Martina Urban - Aesthetics of Renewal: Martin Buber's Early Representation of Hasidism as Kulturkritik



Martina Urban - Aesthetics of Renewal: Martin Buber's Early Representation of Hasidism as Kulturkritik
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press | 2008-12-08 | ISBN: 0226842703 | File type: PDF | 240 pages | 5.12 mb

Martin BuberĄ¯s embrace of Hasidism at the start of the twentieth century was instrumental to the revival of this popular form of Jewish mysticism. Hoping to instigate a Jewish cultural and spiritual renaissance, he published a series of anthologies of Hasidic teachings written in German to introduce the tradition to a wide audience. In Aesthetics of Renewal, Martina Urban closely analyzes BuberĄ¯s writings and sources to explore his interpretation of Hasidic spirituality as a form of cultural criticism.
For Buber, Hasidic legends and teachings were not a static, canonical body of knowledge, but were dynamic and open to continuous reinterpretation. Urban argues that this representation of Hasidism was essential to the Zionist effort to restore a sense of unity across the Jewish diaspora as purely religious traditions weakenedĄĒand that BuberĄ¯s anthologies in turn played a vital part in the broad movement to use cultural memory as a means to reconstruct a collective identity for Jews. As Urban unravels the rich layers of BuberĄ¯s vision of Hasidism in this insightful book, he emerges as one of the preeminent thinkers on the place of religion in modern culture.


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