Martin Buber’s Biblical Interpretation and Philosophy

December 27, 2016 — Leave a comment

Volume 6 of Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions (2010) features four articles on the theme:

The philosophy of Martin Buber and His Biblical Hermeneutics: Between Germanness and Jewishness

特集 マルティン・ブーバーの思想とその聖書解釈の可能性: ドイツとユダヤの間で

It turns out that all of the articles of this journal appear in both English and Japanese. Thank you, JISMOR editors and authors!

Through digging around, I found the following information and links for each article.

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1. Martin Buber Research in Japan

Original Title: 我が国におけるマルティン・ブーバー研究の過去・現在・未来 : シンポジウムの総括文に代えて(PDF)

Transliteration: Wa ga kuni ni okeru Marutein Būbā kenkyū no kako, genzai, mirai: Shinpojiumu no sōkatsubun ni kaete

English Title: Past, Present, and Future Research on Martin Buber in Japan: In Place of the Summary of the Symposium (PDF)

Author: 勝村 弘也・Hiroya Katsumura

Author Affiliation: 神戸松蔭女子学院大学教授・Professor, Kobe Shoin Women’s University

Author Links:

Publication Info (Japanese edition): 一神教学際研究 6 (2010): 1–6

Publication Info (English edition): Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions 6 (2010): 1–7

Bibliographic Links:



2. Voice in Buber’s Biblical Interpretation

Original Title: マルティン・ブーバーの聖書解釈における〈声〉の形態学 : 「かたちなきもののかたち」への問いについて(PDF)

Transliteration: Marutein Būbā no seisho kaishaku ni okeru ‘koe’ no keitaigaku: ‘Katachi naki mono no katachi’ e no toi ni tsuite

English Title: Morphology of the Voice in the Hermeneutics of Martin Buber: An Inquiry into the Form of the Unformed (PDF)

Author: 小野 文生・Fumio Ono

Author Affiliation: 同志社大学グローバル地域文化学部准教授Associate Professor, Doshisha University, Faculty of Global and Regional Studies

Publication Info (Japanese edition): 一神教学際研究 6 (2010): 7–35

Publication Info (English edition): Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions 6 (2010): 8–36

Bibliographic Links:

English Abstract:

This paper focuses on Kingship of God (Königtum Gottes) and other Biblical works authored by Martin Buber in order to consider the intention and reasoning behind his criticism of Julius Wellhausen, thereby shedding light on the essence of the hermeneutics of Buber in the context of Biblical study. This paper also aims to discuss how the principle of his hermeneutics is connected with his philosophy and thought, and also with the trend of thought during his time, in a wider perspective of the history of thought. Buber finds “voice” in the origin of the Bible and addresses the “form” (Gestalt) of occurrence and tradition of the “voice.” He then positions the “form” that emerges from the reading of the text at the core of his hermeneutics, or treats it as the principle of his Bible translation. In this paper, I will demonstrate that Buber based his hermeneutics on a philosophical principle that inquires into “the form of the unformed,” while referring to modern German thoughts, such as Grimm’s achievements in mythology and folklore, which addresses the “form” of language, and Gestalt psychology, which analyzes the “form” of recognition. (From CiNii)

Japanese Abstract:



斉藤 啓一『ブーバーに学ぶ―「他者」と本当にわかり合うための30章』

3. Theocracy in Buber’s Thought

Original Title: M・ブーバーにおける「神の直接統治」の思想的意義 : 『神の王権』における士師記解釈とユートピア社会思想より(PDF)

Transliteration: M. Būbā ni okeru ‘kami no chokusetsu tōchi’ no shisōteki igi: Kami no ōken ni okeru shishiki kaishaku to yūtopia shakai shisō yori

English Title: On the Significance of Theocracy (Direct Rule of God) in the Thought of Martin Buber: The Kingship of God and Utopian Social Thought as Seen in Buber’s Interpretation of the Book of Judges (PDF)

