Jewish Culture Between Mystical Aesthetics and <i>Lebensphilosophie</i>

in Aesthetics of Renewal

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226842707
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226842738 | DOI:
Jewish Culture Between Mystical Aesthetics and Lebensphilosophie

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This chapter attempts to elucidate the fabric of the early Buber's concept of culture. While Buber is usually associated with the school of cultural or spiritual Zionists, his conception of Jewish cultural renewal was distinctive even within this group. This was largely a result of his emphasis on a Zionist politics of culture (Kulturpolitik), which he thought must take into account that the culture of a people is not “purely spiritual” but embraces “productivity” in all spheres of life. Zionist Kulturpolitik is, therefore, “the most consequential and organized striving [of the Jewish people] to direct this productivity towards freedom.” Influenced by Nietzsche's philosophy of culture, Buber held the liberation of Jews' creative energies to be the most urgent task. The spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people must precede the regeneration of its culture. In this context, Buber assigned a constructive and lasting role to the Diaspora.

Keywords: Martin Buber; Jewish cultural renewal; Zionist Kulturpolitik; Diaspora

Chapter.  9693 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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