Item description for Moses: The Revelation and the Covenant by Martin Buber...
Martin Buber, scholar, philosopher, theologian, and Bible translator, is now considered one of the great thinkers and spiritual authorities of the 20th century. As a work of his late maturity, Moses offers the possibility to review Buber's longstanding concern with Scripture. It is in this book that Buber's methodological presuppositions about biblical language and stylistics, and his views on the enduring value of the Bible's religious teachings, come to clear expression.
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Martin Buber (1878-1965), one of the paramount spiritual leaders of the twentieth century, is best known as the author of I and Thou--the basic formulation of his philosophy of dialogue--and for his appreciation of Hasidim, which made a deep impact on Christian as well as Jewish thinkers. Born in Vienna, and raised in Lemberg, Buber studied philosophy at the University of Berlin. Fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938, he emigrated to Israel, where he taught social philosophy at the Hebrew University until his retirement in 1951. He lived in Jerusalem until his death in 1965. Also published by Schocken Books, Martin Buber's work include: Israel and the World, The Legend of the Baal-Shem, The Letters Of Martin Buber, On the Bible, On Judaism, On Zion, Tales of the Hasidim, Ten Rungs, and Way of Response.
Martin Buber was born in 1878 and died in 1965.
Martin Buber has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Moses: The Revelation and the Covenant?
Ian Myles Slater on: Buber's Exodus and Wilderness Feb 5, 2005
"Moses," usually published as "Moses: The Revelation and the Covenant," is probably the most readable of Martin Buber's longer Biblical studies. It combines a sense of narrative movement with ingenious interpretations (often backed by formidable, if now obsolete, scholarship, almost always tucked away in endnotes), rhapsodies on freedom and the desert, reflections on the experiences described as miracles, and some hard political thought. For those familiar with traditional Jewish biblical interpretation, its influence on Buber's thought, and his willingness to work out implications by suggesting supplements to the biblical narrative, will be apparent. This combination makes "Moses" interesting to read, but difficult to classify. (It may also be a surprise to those who know Buber only from the philosophy of "I and Thou," or the story-telling of "Tales of the Hasidim.")
Together with a much more difficult book by Buber, "The Kingship of God," it presents early Israelite religion as including a revolutionary social movement, egalitarian and anti-state, yet demanding accountability and public order. Similar ideas, usually less attractively expressed, and often less carefully nuanced, began to appear in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and in some cases remain influential. Buber's priority is not always acknowledged. Of course it is easy to believe that the ferment of their time was as influential on these interpreters as the first part of the twentieth century was on Buber, and that they came to their conclusions independently. Buber's "The Prophetic Faith" deals with the Genesis narratives, some of the Prophets, and Job, and for much of its length is less obviously political; in some ways, his study of modern socialist movements, "Paths in Utopia," is at least as closely related.
Some readers, looking for traditional religious edification, will probably find Buber's presentation too rationalistic and secular. I am sure that there are those who will be upset by Buber's interpretation of Moses asking God for His true name, and the unhelpful answer, as showing the influence of Egyptian name magic. Others, encouraged at first by the footnotes and the assumption that the biblical text cannot be taken literally, will find him, well, too religious. If you approach "Moses" as the work of a religious philosopher with a strong interest in social issues, and a willingness to take the ancient text very seriously, but not literally, you will find much of interest.
(Reposted from my "anonymous" review of June 15, 2003.)