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Additional info for Aesthetics of Renewal: Martin Buber's Early Representation of Hasidism as Kulturkritik
He applied the same method to the Hasidic sayings, parables, and legends represented in Legende. The amplification of some basic notions of Dilthey‘s theory en abled him to develop his own hermeneutic approach to the representation of religious experience. The aesthetics of the mystical Erlebnis and the recov ery of its basic spiritual structures necessitate representation of the mystical 18 chapter one intuition as borne out of the Hasid’s life experience. Representation of indi vidual genius is thus not at the core of Buber’s anthologies, nor is his main objective to re-embody through Nacherleben the genius of R.
Nahman’s Sippurey ma’asiyyot. In contrast, Legende, which does not comment upon one work but rather on a mystical way of life, can be said to qualify as a nontraditional kind of religious anthology. 24 Buber indeed composed such a metawork by combining representation and interpretation in his description of Hasidic devotion in his introductory essay to Legende, which qualifies in a modified sense as a commentary. The essay, “Das Leben der Chassidim,” is a metawork, for its commentary is intrinsic to the teachings it cites.
They stood next to volumes of German and European letters as well as works on Judaism written in the rationalist and historicist vein of Wissenschaft des Judentums, such as Heinrich Graetz’s multivolume Geschichte der Juden (1853–76), a staple item on most bookshelves of German Jews despite its controversial character. Though Buber the anthology and the jewish renaissance 37 adhered to the humanistic ideal of Bildung, he challenged the emotionally restrained German-Jewish bourgeoisie by calling upon them to acknowledge the vitalizing power of ecstatic mysticism represented by Hasidism.