The One Thing Needful

Phil Huston

in Martin Buber's Journey to Presence

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227396
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235438 | DOI:

Series: Abrahamic Dialogues

The One Thing Needful

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Buber, after taking five years away from his normal activities, studied Hasidic literature but retained his interest in mystical tradition. Buber was able to give addresses on various elements of Judaism that concerned “inaccurate” statements, which are vital in understanding Buber's position on the nature and presence of God. Buber gives focus to a certain unity of experiences and how “Inward” commotions disrupt the achievement of this unity. Through applying the phenomenon of projection, this chapter establishes how Buber challenges the common understanding of a transcendent union with God. This chapter also takes on Buber's interest on Oriental studies, concentrating on how Tao refers to the process of realizing the presence of God and how this God relies also on the human spirit. Lastly, Buber analyzes Judaism and how this, as a spiritual process, becomes a struggle in realizing the sought-for unity.

Keywords: God; Judaism; presence; nature; inward commotions; phenomenon of projection; unity; union; Hasidism

Chapter.  21221 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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