THE REALM OF THE BETWEEN IN MARTIN BUBER'S WRITINGS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS

ALEX POLO, Fordham University

Abstract

This dissertation analyzes Martin Buber's concept of the "between" and its relation to the History of Religions. It examines "betweenness" as the central category of Buber's religious thought. One can discern in Buber's writings that the realm of the "between" constituted the center of Buber's religious thought. Buber concluded his book I and Thou by positing the place of a new theophany for the coming eon in that sphere of reality that exists between beings.^ Buber's religious anthropology was centered on a relational ontology. This ontology was extracted from the living experience of Jewish faith. His concern for the communal and relational aspects of religion led Buber to discover and develop the dialogical dimension of reality, the realm of the "between."^ The method used in this study was phenomenological and typological. This method was applied to the History of Religions by Mircea Eliade, Joachim Wach and Gerald van der Leeuw. This study analyzes the concept of the "between" as a modern religious phenomenon that gives a response to the historical crisis, called the "death of God."^ The typological method employed in this dissertation assumes that religious phenomena contain a center that can be classified as an archetype. The realm of the "between" was classified as a form of the archetype of the coincidence of opposites. The "between" was understood by Buber as the ontological ground of all relations. This study identified the meeting of an I with a Thou, the realm of the "between" with the reality of the Spirit.^ The Spirit as realm of the "between" was for Buber the ground of the experience of religiosity. Religiosity was for Buber the experience where the human I encounters the Holy as eternal Thou. Religion was for Buber the human expression of the experience of religiosity. ^

Subject Area

Theology

Recommended Citation

POLO, ALEX, "THE REALM OF THE BETWEEN IN MARTIN BUBER'S WRITINGS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8615689.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8615689

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