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- Published on Amazon.com
Epilogue; Faith Vs Faith:
Emil Brunner who once said that Buber's discovery and analysis of the I-Thou relationship set up a Copernician revolution in the thinking of the whole of mankind, described Buber's 'faith versus faith' essay as; "An all-out attack on Christianity", and an attempt by Buber to clarify why he came short of becoming a Christian! (Dogmatic Theology, E. Brunner)
It may be that Buber glittering philosophic rhetoric, at once attracted and repelled, despite his literary talent, as his best analytical critic, Monsignor Oesterreicher described him, borrowing william James useful taxonomy, "Buber seemed 'tender minded' to one whose nature and philosophical nurture honor by preference 'tough minded' thinkers!
A shift Of emphasis:
It may be to my support for Amazon.com readership and the theologically trained Practical.Org review visitors, to recall a similar reaction to mine, by Thieme, a German theologian.
The late Karl Thieme joined Catholicism, leaving his Lutheran Church due to the latter adjustment to Nazi policy, excluding clergy of Jewish origins from its service. Thieme, rejecting the 'two types of faith' whimsical view, asserted that Christian's faith differed from Jewish faith by a 'Shift of emphasis.' He criticized Buber's reading of Paul's theology, encountering in his letter to the Romans 'A wrathful God' rather than 'A Loving Father.'
"I am saddened that Buber's aversion to Paul was so strong that he was unable to appreciate the Apostle's loving avowal of God's special bond to His people in Romans 9 to 11...I am at a loss to understand why Buber did not give Paul the regard that is his due.' comments Oesterreicher on Thieme parallel views.
Buber's faith Vs Torah:
In his exploration of the 'two forms' of faith, first as a member of community, whose covenant with the unconditioned, trusts in a person, vs. an individual converted to faith, in acceptance of a truth, associating with other converts to form a community.
While Hillel, the great rabbi, held his Golden rule of Jewish faith as; "The whole Torah, and, the rest is commentary," Buber writes, "I do not believe that revelation is ever a formulation of law. It is only through Man in his self-contradiction that revelation becomes legislation." Buber' Letter to Rosenzweig
The Risen Christ:
It is clear why the resurrection was such a stumbling block to Buber, that he took offense debating; "the Jew of Paul's time,...believed in the resurrection of the dead as a great community at the end of time; but the resurrection of an individual was unknown to the Jew from scripture..." Buber's conclusion against the core of Christian faith is : "The resurrection of an individual (Jesus) is incredible to Jews,"
Shmuel Bergmann, a great Jewish thinker, and a friend of Buber whom he asked to review the manuscript (Two Types of Faith), wrote in 1949; "If the resurrection (of Jesus) really happened, it was such a decisive event-the fact that a human being conquered death-such a new beginning in human history that Paul was right to attribute to faith in that fact a decisive significance."
One of the foremost religious thinkers of the twentieth century, M. Buber made a tremendous impact, not only on Jewish but also on Christian thinkers. Reinhold Niebuhr has described him as "the greatest Jewish philosopher of our time"
In nominating Buber for a Nobel Prize in literature in 1949, H. Hesse stated that, "He has enriched world-literature with a genuine treasure as has no other living author."