“Companionable Being”

American Theologians Engage Martin Buber

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
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American religious thinkers of the mid-twentieth century regularly included appreciative comments about Martin Buber’s thought in their books and essays, but they seldom stated specifically what they were drawing from Buber. Their comments did, however, tend to circle around a single issue: modern social, political, and technological changes were destabilizing both the sense of “the uniqueness of human selfhood” and the possibility of its distinctively “religious existence.” They sought a third way through the modern cultural and religious problem of the self, and they took Martin Buber as their guide.

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