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Mysticism and Hasidism in the Thought of Martin Buber
Challenging the prevalent view that in order to establish his “Dialogical” thought Martin Buber had to forsake his earlier “mystical” work, Israel Koren demonstrates instead that mystical paradigms serve as the foundation for Buber’s dialogue and endow it with greater depth. While most scholars portray Buber’s dialogical thought mainly in its Western and modern philosophical background, the author examines Buber’s interpretation of Hasidic themes such as Devekut (attachment to God) among others, in order to establish that his dialogical writings evolved out of his interpretation of Judaism in general, his understanding of the Hasidic conception of the world and the mission of man in Hasidism in particular. Buber’s work is therefore shown to be original mystical neo-Hasidic thought, which serves as a new link in the historical chain of Jewish mysticism.


This paper explores two central poles of Rudolf Steiner’s thought: racial/ethnic hierarchy (primitive/degenerate/earthly vs. advanced/sophisticated/spiritual) and universalism (of the “I” and the eventual disappearance of racial and ethnic differentiations in the future). The relationship between these two poles has been fiercely debated by scholars, anthroposophists, and lay people over the past twenty years. In contrast to previous studies on Steiner’s rac(ial)ism that have focused on how it can be contextualized within the philosophy, sciences, and Theosophy of his day and followed its manifestations in different stages of his life, this article takes an internalist approach, examining how Steiner’s racial doctrine is integral to his teachings as a whole. Demonstrating that the ostensible dichotomy between the two poles on the conceptual plane is false, the article also points to the two incongruous and irreconcilable aspects of Steiner’s personality: while taking a strong stand against racism he also disseminated extremist racial views.

In: Aries