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Buber On God And The Perfect Man
Buber On God And The Perfect Man
Author:Pamela Vermes

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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 America in 1980 in the Brown Judaic Studies series, is lucid and fresh. Her sensitive translations present key terms in helpful ways that allow for new interpretations and render this study an excellent survey of Buber's influence on theological thought. This new edition includes an updated bibliography of Buber's writings.

'Abounds in deep insights into human nature . . . a notable contribution towards a contemporary spirituality.' 
John Macquarrie, New Blackfriars 


The complex nature of Buber's philosophy is sensitively handled and the book is a notable survey of his thought. An extended bibliography makes this book additionally valuable.'                            Le'ela

Pamela Vermes (1918-1993), wife and collaborator of Geza Vermes, was literary editor of the Journal of Jewish Studies from 1976 until her death. She is the author of Buber (1988), which also appeared in Italian and French translations, and a posthumously published book of poetry, The Riddle of the Sparks (1993).


288 pages