Martin Buber, A Life of Faith and Dissent, by Paul Mendes-Flohr

Paul Mendes-Flohr, an authority on the philosopher Martin Buber 1878-1963, has written a biography of the controversial and beloved social thinker. My review of the book appears in the September 25, 2019 issue of The Christian Century.

In an essay from 1922, just before the publication of I and Thou, Buber wrote: ‘It is far more comfortable to have to do with religion than to have to do with God, who sends one out of home and fatherland into restless wandering. In addition, religion has all kinds of aesthetic refreshments to offer its cultivated adherents…For this reason, at all times the awake spirits have been vigilant and have warned of the diverting forces hidden in religion.’ p. 143

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