Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Buber, Martin

b. 1878 - d. 1965

Martin Buber was an influential Austrian-born Jewish philosopher who in 1937 immigrated to Palestine to escape Nazi persecution. He grew up amid intellectual and cultural forces that nurtured his philosophical and creative imagination. Early on he cultivated an interest in Zionism, but emphasized the development of Jewish humanism within the movement. He was also greatly inspired by Hasidism and the search for vibrant faith. Buber is best known for advocating the supreme significance of “I and Thou” rather than “I-It” as we relate to the world. “I and Thou” relations foster deep dialogue. He was a strong advocate of a bi-national solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Buber had a profound influence on Dr. King. The latter referred to Buber and “I and Thou” in writings such as Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Associated Archive Content : 7 results

A Challenge to the Churches and Synagogues

In this document, Dr. King addressed the Conference on Religion and Race in Chicago, Illinois. He reprimands the Church and Synagogue for being silent or being a "silent partner of the status quo." Dr. King tells them that they must recapture its focus on human rights or risk becoming irrelevant. In closing, Dr. King challenges himself along with these religious institutions to make a choice; either continue to follow the "status quo" or "give ourselves unreservedly to God and his kingdom."

An Analysis of the Ethical Demands of Integration

Dr. King argues that desegregation is only the first step towards the ultimate goal of complete racial equality. He explains that nonviolence, driven by the power of love, is crucial to create true integration.

Letter From Birmingham City Jail

Dr. King's famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is a response to a statement written by several Alabama Clergymen. In that statement, the Clergymen assert that Dr. King's methods are both "unwise and untimely." They brand him an "outside agitator" who should not be advocating the breaking of the law. Dr. King responds with this Letter and politely references Biblical, Classical and early American figures to counter the arguments of the Clergymen.

Letter From Birmingham City Jail

This version of Dr. King's "Letter From Birmingham Jail," published by the American Friends Service Committee, also includes the original statement made by the clergyman that prompted Dr. King's response. The eight clergymen described Dr. King's actions as "unwise and untimely." In his response, Dr. King references biblical and historical figures to illustrate why the Civil Rights Movement can no longer wait. He also expresses his frustration with many within organized religion and the moderate white American.

Letter from Douglas Straton to MLK

Douglas Straton, Chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Oregon, invites Dr. King to participate in their Distinguished Visiting Lectureship Program. The department would appreciate Dr. King's presentation of three lectures and attendance at a breakfast meeting with the town clergy. They offer him a $500 honorarium and request that he consider coming the following school year.

Letter from Peggy Duff to MLK

Peggy Duff writes Dr. King on behalf of The Campaign for Disarmament in West Germany to request a meeting with him while he is London. Ms. Duff references an earlier meeting with Dr. King in which he mentioned a projected trip to Europe in order to receive an Honorary Degree at Newcastle University. She informs him that the organization is interested in having him speak at a meeting on the war in Vietnam.

Letter from Rev. Oliver W. Holmes to Dora McDonald

Reverend Oliver Holmes confirms the possibility of a meeting between Dr. King and Mrs. Leonard Faber, a graduate student in religion. Her dissertation involves Dr. King, German monk and theologian Martin Luther and Jewish philosopher Martin Buber.