Hope for Our Time

Key Trends in the Thought of Martin Buber

By Avraham Shapira
Translated by Jeffrey M. Green

Subjects: Jewish Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Judaica: Hermeneutics, Mysticism, and Religion
Paperback : 9780791441268, 263 pages, April 1999
Hardcover : 9780791441251, 263 pages, April 1999

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Table of contents




Comments on Buber's Means of Expression

1. Polar Duality

2. The Cause and the Person: Destiny and Vocation

3. A Divided Heart and Man's Double

4. Existential Tensions and Early Struggles

5. A Conversion

6. Duality and Its Structures

7. Distance - Relation

8. Vortex - Direction

9. Moment - Eternity

10. Concluding Remarks




Uncovers the underlying structures of Martin Buber's thought across his diverse writings.


Martin Buber's work ranged across disciplines and modes of expression to include philosophy, religion, social studies, and literature. Buber never presented a comprehensive statement of his worldview in any of his central works and repeated time and again that he had no "doctrine. " In this book, Avraham Shapira traces the history of Buber's ideas and locates underlying structures which unite Buber's thought. Ultimately, Hope for Our Time shows the connection between Buber's philosophy and his spiritual biography.

Avraham Shapira is Professor, Department of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University. He is the author of The Kabbalistic and Hasidic Sources of A. D. Gordon's Thought.


"Martin Buber remains one of the truly important religious teachers of the twentieth century. His 'philosophy of dialogue' and his commitment to personal encounter with the Other have had great impact on psychotherapy and the social sciences as well as on philosophy and theology. Avraham Shapira, a leading Israeli exponent of Buber, has written a study that captures both the Jewish and German roots of this unique figure. Buber's teaching is treated here as a living and powerful force, transcending all the denominational and religious/secular gaps that divide contemporary Jewry. " — Arthur Green, Philip W. Lown Professor of Jewish Thought, Brandeis University

"Avraham Shapira writes with his heart as well as his head. Empathy, often nourished by personal contact, is the key to his unerring ability to illuminate the rich legacy of Zionist giants such as Martin Buber, A. D. Gordon, and Gershom Scholem. Hope for Our Time is a masterful analysis of the conceptual structures that inform and animate the entire corpus of Buber's thought. " — Ismar Schorsch, Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary