in Vienna in 1879. He studied philosophy and art at the universities in Vienna, Zurich and Berlin. In this twenties he was an active Zionist and worked closely with Theodor Herzl and Chaim Weizmann. Martin Buber is also well known for his revival of Hasidism, a mystical movement that swept East European Jewry in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A prolific and influential teacher and writer, he taught philosophy from 1939 to 1951 at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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