Author: 堀川 敏寛・Toshihiro Horikawa

Author Affiliation: ハイデルベルク大学ユダヤ学研究所客員研究員・Guest Researcher, University of Heidelberg, Jewish Studies

Author Links: Academia.eduTwitter

Publication Info (Japanese edition): 一神教学際研究 6 (2010): 36–51

Publication Info (English edition): Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions 6 (2010): 37–52

Bibliographic Links:

English Abstract:

After the Exodus, Yahweh and the Israelites entered into the Sinai Covenant, which established their relationship as that between the ‘God who guides’ and the ‘people who follow’. Based on this direct relationship between God and the people, a loose federation of tribal communities was built as a system of sovereignty during the period of Judges, in which charismatic rule was exercised by human leaders who were delegated limited power by God from time to time. The direct rule of God means, in substance, rule by human leaders who were given limited power by God. This is an important point that characterizes the period of Judges that precedes the period of the Kingdom. What Buber sought for his contemporary society is an economic system that can provide an organic linkage among different kinds of vocations and that can strike the right balance between production and consumption. In other words, it is a federate society with less top-down control and more voluntary interactions among village communities and guild society. Buber, who embraced the idea of utopian social justice, aspired for such a society and worked for its realization. Definitely, this view of Buber stems from his understanding of theocracy as depicted in the Hebrew Bible. (From CiNii)

Japanese Abstract:




4. Buber’s Theocracy in Modern Jewish Thought

Original Title: 現代ユダヤ思想における聖書と政治思想 : マルティン・ブーバーの神権政治とイスラエル文脈におけるその受容(PDF)

Transliteration: Gendai yudaya shisō ni okeru seisho to seiji shisō: Marutein Būbā no shinken seiji to Isuraeru bunmyaku ni okeru sono juyō

English Title: The Bible and Political Philosophy in Modern Jewish Thought: Martin Buber’s Theocracy and its Reception in an Israeli Context (PDF)

Author: 平岡 光太郎・Kōtarō Hiraoka

Author Affiliation: 同志社大学研究開発推進機構及び神学部・特別任用助教・Research Fellow, Doshisha University, Office for Research Initiatives and Development

Author Links: Research Map (Japanese / English)

Publication Info (Japanese edition): 一神教学際研究 6 (2010): 52–66

Publication Info (English edition): Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions 6 (2010): 53–66

Bibliographic Links:

English Abstract:

This paper aims to shed some light on the association between the Bible and political philosophy in modern Jewish thought from the angle of Martin Buber’s notion of theocracy. To begin with, I will present an overall picture of the general relationship between both the Bible and political philosophy before moving onto Buber’s notion of theocracy. Then, I will attempt to obtain a bird’s-eye view of the question of theocracy by examining how Buber’s thought has been evaluated by the recent scholars of Jewish thought who have addressed Buber’s ideology in earnest. In his The Kingdom of God (Konigtum Gottes) (1932), Martin Buber (1878-1965) provides in-depth insight into the concept of theocracy, which is of critical importance in considering the relationship between religion and politics. Issues relating to theocracy as raised by Buber are being studied in various fields and still ignite active discussions today. (From CiNii)

Japanese Abstract:

本稿では、現代ユダヤ思想における聖書と政治思想の関連状況の一端を、マルティン・ブーバーの神権政治をめぐる議論から明らかにすることを目的とする。まず聖典と政治思想の関係について概観したのち、マルティン・ブーバーの神権政治思想を考察する。そして近年においてブーバーの主張を正面から取り上げたユダヤ思想研究者たちの理解を考察することによって、神権政治問題を鳥瞰的に捉えることを試みる。マルティン・ブーバー(1878-1965)はKönigtum Gottes(1932)において、宗教と政治の関係問題を考えるうえで重要となる神権政治概念を深く熟考している。彼が取り組んだ神権政治をめぐる諸問題は、今日も様々な角度から考察され、活発な議論を形成している。(DUARより

Note: The Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions is published by Doshisha University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions.

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